Our Team

Sonali Saluja

Sonali Saluja, MD, MPH


Office: (323) 409-3810

Sonali Saluja: Sonali Saluja, MD, MPH, Assistant Professor of Clinical Medicine, is a health services researcher at The Gehr Center. Dr. Saluja is board certified in Internal Medicine and currently sees patients at LAC+USC hospital where she teaches and supervises residents and medical students. Dr. Saluja’s research focusses on health disparities as well as access to care for vulnerable populations. Her projects have examined access to insurance and needed care in the setting of health care reform. Dr. Saluja is currently studying how safety-net patients in Los Angeles County are navigating the healthcare landscape under the ACA.

Cameron Kaplan

Cameron Kaplan, PhD


Office: (323) 409-3823

Cameron Kaplan: Cameron Kaplan, PhD, is an Assistant Professor of Medicine, is a health economist and health services researcher whose work focuses on the impact of health policy and insurance benefit design on healthcare utilization, health outcomes, and disparities. Dr. Kaplan received his PhD in economics from the University of California, Santa Barbara in 2011. Following his Ph.D., Dr.  Kaplan  completed  a  two-year  post-doctoral  program  in  the  Department  of  Health  Policy  and  Management  at  the  University  of  Pittsburgh. He most recently joined the Gehr Center faculty from the University of Tennessee Health Science Center in Memphis. He is currently the principal investigator of two large research grants.  An R01  from  NIA  examines  the  impact  of  the  Medicare  prescription  drug  donut  hole  closure  on  medication  adherence  and  health  outcomes.  A research  scholar  grant  from  the  American  Cancer  society  examines  the  impact  of  premium  surcharges  for  tobacco  uses  in  the  ACA  health  insurance  exchanges  on  enrollment.

Albert Farias

Albert Farias, PhD, MPH



Albert Farias: Albert Farias, PhD, MPH Assistant Professor of Clinical Preventive Medicine is a health services researcher who is devoted to helping eliminate racial/ethnic disparities in cancer outcomes by furthering our understanding of how evidence-based cancer prevention strategies and treatment are delivered within the health care system and how that influences patient adherence. His research not only identifies health care inequalities but identifies health care-related factors that explain racial/ethnic disparities in cancer outcomes. To carry out this research, Dr. Farias applies a variety of complex methodologies and analytic approaches. His research has focused on the use of cancer registry and medical claims data such as the SEER/Medicare-linked data and more recently the use of the rich SEER/Medicare/CAHPS-linked dataset to identify health care inequalities in patient reported outcomes and health care experiences. Dr. Farias possess a PhD in Health Services Research from the University of Washington, a Master’s in Public Health from Columbia University, and a BS in Biology from UCLA.

Michael Cousineau

Michael Cousineau, Dr.PH

Senior Adviser

Office: (323) 409-3823

Michael Cousineau: Michael R. Cousineau, DPH, is a researcher at the Gehr Center and a Professor of Clinical Preventive Medicine in the Departments of Family Medicine and Preventive Medicine at the Keck School of Medicine of USC and the USC Price School of Public Policy. He attended University of California, Berkeley and received his doctorate from the UCLA School of Public Health. Dr. Cousineau studies health policy, the determinants of health care utilization for low-income populations, models of health insurance coverage, health care disparities, effectiveness of outreach and enrollment systems for public insurance programs, the operation of safety-net providers including community health centers and public hospitals, and health needs of vulnerable populations including the homeless and immigrants. Dr. Cousineau teaches health policy in the Masters in Public Health Program at USC and in the Keck School of Medicine.  He has published in Health Affairs, Medical Care, Health Services Research, the American Journal of Public Health, and Academic Medicine.

Barbara Turner

Barbara Turner, MD, MSED, MACP

Senior Adviser

Office: (323) 409-3823

Barbara Turner: Barbara Turner, MD, MSED, MACP is a Clinical Professor of Medicine and a practicing general internist with over 30 years of experience in health disparities research and community-partnered research. In 2010, she established the Center for Research to Advance Community Health (ReACH) as a partnership between the University of Texas (UT) Health San Antonio and the UT School of Public Health (UTSPH). Her research has focused on health disparities through administrative database studies, randomized trials, and implementation & dissemination projects. She has been principal investigator (PI) on four federal- and state-funded projects to implement Hepatitis C Virus screening and management in diverse primary care practices. Dr. Turner has over 175 peer-reviewed publications and editorials from research funded by the NIH, the Agency for Health Care Research and Quality (AHRQ), Robert Wood Johnson (RWJ) Foundation, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, and the Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI). Dr. Turner has served as Regent of the American College of Physicians (ACP) and President of the Society of General Internal Medicine (SGIM). In addition to working with the Gehr Center, Dr. Turner edits the Internal Medicine volume of Dynamed, an online medical textbook.

Todd Schneberk, MD

Todd Schneberk, MD



Todd Schneberk is an assistant professor of clinical emergency medicine and an assistant program director of the Los Angeles County+USC Emergency Medicine Residency program. He completed his residency in emergency medicine at LAC+USC Medical Center and subsequently earned a fellowship in health policy and research at UCLA. His research and advocacy interests include social determinants of health, immigration status as a health barrier, opioid use disorder and leveraging the Emergency Department to address upstream factors affecting the health and stability of vulnerable populations.

Susanne Hempel

Susanne Hempel, PhD

Faculty and Director of the Evidence-Based Practice Center


Susanne Hempel is a professor of research preventative medicine at USC. Before joining USC, she was a senior behavioral scientist at the RAND Corporation and a professor at the Frederick S. Pardee RAND Graduate School. She is the codirector of the Southern California Evidence-based Practice Center (EPC), leading contracts for the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), the Psychological Health Center of Excellence (PHCoE) and other federal agencies, and she holds an indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity (IDIQ) to provide the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) with evidence maps, topic briefs and topic refinement. She carries out systematic reviews in health care research and methodological projects aiming to improve evidence syntheses. She teaches systematic review methodology and applied psychometrics. Prior to joining RAND, she worked at the Centre for Reviews and Dissemination (CRD), University of York, United Kingdom. She earned her PhD in psychology from the Martin Luther University of Halle-Wittenberg, Germany.

Alissa Maier, MPH

Alissa Maier, MPH

Project Manager – Quality and Population Health


Alissa Maier, MPH is the project manager for Quality and Population Health at the Gehr Family Center for Health Systems Science and Innovation in the Department of Medicine at the Keck School of Medicine of USC. She has spent most her career working on chronic disease prevention and management programming at national nonprofit organizations. Her passion and interest in quality improvement inspired her to join the Gehr Center team. She holds a BS in Psychology from the University of Dayton and an MPH with an emphasis on Health Education and Promotion from the University of Cincinnati.

Jeniffer Kim

Jeniffer Kim, PhD, MPH

Research Manager/Biostatistician


Jeniffer Kim, PhD, MPH will be supporting various projects and highlighting the Center’s achievements in multidisciplinary research. Prior to joining the Gehr team, Dr. Kim supported several epidemiological studies at USC. She evaluated various health outcomes ranging from eye diseases in pediatric and aging populations, early life air pollution exposures on childhood BMI growth, and environmental effects on obesity and cardiometabolic health in young adults. Dr. Kim possesses a PhD in Epidemiology, a Master’s in Public Health, a BS in Biochemistry, and a BA in Mathematics from the University of Southern California.

Aneesa Motala

Aneesa Motala

Program Administrator, Southern California Evidence Review Center

Office: (323) 442-3294

Aneesa Motala is a Program Coordinator at the USC Gehr Family Center for Health Systems Science & Innovation, where she also serves as program coordinator for the Southern California Evidence Review Center (ERC). She supports and manages numerous project teams consisting of literature reviewers, data programmers, principle investigators and co-principle investigators, and statisticians to produce systematic reviews, updates to prior reports and meta-analyses. Ms. Motala’s background is in mental health, working with marginalized populations, and youth development. Prior to USC, she spent 11 years at the RAND Corporation as a policy analyst and 4 years in Bulgaria serving as a Peace Corps volunteer for the Youth Development program working with the Roma youth. Ms. Motala earned her B.A. in Sociology from the University of California in Santa Barbara.