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HomeProjects > Round 2 Projects (2010-12) > Chronology.MD > Team Biographies

Team Biographies

A PHR Application for Patients with Crohn's Disease

Deryk Van Brunt, M.P.H, Dr.P.H.
Co-Principal Investigator
President and Chairman
Healthy Communities Foundation

Deryk Van Brunt serves as president and chairman of the Healthy Communities Foundation, an organization that seeks to improve the health and environmental sustainability of communities through the use of web-based information systems. He is an associate clinical professor of health informatics at the University of California at Berkeley, School of Public Health. Van Brunt holds a doctorate of public health in health informatics and master's of public health in epidemiology, both from the University of California at Berkeley.

Van Brunt has extensive experience in the development, evaluation and distribution of physician, consumer and community-based health information systems. He has substantial industry knowledge and experience in health care policy, systems analysis, health information systems and interactive communication technologies. His experience has included service to several organizations in the health information field: eMedicine (CEO and chairman); HealthCentral (COO); iMetrikus (SVP).

Jonathan Terdiman, M.D.
Co-Principal Investigator
Professor of Medicine and Surgery
University of California at San Francisco

Jonathan Terdiman, M.D., is a professor of medicine and surgery at the University of California, San Francisco, where he is co-director the Center for Inflammatory Bowel Disease and the Colorectal Cancer Prevention Program. Dr. Terdiman is a nationally recognized expert in the clinical care of patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), and he has an active research program investigating the causes for these diseases. His research findings have been published in many medical journals, including the Journal of the American Medical Association and Gastroenterology. Dr. Terdiman has served as both principal investigator and co-investigator for numerous multi-institutional research projects. He is a forceful advocate for efforts to improve the clinical care of patients with IBD, as well as for enhancing the education of IBD patients, thereby empowering them to take a more active role in maintaining their health. Dr. Terdiman is the current president of the board of trustees of the northern California chapter of the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America.

Linda Neuhauser, M.P.H., Dr.P.H.linda-neuhauser
Co-Principal Investigator
Clinical Professor of Community Health and Human Development
University of California at Berkeley, School of Public Health

Linda Neuhauser is clinical professor of community health and human development at the University of California at Berkeley School of Public Health. She serves as co-principal investigator of Chronology.MD, and is overseeing the evaluation methods and activities of the project. Her research, teaching and practice are focused on translating research findings into improved health interventions, including mass and e-health communication and evaluating outcomes. She is especially interested in leveraging participatory approaches to improve the relevance of communication to meet the literacy, linguistic, cultural and other needs of diverse audiences. She is principal investigator of the Health Research for Action Center, which works with users to co-design and evaluate multimedia health communication resources. Her research includes assessments of usability and navigability of websites intended to prevent and control chronic disease, participatory design of health websites, recommended standards to improve e-health accessibility and usability for diverse audiences and analyses of the effectiveness of e-health communication on consumer health behavior. She has participated in the U.S. Surgeon General’s Workshop on Health Literacy and is a member of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Risk Communication Advisory Committee.

Nikolai Kirienko
Co-Project Director
Student in Cognitive Science
University of California at Berkeley

Emerging from a decade of experience managing severe Crohn's disease, Nikolai "Kolya" Kirienko is a compelling advocate for young people who face the challenges of chronic disease. He is passionate about increasing the accuracy and transparency of personal health records (PHRs) so that they serve as equally vital personal and clinical narratives.

Kirienko has appeared as a patient advocate at Health 2.0, the HHS Consumer Health IT Summit, the White House Patient Access to Health Data Summit, and the HIT Policy Committee Meaningful Use Workgroup's Patient-Generated Data Public Hearing; he also serves as a member of the HIT Standards Committee's Consumer/Patient Engagement Power Team. Kirienko has participated in Crohn’s disease community outreach and awareness initiatives, including the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America, Genentech and University of California at Berkeley Pharma. His remarks and personal accounts of his experiences as a person with Chron's have appeared in The Decision Tree, The Wall Street Journal and USA Today.

In 2000, disabled from a career at a venture-funded startup, Kirienko began keeping a comprehensive digital record of his observations in the hospital. Equipped with a Palm Vx and a fold-out keyboard, few observations escaped his grasp. Along the decade-long patient journey that followed, his PDA eventually died, but his journal grew to several thousand pages and chronicled more than 12 months of life in the hospital. By translating first-hand experiences into the language of applied research, Kirienko is excited to demonstrate the power of patient narrative to empower people with chronic diseases with the right data to make more informed health decisions in closer collaboration with their clinicians.

Kathleen Morrison, M.P.H., Ph.D. Candidate
Co-Project Director
Healthy Communities Foundation

Kathleen Morrison studied Zoology and Rhetoric as an undergraduate at UC, Berkeley. She received an M.P.H. from UCLA, with a focus on international maternal and child health. Morrison did her doctoral studies at UCLA (Ph.D., (ABD)), in health economics and epidemiology. Her previous work has been primarily in the fields of health policy, health care financing, the application of economic models to health care behavior, and women and HIV/AIDS. Her research interests include prevention research, specifically the application of principles of quality and cost containment on the delivery of efficient and effective health care. Her work experience includes working for the California State Department of Insurance on Health Care Reform, work at UCSF on studies focusing on women and HIV/AIDS, work as a TA in health care organization and financing at UCLA, as well as working as a researcher in pediatric AIDS projects in East Africa. She enjoys applying her experience in research study design and evaluation to this emerging field of mobile health technology.

Elena Rodriguez Fisher, R.N., FNP-C, M.S.
Clinical Partner
UCSF Inflammatory Bowel Disease Center

Elena Rodriguez Fisher is a certified Family Nurse Practitioner, specializing in gastroenterology. She evaluates, treats, and educates patients with gastrointestinal conditions, including inflammatory bowel disease. She is experienced at providing care for patients with IBD and is actively engaged in researching the disease.

Fisher serves on the board of the California Association of Nurse Practitioners and the Community Medical Advisory Committee of the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America, Northern California Chapter. She is also a member of the American Nurses Association, California Nurses Association, Society of Gastroenterology Nurses, and Sigma Theta Tau.

Fisher received her M.S. from the University of California, San Francisco and B.S.N. from the University of New Mexico.  Before becoming an advanced practice nurse, she worked for several years as a Registered Nurse, caring for patients in intensive care units.

Marcos Athanasoulis, M.P.H, Dr.P.H.
Technical Director
Chief Technology Officer at Healthy Communities Institute

Marcos Athanasoulis is chief technology officer at the Healthy Communities Institute, where he oversees all technical operations and product development. Formerly director of research information technology and client services for Harvard Medical School, Athanasoulis led the development of high performance computing infrastructure to support biomedical and health care research. He has worked in both the public and private sector to improve quality and efficiency of health care and the environment through information systems. An expert in health IT, with more than 25 years of experience, Athanasoulis holds an M.P.H. in Epidemiology and Biostatistics and a Dr.P.H. in Health Informatics from the University of California at Berkeley. He has been the key player in overseeing all technical components of the Chronology.MD project.

Team Members

Daniel Bernstein
Technical Partner
CEO at Medic8 Manager

Project HealthDesign is a national program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation