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Current Academy Interns

2018 Interns

Zev Braun, Boston University School of Public Health 
Placement: AFL-CIO

Zev Braun is an inaugural Rashi Fein Intern in Health Policy. At Boston University, he is studying the intersection of child health, health policy, and social determinants of health. Zev previously worked as an AmeriCorps “Healthy Futures Leader” at an alternative high school in Oregon, where students often faced limited support outside the classroom and had multiple sources of trauma. Teaching, coaching, mentoring, and assisting other teachers through this program transformed Zev’s perspective on education, family, masculinity, and childhood trauma in America. The experience also serves as motivation for him to push for policy change in difficult arenas. Zev sees his internship with the AFL-CIO as an opportunity to explore how healthcare and preventative programs can be defended and expanded to include more populations in America. He worked closely with Academy Board Member, Shaun O’Brien, Assistant Director for Health and Retirement in the AFL-CIO’s Policy Department, on several projects including a summary and analysis of all major public option health reform proposals on the basis of workers, employers, and employer health coverage.

Bethany Cole, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Placement: National Academy of Social Insurance

Bethany Cole is a rising senior at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She studies economics and public policy with a concentration in health policy. For the past three years, Bethany has worked as a research assistant on health disparities in the Department of Epidemiology at the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health. She also served on the Executive Board of the UNC American Mock World Health Organization and as a volunteer at the Compass Center for Women and Families. As an inaugural Rashi Fein Intern, she was thrilled to gain more experience in health policy research. Bethany was assigned to the National Academy of Social Insurance, to work close with the Academy’s CEO, Bill Arnone, on the launch of a new study panel on Medicare eligibility.

MaryAnn M. Cowan, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
Placement: National Association of States United for Aging and Disability (NASUAD)

MaryAnn Cowan is currently a Master of Public Policy candidate at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. She has a Bachelor of Science in mechanical engineering from Texas A&M University. Her interest in ensuring access to patient-centered, affordable, chronic and long-term care expanded after three of her four sons were diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. She looks forward to advocating for policies that improve health outcomes and intervention affordability. As an Eileen Sweeney Graduate Intern in Disability Policy, MaryAnn was placed with the National Association of States United for Aging and Disability (NASUAD). Her placement at NASUAD provided her with the opportunity, working closely with Rachel Feldman, an Associate Member and 2007 Somers Intern, to work with state agencies that provide services to the country’s aging and disabled populations.

Ilham Dehry, George Washington University
Placement: Medicaid and Chip Payment and Access Commission (MACPAC)

Ilham Dehry is pursuing a Master of Public Policy degree at George Washington University. She completed an undergraduate degree in public health from the University of Colorado in Denver. She wants to connect her training in policy and public health to understanding how social policies may improve population well-being. Ilham previously worked at the Housing First branch of the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless; while there, she pursued academic research on racial and educational disparities in survival. She is a member of the Interdisciplinary Association for Population Health Sciences and the Population Association of America. As a Merton C. Bernstein Intern on Social Insurance, Ilham was placed with the Medicaid and Chip Payment and Access Commission (MACPAC). This placement was a good fit for her goal of connecting her training in policy and public health to understanding how social policies may improve population well-being. Ilham worked with Academy Member, Anne Schwartz, Executive Director of MACPAC, and under the direct supervision of Moira Forbes.

Angela Fang, San Diego State University Graduate School of Public Health
Placement: AcademyHealth

Angela Fang is a Master of Public Health candidate specializing in health management and policy. She graduated from the University of California-San Diego with a Bachelor of Science in public health and double minors in political science and psychology. As a patient advocate for two major hospital systems in San Diego, Angela witnessed firsthand the intricacies of healthcare delivery and the negative effects of inadequate healthcare coverage – especially for individuals from underrepresented communities. As a Merton C. Bernstein Intern on Social Insurance, Angela was excited gain further insight into the trends associated with health care costs, access and quality, through policy research, in order to promote equitable care for all individuals. Placed at AcademyHealth this summer, Angela worked on an assessment of health systems research capacity, compiled a list of nearly 150 health systems to be surveyed, and conducted survey interviews. She worked closely with with Lauren Gerlach and Academy Member, Michael Gluck, Senior Director, and co-Director of AcademyHealth’s Translation and Dissemination Institute.

Emily Maass, University of Arizona, Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health
Placement: Community Catalyst

Emily Maass is a Master of Public Health student specializing in public health policy and management. As part of her current role as a graduate assistant to the Dean of Student’s Office, she manages the Hunter White Health Advocate Program, where she evaluates health risks in the student population. Part of her work involves implementing an eight-week peer educational program encouraging undergraduates to make healthy lifestyle choices. She has served as a grant coordinator on the Social Justice Symposium Committee. Previously, Emily was a high school social studies teacher, and worked at Clinica Amistad, a volunteer-run clinic providing free healthcare to people without health insurance coverage. As a Somers Aging & Long-Term Care Research Intern, Emily conducted research at Community Catalyst on value-based payments and methods to utilize them to fund social determinants of health. Emily worked closely with Academy Member, Carol Regan.

Griffin Murphy, University of Michigan
Placement: National Academy of Social Insurance

Griffin Murphy is a recent graduate from the University of Michigan, where he received his Bachelor of Arts in economics with minors in business and philosophy. His research interests include the impacts of household income on children’s outcomes and social insurance policies such as Social Security and Workers’ Compensation. During his undergraduate career, Griffin did extensive research on the impacts of Head Start. He has also conducted research on the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act of India and Worker Profiling and Readjustment Services in the U.S. As a Merton C. Bernstein Intern on Social Insurance, Griffin was placed with the National Academy of Social Insurance. He assisted with the Academy’s annual report, Workers’ Compensation Benefits, Costs, and Coverage – 2016 Data, which was issued in October 2018. He also assisted with other income security projects at the Academy. Griffin was hired to be a Research Assistant at the Academy beginning in September 2018.

Kristanna Peris, University of Maryland School of Public Health
Placement: Congressional Research Service

Kristanna Peris is a currently a Master of Public Health student and a Merton C. Bernstein Intern on Social Insurance. She completed a Bachelor of Science in health sciences from Northeastern University in Boston. Kristanna previously worked as an administrator at New England’s largest safety-net hospital. She has also worked as a policy and research intern for a South African HIV-advocacy organization. Kristanna is interested in the intersection of social insurance programs and their effect on health and healthcare. She aspires to be a health policy research analyst and looks forward to learning the practical skills involved in the field through her internship experience. Placed at the Congressional Research Service, Kristanna used her skills in policy analysis (which she was hoping to do) and contributed to a published report. There are several Academy Members at CRS, and Kristanna’s direct supervisors were Joy Grossman and Eliamelisa Gonzales.