The College of Health Solutions at Arizona State University announces the appointment of nine new research and clinical faculty whose wide-ranging expertise and deep research and clinical experience will advance the college’s translational approach to improving health outcomes in Arizona communities and beyond.
“The College of Health Solutions works to address complex global health challenges which requires intense collaboration, not only among researchers from a variety of disciplines, but also with health organizations and professionals in the communities we serve,” College of Health Solutions Dean Deborah Helitzer said.
“Our mission is twofold: To work with our community partners to bring evidence-based solutions to the health challenges our Arizona citizens face, and to prepare the next generation of health leaders to make a difference by improving health outcomes, better managing health challenges and promoting wellness," Helitzer added.
"This year’s new faculty bring impressive expertise to elevate our programs and address this critical mission.”
Raminta Daniulaityte is an associate professor of population health.
Her research examines social and behavioral factors that affect the health of people who use illicit drugs.
She employs a variety of research methods, including natural history studies with community-recruited participants, qualitative research, forensic toxicology, social media and web-based sources to characterize and evaluate drug use and trends in targeted communities.
She earned Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts in ethnology from Vytautas Magnus University in Kaunas, Lithuania, and a master’s degree in anthropology and a PhD in social work from the University of Alabama.
Before joining ASU, she was an associate professor and associate director of the Center for Interventions, Treatment and Addictions Research in the Department of Population and Public Health Sciences at the Boonshoft School of Medicine at Wright State University.
Xing Sherry Zhang, an assistant professor of population health, is a public policy demographer.
Drawing on multiple perspectives and qualitative methods from sociology, public policy, demography and population health, her research focuses on the role of parent-child relationships in shaping young adult health from adolescence to adulthood and how this varies across race, ethnicity, gender and socioeconomic status.
She has a master’s degree in policy and analysis and a Doctor of Philosophy in policy analysis and management with concentrations in racial and ethnic relations and family and social welfare policy from Cornell University.
Allison Ross, an assistant professor of exercise and nutritional sciences, joins the College of Health Solutions from ASU’s School of Community Resources and Development where she was a faculty associate and assistant research professor.
She studies how physical activity in the form of active transportation, play and sport contributes to individual and community health within schools and neighborhoods with a focus on expanding opportunities for youth and promoting a culture of health in schools.
She has a Master of Science in exercise science and sport studies from Springfield College in Massachusetts.
She earned her PhD in community development from ASU’s School of Community Resources and Development in the Watts College of Public Service and Community Solutions.
Shu Wang is a professor of nutrition with more than 20 years of basic science research experience in the areas of chronic diseases and nutrition.
She was previously an associate professor in the Department of Nutritional Sciences at Texas Tech University where she created biocompatible and biodegradable nanocarriers that enhance the delivery of nutrients and phytochemicals to the body as a way to prevent and treat chronic diseases, especially cardiovascular disease, obesity and Type 2 diabetes. Patents are pending on two of these nanocarriers.
She earned a Bachelor of Medicine at Norman Bethune University of Medical Sciences in Changchun, China, a Master of Science in biochemistry and molecular biology at Capital Medical University in Beijing, and a PhD in nutritional biochemistry and metabolism at Tufts University.
Health care delivery
Rizwana Biviji is a lecturer in health care delivery.
Her research focuses on maternal and child health informatics and the use of innovative technologies to overcome health care access barriers among prenatal and postpartum women.
She earned a PhD in health policy and management and a Master of Science in applied health science from Indiana University.
She also earned a Bachelor of Science in food science and nutrition from Shreemati Nathibai Damodar Thackersey Women’s University in Mumbai, India.
Integrated behavioral health
Cady Berkel, an associate professor of integrated behavioral health, comes to the College of Health Solutions from ASU’s Department of Psychology where she was an associate research professor.
In that capacity, Berkel collaborated on several projects with Health Solutions faculty, most notably with Rodger Kessler, Matt Buman and Scott Leischow on an Arizona Biomedical Research Commission-funded dissemination and implementation training grant, and with Associate Professor Meg Bruening on the TRANSCEND program, which works to improve nutrition training in the Southwest.
Her research, which has been funded by the National Institutes of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and the United States Department of Agriculture, addresses health disparities through the dissemination and implementation of family-focused, evidence-based programs in health care settings embedded in systems families regularly use. She also co-leads the college’s Maternal and Child Health Translational Team and Dissemination and Implementation Affinity Network. Her PhD in child and family development and an interdisciplinary graduate certificate in qualitative research are from the University of Georgia.
Tina Sauber is a clinical assistant professor of integrated behavioral health and a licensed occupational therapist.
She was previously an assistant professor in physical medicine and rehabilitation and a senior fellow in the Academy of Educational Excellence and Leadership at Mayo Clinic in Arizona. She developed curriculum and taught doctoral-level occupational therapy students on various conditions that impact human performance at Northern Arizona University’s occupational therapy program.
She holds a Bachelor of Science in occupational therapy and a master’s degree in occupational therapy from the University of North Dakota and a Doctor of Occupational Therapy with emphasis on administration and practice management from Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions in Provo, Utah.
Satya Sarma is a physician who joins the College of Health Solutions as a clinical associate professor of integrated behavioral health.
She comes to the college as a medical director from the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS), Arizona’s Medicaid agency, where she continues to have a part-time appointment. She has also been a health care consultant and an executive in managed care settings in the Phoenix metro area.
Her research interests include population health management, health care workforce development, quality improvement, public policy, health care finance, and health equity and integration.
She earned her medical doctorate from Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia and did her internal medicine residency at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.
Speech and hearing science
Clinical Associate Professor Denise Stats-Caldwell is rejoining the College of Health Solutions from clinical practice as a speech-language pathologist at Banner Gateway Medical Center where she initiated the voice rehabilitation program at the Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center.
During her tenure there, she remained involved with the college as adjunct faculty and a mentor to graduate students. Her specialty areas include speech, voice and swallowing rehabilitation in adults with an emphasis on oral, head and neck cancer survivorship.
Earlier in her career, she co-founded the first Arizona chapter of Support for People with Oral, Head and Neck Cancer together with a cancer survivor and initiated the first fiberoptic endoscopic examination of swallowing program with Banner Health.