Categories: Awards, News


2019 Diversity Scholarship Recipients

In an effort to encourage participation by underrepresented communities, the American Society of Health Economics (ASHEcon) jointly with the National Institute of Aging (NIA) funded Center on the Demography and Economics of Health and Aging at Stanford University are offering up to twenty scholarships aimed at underrepresented minorities and/or individuals whose background or life circumstances indicate they have overcome substantial obstacles (e.g., disabled individuals, racial, sexual and gender minorities, etc.)  conducting research in health economics.

While at the conference, the fellowship recipients will have the opportunity to formally network with each other and with members of the ASHEcon board and Diversity Committee, recognizing them, their accomplishments and bright futures. They will also have many opportunities to informally network with other students and professionals during the conference. All applications will be reviewed by ASHEcon’s Diversity Committee.

Marion Aouad is currently a Postdoctoral Health Economics Fellow at Stanford University (S-SPIRE). She received her PhD in Economics from UC Berkeley in 2017. Her areas of research interest include Health Economics, Applied Econometrics, Labor Economics, and Economic Demography. Her work aims to understand and analyze the factors relevant to consumers’ decisions for health care consumption. She is also interested in how health insurance reforms/policy affect both the supply and demand side of health care markets.

Dr. Aziza Arifkhanova is a CDC Steven M. Teutsch Prevention Effectiveness Fellow assigned to Denver Public Health (DPH). Her research at DPH involves assessing the economic burden of the opioid epidemic. Dr. Arifkhanova earned her PhD in Policy Analysis at the Pardee RAND Graduate School as well as MS and BS in Economics from Florida State University. Prior to DPH, she worked as an assistant policy researcher at the RAND Corporation. She also taught Health Economics at Mount Saint Mary’s University. Dr. Arifkhanova has experience conducting both quantitative and qualitative analyses from her research work in Central Asia, Europe, and the United States.

Abraham Asfaw is a postdoctoral fellow at the department of Economics and the Murphy Institute at Tulane University. He graduated with a Ph.D. in Economics from Northern Illinois University in 2017. He is an applied microeconomist specializing in topics at the intersection of Health Economics, Applied Econometrics and Labor Economics. His current current research focuses on the moral hazard, risk protection and cost-saving effects of changes in cost-sharing in prescription drug insurance. His works have appeared in four different journals including at Health Economics and World Development. At ASHEcon 2019, he’s presenting a paper on the effect of patient cost-sharing on opioid drug use.

Monica Aswani is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Health Services Administration at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Her research employs econometric methods to investigate how national reform initiatives relate to the quality of and disparities in healthcare. She received a perfect F31 grant score from the National Institute on Aging, which supported her dissertation paper that won the 2019 International Health Economics Association Student Prize. She earned her MSPH and DrPH from UAB School of Public Health. Previously, she has also contributed to health services research through fellowships at Johns Hopkins University and the World Health Organization.

Shubhashrita Basu is a fourth year PhD candidate in the Department of Economics at Clemson University. She received her Master’s Degree from Jadavpur University, India (2014). Her research interest includes Health and Labor Economics. As a part of her dissertation, she has worked on the consequences of teenage child bearing on the health of the first child and its possible policy implications. Currently she’sattempting to find the causal effect of having Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) on an individual’s labor market outcomes by instrumenting diagnosis by an individual’s genetic risk score of having the mental condition.

Uche Ekhator-Mobayode is an Assistant Professor of Economics at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford. She is also a Consultant with the World Bank Group. Her current research focuses on issues related to health, gender, and conflict and employs impact evaluation methods. She holds a PhD in Economics as well as a MS in Applied Probability and Statistics from Northern Illinois University.

Michael Flores, Ph.D., M.P.H., is an Instructor in the Department of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School (HMS) and a Research and Evaluation Scientist at the Health Equity Research Lab (HERL), Cambridge Health Alliance. His research uses rigorous analytic methods to inform policy development, allocation of limited resources, and to improve the health outcomes and care quality of racial/ethnic minorities with mental health and substance use disorders. Michael completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the HERL, where he was awarded the Norman E. Zinberg Fellowship in Addiction Psychiatry Research from HMS. He received his PhD in Health Service Research from Brown University.

Mesfin Genie is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Department of Economics of the Ca’ Foscari University of Venice, Italy. Mesfin received his BA in Economics from Jimma University, Ethiopia in 2006 and his MSc in Economics from Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia in 2010. He then moved to the University of Bologna, Italy and finished another MSc in health economics in 2015. Afterwards, he moved to Venice and received his PhD in Economics from the Ca’ Foscari University of Venice, Italy in 2019. He has expertise in applied microeconometrics and analysis of stated preference data with special emphasis on healthcare.

Carolina Herrera is a doctoral candidate in health services research at the Boston University School of Public Health. Her thesis work is on Minority Adolescent Mental Health Utilization. Her publications include studies of the nursing workforce, health care costs, and big data. She received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Chicago and her master’s in international and development economics from University of San Francisco. Mother of two young sons, Carolina spends most of her “free” time drinking coffee, working on her projects, calling her parents, and planning to go to gym.

Andrea Kelly just completed her fourth year of study in the PhD program at Texas A&M University. She study’s topics related to access to family planning services, maternal and infant health, and other reproductive health policies. She has co-authored a working paper studying the effects of access to IUDs through Title X clinics on birth rates and infant health. She also has a solo project evaluating the effects of abortion clinic closures on abortion rates, and abortion timing. Before graduate school, she earned a B.S. in Economics at the University of South Dakota.

Zachary Levin is a PhD student at the University of Minnesota studying Health Services Research, Policy, and Administration with a concentration in health economics. He has previously worked in academic and consulting settings, focusing on healthcare antitrust and healthcare workforce analysis. Prior to starting his PhD, he was an economist at the American Academy of Family Physicians. Zachary has his B.A. in Economics from Reed College.

Meng-Yun Lin is an AHRQ T32 post-doctoral fellow at Boston University School of Medicine. Her research applies econometric methods and advanced statistical to examine the impacts of policies and financial incentives on healthcare utilization, spending, and outcomes, with a focus on vulnerable patients and providers serving disadvantaged populations. She is particularly interested in questions that will inform evidence-based practice and policy in the era of delivery system reforms, such as variations in the efficiency of care delivery across providers. Dr. Lin received her Ph.D. in Health Services Research at Boston University School of Public Health.

Dr. Angelica Meinhofer is an Instructor of Healthcare Policy & Research at Weill Cornell Medicine. She received her PhD in Economics at Brown University in 2016. Dr. Meinhofer’s research focuses on understanding the intended and unintended outcomes associated with the consumption of controlled substances, as well as the role of drug policies and public health interventions in modifying such outcomes.

Nicardo McInnis is a Doctoral candidate in Economics at Georgia State University. His research utilizes quasi-experimental methods to study issues in health, labor, and public economics, with focus on income and safety net programs. His dissertation examines the impact of income received at different stages in the life-cycle on long-term health. His work also makes methodological contributions in the application of missing data techniques, when panel surveys are conducted biennially, resulting in missing information for both endogenous and exogenous variables. Additionally, his work examines whether individuals migrate because of more generous Earned Income Tax Credit.

Mayra Pineda Torres is third-year Ph.D. student at Texas A&M University. Her main research interests focus on Reproductive Health. She’s interested in the implications of access to reproductive controls on women and family’s wellbeing. Her most recent project studies the effects of mandatory waiting periods for abortion on abortion timing and abortion rates. In another project, she evaluates the implications of different access to legal abortion on health, education and labor outcomes. Before attending graduate school, she obtained a B.A. in Economics in Mexico, and worked for four years in Mexico’s Central Bank.

Keisha Solomon is an applied micro-economist. She recently completed her PhD in Economics at Temple University. Her primary research interests are within the field of applied microeconomics, with special interests in behavioral health, policy evaluation, causal inference, and education. Her current research examines the effects of state-level policies and family-level characteristics on health and/or human capital development. Prior to my graduate studies, she worked as an assistant lecturer at the University of Guyana. She received her B.Sc. in economics from the University of Guyana.

Chenlu Song is a 5th year PhD student in Economics at Boston University. Her field of research is health economics. She is currently working on estimating demand elasticities of health care services with different demand side cost sharing designs. She’s also working in a team to update risk adjustment models to reflect the changes from ICD9CM to ICD10CM used in the US.

Dongyue Ying has a master’s degree in economics from University of Wisconsin-Madison and is currently completing a PhD in Consumer Sciences at the Ohio State University. His academic research explores the relationship between individual genetics and risk preferences and an individual’s propensity to engage in risky health behaviors and financial risk. He is also constructing lifetime health histories to describe current health and to predict future health. Inspired by different attitudes about health he observed growing up in China and during his time in the US, he is also interested in exploring the reason for different health behaviors and risk preferences across countries.

Lisa Voois is a PhD candidate in health economics at the Erasmus School of Economics and the Tinbergen Institute, Rotterdam. Before starting her PhD, she finished her bachelor studies in economics and in philosophy, and her master studies in health economics at the Erasmus University Rotterdam. Her main research interests lie in microeconometrics, inequalities in health and (the qualitative aspects of) health care, and measurement error in self-reported health variables. Her current research focuses on explaining the gender gap in life expectancy and in self-reported health, and on measuring the accuracy of subjective probabilities in the health domain.