PHRI bring decades of experience and expertise in applied epidemiology, planning, policy analyses and health care analytics.
Ronald Deprez, Ph.D., MPH, President
Associate Research Professor, University of New England
Deer Isle, ME 04627
Ron serves as Executive Director of the Public Health Research Institute and is an Associate Research Professor at the University of New England (UNE). Prior to that he was President of the Public Health Resource Group, where he developed the first comprehensive community health needs assessment process in the US. PHRG used this system all over the US (from Maine to Alaska) to assist communities and health systems to address health system needs and deficiencies to improve population health. He has taught Health Policy and Management in the UNE Master of Public Health (MPH) Program that he was instrumental in building and has lectured all over the US and overseas on topics related to chronic disease practice improvements, surveillance systems and population health assessments. His international experience includes health planning and consulting projects in Mali, Saudi Arabia, The Gambia, Egypt, Tanzania, Zanzibar, Ghana, Ethiopia and China. Ron’s professional focus is now on working with communities to improve the health status of populations through health prevention education, policy and systems change. He is a graduate of Franklin and Marshall College; holds an MA and Ph.D. in Political Science from Rutgers University and a Master of Public Health (MPH) from the Harvard School of Public Health.
Lisa Sockabasin, Administrative Director
Lisa has health policy and planning expertise and experience in tribal, state, and federal governments, non-profits, and the philanthropic sector. Lisa is a public health and health systems consultant for Public Health Research Institute (PHRI), the Penobscot Indian Nation, and the Maine Tribal Public Health District. Lisa previously worked in the philanthropic sector and served as the Director of the Office of Health Equity, Maine Department of Health and Human Services for 10 years from 2005-2016. In this capacity Lisa developed the then, newly legislatively created Office of Health Equity. Prior to being named the Director, Lisa worked as an Epidemiologist in the Infectious Disease Program for the State of Maine. Earlier in her career, Lisa worked as a nurse epidemiologist with the North American Indian Center of Boston, Inc., focusing on health disparities and inequities, facing the Native American community in Massachusetts. Lisa continues her work as the Program Coordinator for the Four Directions Summer Research Program at Harvard Medical School and the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts. She is a graduate of the University of Maine with a B.S. in Nursing and a B.S. in Biology and the University of Southern Maine with a M.S. in Health Policy and Management and a graduate certificate in non-profit management and strategic planning. Lisa is a Passamaquoddy tribal member, one of four federally recognized Indian Tribes in Maine. She enjoys all four seasons living on a lake in Maine with her family.
PHRI Board Members
A voluntary Board of Directors guides PHRI. We are grateful to the men and women of our board; they are dedicated to the well-being of people every where and have distinguished records of excellence in their respective fields.
Ronald Breazeale, Ph.D. Clinical Psychologist
Executive Director of Psychological & Educational Services
Dr. Breazeale is a Clinical Psychologist with over 30 years of experience in the fields of mental health and drug and alcohol treatment. He is currently Executive Director of Psychological & Educational Services, a large independent group mental health practice in Portland, Maine. He is the author of a number of studies and books in the fields of mental health, criminal justice and substance abuse. In recent years he has developed training programs and materials that focus on the skills and the attitudes that build resilience.
Data Management, Analytics and Application Development
King of Prussia, PA
Gary’s career has focused on strategic technology consulting, application development, health informatics and data visualization; delivering solutions ranging from a web-based respiratory health information database and reporting system, to medical claims cost containment systems to automated process control equipment. His previous positions have included software and hardware engineer for several engineering firms, president and consultant of his own technology consulting company and VP of Technology for a healthcare informatics company. He has experience with large health and administrative datasets, many programming languages and database systems, and statistical analyses and predictive modeling. Gary holds a BS in Physics from Cornell University.
Gail Dana-Sacco, Ph.D., MPH
Dr. Gail Dana-Sacco earned her PhD in Health Policy & Administration at the Johns Hopkins University, where she remains affiliated with the Center for American Indian Health. Through Wayfinders for Health, she works with communities and organizations to find pathways to improved public health outcomes by critically examining and addressing the structural drivers of health inequities and activating community knowledge to develop sustainable solutions. She applies her knowledge of the multiple sectors that interact with the public health to facilitate multi-stakeholder processes, including research, designed to achieve health equity.
Gail Evans MBA Health Care Administration
Retired, former SVP Marketing and Strategy Maine General Health
Waterville and Augusta, ME
Gail has served in senior executive positions in strategic, program, and facilities planning and marketing and communications in community hospital systems in VT, CT and ME. Her work has been grounded in population health assessment to guide need-based service and facility planning always with a focus on comprehensive service continuum development including prevention, diagnostics, treatment, rehabilitation, and disease management. Her achievements include the development of Vermont’s first community cancer center (incorporating medical radiation, surgery and clinical trials) outside of a university hospital, the Stamford Health System (now Stamford Hospital) Tully Health Center—an integrated ambulatory facility including a full-service gym for individuals with health risks and, a consolidated regional cancer center and hospital facilities for MaineGeneral Health using IDEO and evidence-based design principles. She has always believed that if you design services to meet the needs of the consumer they will market themselves.
Tim Ford, Ph.D.
Professor and Dean, University of Massachusetts, Amherst
Dr. Ford is a microbiologist who formerly served as Vice President for Research and Dean of Graduate Studies at the University of New England in Maine, as Department Head of Microbiology at Montana State University, and as founding director of the Program in water and health at the Harvard School of Public Health. During his time in Montana, he also served as the director of the NIH-funded Montana IDeA Networks for Biomedical Research Excellence, a statewide program designed to build research and training in infectious disease and environmental health research at Montana’s Universities, four-year and tribal colleges. Tim Ford was the founding Dean of Health Professions at Shenandoah University in Winchester, VA before migrating back to New England to Umass, Amherst. Ford’s research interests have included source and drinking water microbiology, microbial cycling and transformation of pollutants, global environmental health, epidemiology of waterborne diseases, and community based participatory research methods for community engagement. He has both directed and participated in water quality related projects in the US, Canada, the UK, Honduras, Mexico, India, Russia, the Philippines and China. He has published more than 180 research articles, book chapters and commentaries, and was the first recipient of the American Society for Microbiology’s Gen-Probe Joseph Award for exemplary leadership and service in the field of public health. He currently serves as co-chair on the technical advisory group for the Pan American Health Organization Foundation.
Christine Oliver MD, MPH, MS
Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School,
Co-Director, Mass General Hospital Center for Occupational Lung Disease
President, Occupational Health Initiatives, Inc.
Dr. Chris Oliver, President of Occupational Health Initiatives, Inc., is an Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and an Associate Physician in the Department of Medicine (Pulmonary and Critical Care Division) at the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. Board certified in internal medicine and in preventive (occupational) medicine, Dr. Oliver’s primary specialty is occupational and environmental medicine, with an emphasis on occupational lung disease. She is the Co-Director of Occupational and Environmental Medicine at the Massachusetts General Hospital. Dr. Oliver is a co-founder and former Medical Director of Public Health Research Institute (PHRI) and, together with Dr. Ron Deprez and PHRI staff, has conducted research in the area of respiratory disease and other public health problems. She is a Fellow of the Collegium Ramazzini and has published research in the area of occupational lung disease.
William B. Stason, MD, MSci
William B. Stason, MD, MSci is an internist, cardiologist, and epidemiologist who has devoted most of his career to health policy analysis, technology assessment, and health services research. He has graduated from the University of Michigan, Harvard Medical School, and Harvard School of Public Health, and has served on the faculties of the latter two schools. He was also a senior scientist at the Heller School of Brandeis University. His main interests have been in hypertension, alternative approaches to medical practice, health care reform, quality improvement, and the costs and cost-effectiveness of health care. He has authored three books and many scientific articles.
Richard K. Thomas, Ph.D.
Health & Performance Resources (partner), University of Mississippi (faculty),
University of Tennessee Health Science Center (faculty/consultant)
Richard K. (Rick) Thomas, Ph.D., has spent four decades in health services research and planning. He began his professional career with the Memphis Regional Medical Program and helped establish the research department at Baptist Memorial Hospital before embarking on a consulting career. He provides consultation services to hospitals, physician practices, health plans, and other healthcare organizations and has long served as a consultant to faith-based organizations in Memphis such as Methodist-Le Bonheur Healthcare and Christ Community Health Services. Much of his research and consultation has addressed the issue of health disparities and he is currently focusing on advancing the population health model. Dr. Thomas holds a Ph.D. in medical sociology from Vanderbilt University and has authored dozens of articles and over twenty books on healthcare (including a forthcoming work on population health). He holds faculty appointments at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center and the University of Mississippi and serves on the board of directors of the American Health Planning Association.