Steven Woolf has served as Director of the VCU Center on Society and Health (formerly the VCU Center on Human Needs) since he established it in 2007. He is also Professor of Family Medicine and Population Health at VCU. He has published more than 150 articles in a career that has focused on evidence-based medicine and the development of evidence-based clinical guidelines, with a special focus on preventive medicine, cancer screening, quality improvement, and social justice. His studies demonstrate that addressing poverty, education, and the causes of racial and ethnic disparities could accomplish far more to improve the health of Americans than investing predominantly in medical technological advances. In addition to scientific publications, he has tried to bring this message to policymakers and to the public through testimony in Congress, editorials in major newspapers, web-based tools, and speeches.
Derek Chapman has served as the Associate Director for Research of the VCU Center on Society and Health since December 2013. He has been a faculty member in the VCU Department of Family Medicine and Population Health, Division of Epidemiology (formerly the Department of Epidemiology and Community Health) since 2004. His research interests include maternal and child health epidemiology, the intersection of biologic and social factors on children's school readiness, and social determinants of children's health and development. In addition to authoring scientific publications and presentations on these topics, he has 13 years of experience working in state health departments conducting applied public health research to inform programs and policy. From 2004-2013 he served as the State Maternal and Child Health Epidemiologist for the Virginia Department of Health, where he led maternal and child health surveillance efforts. This included creating linked datasets that helped identify individual and community-level factors that contribute throughout the life course to health inequities in birth outcomes.
Vicki Humphreys has served as the Associate Director for Operations of the VCU Center on Society and Health since May 2015. She is also the Administrator for Research and Graduate Program Operations for the Department of Family Medicine and Population Health. Prior to her work with the Center, Vicki was the Administrator for the VCU Parkinson’s and Movement Disorders Center, and Business Manager for the VCU Mood Disorders Institute, Commonwealth Institute for Child and Family Studies, and the Institute for Women’s Health. Vicki oversees the administrative operations of the Center to ensure its human resources, research administration, budgetary and accounting needs are met.
Emily Zimmerman is a sociologist and member of the Engaging Richmond community-university research team. Her research focuses on the health and well being of vulnerable populations. She has expertise in quantitative data collection and analysis (including survey research, complex datasets, multivariate and multilevel analysis), qualitative data collection and analysis, mixed methods research, and community-based participatory research.
Sarah Blackburn is a sociologist and graduate of VCU's Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs. Her undergraduate education in marketing, advertising, and public relations, and background managing communications efforts for a variety of organizations has prepared her for her work directing communications efforts at the center.
Jill Hellman provides administrative support and assists the research team with data collection and analysis as well as dissemination of research findings through events, newsletters, and the Center’s website.
Alicia Aroche is a Research Associate for Community Engagement and a member of the Engaging Richmond community-academic partnership at the Center. Her work involves projects including early childhood education, housing redevelopment, trauma-informed community building, as well as support of parent engagement within the context of participatory research and faculty best practices in community-engaged research. Previously, Alicia served as Community Engagement Advocate for Bridging Richmond, a cradle to career regional collaborative, where she worked on projects funded by The Community and Lumina Foundations and the Jesse Ball duPont Fund. Her experience in higher education administration, coaching and mentoring are applicable to improving community-engaged research and supporting community members in their path to empowerment. She is a graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University with a Bachelor's Degree in Mass Communications and a Master's Degree in Education.
Sarah Cook is a graduate of the Department of Health Behavior at UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health. She is currently a research epidemiologist for the Center on Society and Health’s SEED study (Stakeholder Engagement in Question Development) which aims to engage various stakeholders in conceptualizing and prioritizing health-related research questions. She has a background in clinical research coordination, and a particular interest in program evaluation.
Chanel Bea is a resident of the East End community, founding member of Engaging Richmond, and doting mother of three daughters. She is drawn to work that involves organizing and management. Chanel has a long history of volunteer service with Richmond Public Schools, particularly with Early Head Start, the Head Start Policy Council and the Truancy Advisory Committee. She is currently a Community Engagement Assistant for the VCU Center on Society and Health as well as a Citizen Advisory Board member of the Maggie L. Walker Initiative for Expanding Opportunity and Fighting Poverty. She has a passionate commitment to Richmond Promise Neighborhood which is evidenced by her serving as a Community Advocate; a Co-Convener of the Early Childhood Through 5th Grade Results Based Action Team; an Advisory Board member; and, co-webmaster. In her leisure time, Chanel reads, watches movies, cooks, and spends time with her family.
Lauren Snellings serves as a Research Epidemiologist at the VCU Center on Society and Health. She provides data support and analyses for quantitative projects at the Center. She also serves as the project coordinator for multiple projects. She has a Master’s degree in Public Health from Virginia Commonwealth University and a Bachelor’s degree in Public Health Education from James Madison University.
Latoya Hill serves as a Research Epidemiologist at the VCU Center on Society and Health. She provides data support and analyses for quantitative projects at the Center. Her background and research interests include racial and ethnic health inequities in birth outcomes. She has prior experience conducting applied public health research as a Maternal and Child Health Epidemiologist for several state health departments. She has a Master’s degree in Epidemiology and Maternal and Child Health from the University of South Florida and a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology from Emory University.
Heidi Schoomaker assists the research team with data collection and analysis as well as dissemination of research findings through social media and the Center's website. She has a Master's degree in Curriculum and Instruction and a Bachelor's degree in Biology, both from the College of William and Mary.