Dr. Derek Chapman has served as Interim Director for the Center since April 2018. Since joining the Center as Associate Director for Research in December 2013, he has been responsible for operational management of the Center’s research team and has led its expanding list of quantitative research projects. Dr. Chapman’s scholarly work on maternal and child health epidemiology, and the intersection of biologic and social determinants on children's health and development, is complemented by his 13 years of experience working in state health departments, where he conducted applied public health research to inform programs and policy. Since 2004, he has also served as associate professor in the Department of Family Medicine and Population Health in the Division of Epidemiology (formerly the Department of Epidemiology and Community Health).
Steven Woolf directed the Center from its founding in 2007 through March 2018. As Director Emeritus, he continues to play a pivotal role at the Center, with a concentration on public policy issues, writing, and partnerships with colleagues and institutions devoted to population health and social justice. Dr. Woolf, a Professor of Family Medicine and Population Health, has focused his career on raising public awareness about the social, economic, and environmental conditions that shape health and produce inequities. He has edited three books and published more than 200 articles. In addition to scientific publications, he works to address these issues through outreach to policymakers and the public, including testimony before Congress, consulting, editorials in major newspapers and social media, and speeches. Dr. Woolf trained in family medicine and public health and devoted his early career to health services research and the promotion of evidence-based strategies to prevent disease and promote public health.
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.
John Lee is a research epidemiologist for the Center. He holds a Ph.D. in Epidemiology from Virginia Commonwealth University. His dissertation focused on the spatial variation in "Deaths of Despair (DoD)" and its contributory county-level social determinants of health (SDoH) across the United States. As a multidisciplinary explorer, his research interests center around the intersection of epidemiology (especially mortality and chronic disease), spatial analysis, and GIS. Dr. Lee's research focuses on developing and applying spatial statistical methods in public health. His efforts focus on identifying health disparities and quantifying spatial variation for improved exposure assessment and for models characterizing spatial variation risk as a function of determinants of health. Much of his current work involves assessing and translating spatial analysis methods, including spatial data and statistics, for building research capacity in a broad range of public health applications.
Torey J Edmonds is a graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University, with a BS in Criminal Justice. In addition, she has participated in UVa’s prestigious Sorensen Institute of Political Leadership and the Virginia Collaborative Leadership Program. She is currently employed as a Community outreach coordinator at VCU’s Health Communities for Youth with previous stints at Clark-Hill Institute for Positive Youth Development, the Center for the Study and Prevention of Youth Violence, and the Richmond East District Improvement Corporation.
Leah Gregory is a resident of the East End community and has been a part of the Engaging Richmond team since 2016. Leah is a recent graduate of MPH/MSW dual degree program at Virginia Commonwealth University. As a social worker, she understands the complex challenges of underserved populations and the health disparities they experience. She is interested in social justice advocacy for health care issues such as HIV/STD prevention, sexual and relationship health, community planning, healthy food security and access, and global community health issues. She hopes to contribute to new and innovative ways to increase health and wellness in communities, especially those impacted by these issues. Her past experience includes work with individuals experiencing homelessness/housing policy, free clinics, in-home counseling/mental health support, individuals living with HIV, survivors of sexual assault/domestic violence, and individuals experiencing substance abuse. Having worked hard to fund her own undergraduate and graduate education, Leah is aware of the many challenges facing others. She is inspired to be an advocate for social change and community involvement, including being an active member of her sorority, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. In her free time, she likes to cook, travel to new places, meet new people, listen to music, exercise through yoga and Zumba, and watch her spouse play soccer.
Chimere Miles is a resident of the East End Community and founding member of Engaging Richmond when the group formed in 2011. Chimere is passionate about opportunities for children and has volunteered with many groups and organizations, including Richmond Public Schools Early Head Start/ Head Start as the Policy Council Chairperson, the Richmond Public School Truancy Committee, and Richmond Promise Neighborhood. She also serves as a facilitator and participated in training for mental health first aide. She has also done work with Perter Paul Development Center with the Strengthening Families Program. Chimere has an Associate’s Degree in Allied Health and Science, and her previous work experience includes patient care work and medical administrative duties. One of her favorite characteristics of the East End is how neighbors feel like family. In her spare time, Chimere enjoys baking and spending time with her family.