PIA Executive Committee

Health Policy

Chair: Walter Dawson
Walter Dawson, DPhil, is a health and aging policy researcher and a lifelong advocate for individuals living with Alzheimer’s disease and their family care partners. At ten years old, he was invited to testify before a Congressional Committee about his family’s experiences caring for his father who was living with Alzheimer’s disease. Dawson remains one of the youngest people in history to testify before the United States Congress. 

Dawson is an Assistant Professor at the Layton Aging and Alzheimer's Disease Research Center at Oregon Health & Science University and a Senior Atlantic Fellow for Equity in Brain Health with the Global Brain Health Institute (GBHI) at the University of California, San Francisco. His research interests include long-term services and supports financing and public policies and interventions that support people living with dementia including improved cognitive screening and detection efforts. 

Vice Chair: Lais Fajersztajn
Laís Fajersztajn is an environmental health epidemiologist. She holds a Ph.D. from the Medical School, University of São Paulo, Brazil, where she studied the health effects of air pollution. Her most cited paper was published in Nature Cancer Review and underlines air pollution as a global issue.  In 2018 she become an Atlantic Fellow for Equity in Brain Health at the University of California, San Francisco and started to investigate the relations between air pollution and neurodegenerative diseases. Her research interests include air pollution and other environmental urban exposures, dementia, and social determinants of health, always with an eye towards policy.

Fajersztajn is a specialist in Systematic Reviews and Meta-analysis.  At the University of São Paulo at the Institute of Advanced Studies and at the School of Public Health, she has worked with multidisciplinary groups concerned with science-based policies to improve health and well-being in cities. Prior to that, she had the opportunity to work with similar groups at an NGO, which inspired her to become a scientist herself and inaugurated her interest in policy and science. In 2013 she won the Dow Sustainability Innovation Student Challenge Award, promoted by the Dow Chemistry Company and the University of São Paulo. In 2014, she won the New Voices in Global Health, a competition promoted by The Lancet, University of São Paulo, and the M8 Alliance of Academic Health Centers.


Programs Chair: Anita Goh
Dr Anita Goh is a registered clinical neuropsychologist and researcher who is committed to optimising cognitive health, mental health and well-being, and quality of life in ageing. She works clinically at the Neuropsychiatry Unit, Melbourne Health, and is a research fellow and Huntington’s disease lab head at the Academic Unit for Psychiatry of Old Age, The University of Melbourne. Anita also works at the National Ageing Research Institute, a translational research centre which aims to improve health outcomes and aged care practice, as well as to guide policy to improve the quality of life and ageing experience for Australia’s older people.

Anita believes in evidence-based health policy, health systems, and health care reforms, and that everyone should have knowledge of, and equitable access to a high-quality health system - regardless of social, cultural, economic, and structural determinants. She is also known for her dedication to partnerships and collaborations, in addition to knowledge translation, science communication, and engagement with those that stand to benefit most from her work- the people who are at risk for, or are living with the impacts of dementia.  She is passionate about diversity, equality and representation, and is proud to be part of the collective that is making improvements for women in STEMM. She tweets at @dranitagoh.

Communications Chair: Jalayne J. Arias
Jalayne J. Arias, JD, MA is an Assistant Professor at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) in the Memory and Aging Center, Department of Neurology. Her research uses empirical legal research methods and qualitative research to explore the legal, ethical, and policy challenges associated with diagnosing and identifying risk for Alzheimer’s disease in adults under the age of 65. Ms. Arias joined UCSF as an Assistant Professor in 2016. She completed the Atlantic Fellowship for Equity in Brain Health at the Global Brain Health between 2016 and 2018. She also completed the Cleveland Fellowship in Advanced Bioethics (Cleveland Clinic) in 2013 and a Master of Art in Bioethics (Case Western Reserve University) in 2012.  Ms. Arias obtained her law degree from the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University (2008), where she graduated with a Certificate in Health Law and Order of the Barristers. 

Early Career Chair: Nicole Bouranis

Nicole Bouranis is a Health Systems and Policy PhD candidate at the Oregon Health and Science University-Portland State University School of Public Health, graduating in June 2020. Her dissertation identifies policy, system, organizational, and personal factors affecting dementia clinical research participation in Portland, OR. Her larger research interest is to identify, implement, and evaluate strategies to improve research participation among people with ADRD. She aims to engage in local, national, and global collaborations to achieve this goal. In addition to her studies, she works as a research coordinator for OHSU’s NIA-Layton Center/Oregon Center for Aging and Technology and serves as a Communications Student Trainee on the ISTAART Technology and Dementia PIA’s Executive Committee.   

Steering Committee Member: Meghan Fadel
Meghan Fadel is Director of Evaluation and Collaborative Projects for the Bureau of Community Integration and Alzheimer’s Disease at the New York State Department of Health. She is the state lead for the evaluation of the Alzheimer’s Disease Caregiver Support Initiative, the first community-based program of its kind in scale. As a part of her role, Ms. Fadel works in close collaboration with researchers and public health officials to address health systems and policy issues relevant to people with dementia and their care partners. Current areas of focus include caregiver support, early diagnosis, behavioral health and dementia, and dementia quality measures. She attended the University at Buffalo and the University of California, Santa Barbara, and is a former Fulbright Scholar.

Steering Committee Member: Amy Kind

Dr. Amy Kind,MD, PhD is Director of the University of Wisconsin (UW) Health Services and Care Research Program, Leader of the Care Research Core of the Wisconsin Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center (ADRC), Co-Leader of the Research Education Core of the ADRC, Director of the VA Dementia and Cognitive Care Clinic, and Associate Professor of Medicine (Geriatrics) at the UW School of Medicine and Public Health. She is one of the very few physicians in the country with PhD training in population health, an active research laboratory in health disparities and geo-analytics, clinical training in geriatrics and memory disorders, and a translational research agenda focused on vulnerable older adult populations with Alzheimer’s Disease.  Dr. Kind leads a robust research program focused on improving health equity through cutting-edge inter-disciplinary research on neighborhood disadvantage, the social determinants of health and Alzheimer’s disease.  

Dr. Kind and her team developed the Neighborhood Atlas (www.neighborhoodatlas.medicine.wisc.edu), a free first-of-its-kind tool--that quantifies socioeconomic disadvantage for every neighborhood in the US. Her Atlas data have found widespread application including in the US House of Representatives, NIH, CDC, VA, DOD, HHS, national non-profits, health systems and industry. Her work has had far-reaching policy impact, has been actively promoted by the NIH and published in top journals including the New England Journal of Medicine. Dr.Kind has multiple active R01s from the NIH/National Institute on Aging, NIH/National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities, and routinely advises state,federal and international entities. Her most recent R01 will provide a novel window into the sociobiologic mechanisms underlying neighborhood disadvantage exposure and Alzheimer’s Disease neurobiology.  

Dr. Kind has earned multiple honors including the American Geriatrics Society Thomas and Catherine Yoshikawa Award for Outstanding Scientific Achievement for Clinical Investigation, election as a Member of the American Society of Clinical Investigation (ASCI), admission to the Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine (ELAM) Program, appointment as Chair of the NIH/National Institute on Aging – Clinical Study Review Section (NIA-C), membership on a former White House Task Force on Aging and Technology and multiple visiting professorships across the US and Europe. She is a dedicated clinician and serves as an outstanding research mentor, with many successfully funded mentees (NIH K awards, Diversity supplements).

Steering Committee Member: Paige Lin

Paige Lin, PhD, is an Associate Professor of Medicine at Tufts Medical Center.  Her research focuses on health policy, health economics and outcomes research, and cost-effectiveness analysis.  The core of her work involves analyzing the value of health care interventions and assessing quality of care, patient outcomes, and economic impact among vulnerable populations with chronic conditions, with a major focus on Alzheimer’s disease.  Dr. Lin is an Associate Editor for Alzheimer’s & Dementia and a member of an Alzheimer’s Association Working Group to develop best clinical practice guidelines for the evaluation of Alzheimer’s disease.  Her current R01 grant from the NIH examines racial and ethnic disparities in dementia care.  Dr. Lin received her doctorate in Health Policy and Management from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and her MS in Health Policy and Management from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.  

Steering Committee Member: Maria Mora Pinzon

Dr. Mora Pinzon received her MD from the Universidad Central de Venezuela - Escuela Jose Maria Vargas, a master’s degree in Clinical Research from Rush University (Chicago, IL), and completed Preventive Medicine Residency at the University of Wisconsin – Madison (UW-Madison) in 2017. She is Board Certified in Preventive Medicine and Public Health and is currently a primary care research fellow at the UW-Madison Department of Family Medicine and Community Health and a scientist with the Wisconsin Alzheimer’s Institute. She is working in health equity and its intersection with dissemination and implementation science in communities of color, particularly in topics affecting older adults: falls, management of chronic diseases, and dementias.  

She has worked in the assessment of health disparities among Latinx seniors in Wisconsin, with an emphasis of their attendance to memory clinics, and overall health. This work required expertise in evaluation, data analysis, engagement of Latinx communities, and evaluation of cultural and contextual factors affecting the health of Latinx seniors; all of these are skills would be valuable as a member of Health Policy PIA of The Alzheimer's Association International Society to Advance Alzheimer's Research and Treatment (ISTAART). 

Dr. Mora Pinzon has leadership positions in the American College of Preventive Medicine and the Council of Young Physicians of the National Hispanic Medical Association. In 2018, she was selected as Young Physician of the year by the National Hispanic Medical Association for her work empowering physicians from Latinx backgrounds. She is one of the founders of the Twitter community #LatinasInMedicine which amplifies the voices of Latinas in healthcare professions, and shares opportunities for networking, mentoring and professional development.