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Interdepartmental Program in Health Economics

Current Students

Susan Christiansen, PhD candidate

SusanCSusan is a health economics student in the Department of Population, Family and Reproductive Health. She has a BA in Economics from Brigham Young University and an MA in Public Policy from Johns Hopkins University, with certificates in Health Policy and Health Disparities. Susan worked as an economic consultant for Charles River Associates for three years prior to starting graduate work. While there, she performed economic analyses for litigation and anti-trust cases primarily in the health care industry, building complex econometric models to estimate damages in pharmaceutical lawsuits or projected market share after a proposed hospital or health insurance company merger.

Susan’s research interests center around the economics of reproductive health, including efficient pricing and provision of reproductive health services. Her research at Johns Hopkins has focused on the impact of pregnancy intentions on child survival and education in Bangladesh and contraceptive pricing in Texas. She is also working on a project for USAID to build models to predict the impact of interventions on chronic conditions among maternal populations. Her dissertation will calculate the price elasticity of demand for contraceptives in Texas, and use these elasticities to estimate the impact of various policies on contraceptive use, failure rates and unintended pregnancy rates.

Nicolae Done, PhD candidate

Nicolae DoneNicolae is a health economics student and a Sommer Scholar specializing in the economic analysis of health care financing and payment policies. He graduated with an AB in Biochemical Sciences and a Certificate in Health Policy from Harvard College and worked as a research analyst in the Program in Health Care Financing at the Harvard School of Public Health.

Nicolae’s repertoire spans mathematical models of cost-effectiveness, econometrics, and program evaluation. He worked as a Health Scientist intern at the National Center for Health Statistics, where he analyzed trends in health care expenditures in the United States. His special interest is in the area of payment systems that promote integration of health care services and quality improvement, including global budgets for hospitals and risk-sharing schemes for Accountable Care Organizations. He is currently working with the Maryland Health Services Cost Review Commission to evaluate its hospital global budget program.

Trevor Ellison, PhD candidate

TravTrevor is a doctoral student in Health Economics and Policy in the Department of Health Policy and Management.  He received his BS in Zoology with Human Biology Emphasis from the Brigham Young University, his MD from the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and his MBA from the Judge Business School at Cambridge University.  He is currently finishing a surgical residency in General Surgery at the Johns Hopkins Hospital and then will start a three-year Cardiothoracic Surgery fellowship at Johns Hopkins in the summer of 2015.  Trevor's research interests include comparative effectiveness, resource allocation efficiency, patient and physician preferences and economic modeling.

Trevor's dissertation deals with renal transplantation.  He is exploring methodology in scoping reviews, gaps analysis and future research prioritization.  Another aspect of his dissertation deals with comparative effectiveness of new technology in diagnostic tests for "high risk" organs in kidney transplantation with the goal of salvaging organs with no infectious disease that were previously labeled as "high risk" and therefore more likely to be discarded.  Additionally, he is working on a Markov model to explore the patient and physician decision to accept or deny an organ based on its Kidney Donor Profile Index based on recipient characteristics and the subsequent cost to Medicare.

Ilene L. Hollin, PhD candidate

Ilene HollinIlene is a doctoral student in Health Economics and Policy in the Department of Health Policy and Management specializing in economic evaluation. She received her BA in American studies and international and global studies from Brandeis University and her MPH in Effectiveness and Outcomes Research from Columbia University. Ilene’s research interests include the impact of health economics and policy on decision-making, rare diseases and the development of orphan drugs, and informatics. She is also interested in program evaluation methodology and decision analytic tools.

Ilene has worked as a program specialist at the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology. She was the 2013-2014 Johns Hopkins Center to Eliminate Cardiovascular Disparities Research Fellow and the Centers for Population Health and Health Disparities Cross-Center Research Fellow where she is working on a mixed-methods approach to quantifying the costs of a complex intervention targeting disparities in hypertension. She is the award recipient of the 2014 Charles D. Flagle Award and the Lee Lusted Student Prize in Decision Psychology and Shared Decision Making.

Andres Vecino, PhD candidate

Andres is a doctoral student in the Health Systems program at the Department of International Health. Andres graduated from medical school at Universidad Javeriana, and completed a master’s degree in economics at Universidad de los Andes in Colombia. Before joining Johns Hopkins, Andres worked for four years on health economics research and carried out a postdoctoral fellow at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington in Seattle. Andres takes advantage of his dual background when addressing research problems in health using economic and economic evaluation methods. He has worked with diverse topics such as mental health and alcohol consumption, chronic diseases, health insurance, workplace insurance, unintentional injuries, stress, research productivity in health, health policy interventions, pharmacoeconomics, vaccines, sexual health, and child and maternal health.

Andres’s doctoral research focuses on understanding the effect that changes in stress have on preventive behavior among seniors with chronic conditions, and on how social programs reduce the burden of stress in that population. More information can be found here.