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Center for Native Oral Health Research

Staff Bios

Judith E. Albino, PhD, CNOHR Principal Investigator and Director
Judith Albino, PhD, Principal Investigator and Director of the Center for Native Oral Health Research, is Associate Dean and Clinical Professor in the Colorado School of Public Health and Professor in the School of Dental Medicine. She has worked in dental research since the 1970's when she began her academic career as a faculty member in the School of Dentistry at the State University of New York at Buffalo.  Her early work focused on prevention of oral health problems in adolescents and on the social and psychological effects of malocclusion.  After a hiatus of several years, during which she served as Associate Provost and Dean of the Graduate School at Buffalo, and then as President of the University of Colorado and, subsequently, of Alliant International University, she returned to Colorado to work with colleagues to develop this Center.  During the 1980's, Dr. Albino served as president of Behavioral Scientists in Dental Research; and she has served the American Association for Dental Research in a variety of committee roles.  She has been active in the peer review process, both as a reviewer of manuscripts for journals in the behavioral sciences and in dentistry, and as a frequent member of NIH review panels.  She also has served on the Council of the National Institute for Dental and Craniofacial Research and currently is a member of the NIDCR Special Grants Study Section.  Dr. Albino directs the senior leadership program for the Colorado Clinical and Translational Research Institute (CTSA). She serves on the board of directors for Caring for Colorado, and she provides coaching and consulting on leadership development for higher education.
Terry Batliner, DDS, MBA, CNOHR Co-Investigator and Director; Principal Investigator, RC1; CNOHR Training and Career Development
Terry Batliner, DDS, MBA is the Associate Director for CNOHR. He is also the Director of the Training and Career Development Core and the Principal Investigator for Research Component 1, a clinical trial using motivational interviewing to improve the oral health of small children in a Plains Indian Nation. Terry is a member of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma with family roots in eastern Oklahoma.  Before coming to UCD, Terry held senior leadership positions at Delta Dental, The VA, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care and the Indian Health Service. In addition to the University of Colorado, he has held faculty appointments at the Medical College of Georgia and the Harvard School of Dental Medicine. He received his DDS and MBA degrees from the University of Iowa and holds the designation of certified professional in health care quality. Terry is a practicing dentist working part time in private practice in the Denver area.  
Cathy Bell, MA, Senior IT Coordinator
Cathy received her Master’s degree in Applied Health Psychology in 1998 and soon after began working for the Centers for American Indian and Alaska Native Health as a Senior Professional Research Assistant.  In 1999 she took the position as Senior IT Coordinator and has been providing technical support for researchers since.  Cathy manages five servers, all desktops, software, IT purchases, and the HIPAA compliance for the department.
Karen A. Fehringer, PhD, Interventionist Director, RC1
Karen Fehringer, PhD, Interventionist Director for the Center for Native Oral Health Research, RC 1, is an Assistant Clinical Professor in the Colorado School of Public Health, Centers for American Indian and Alaska Native Health.  She commenced her career as an occupational therapist, working with children and families in early intervention home visitation programs, school systems, rehabilitation clinics, and hospitals, including neonatal intensive care units. Her clinical work has focused on the dynamics of parent-child interaction as the foundation for child development and early learning.  While working in Massachusetts and at the University of Connecticut Health Sciences Center, Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, she completed the Richardson Fellowship in conjunction with the Child Development Unit of Harvard Medical School and Children’s Hospital, Boston. During her PhD program, Dr. Fehringer was a fellow in the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center Harris Fellowship in Child Development and Infant Mental Health. Dr. Fehringer was employed in a shared position with UC Denver School of Medicine, Department of Pediatrics and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment before joining CAIANH.  Her recent and current research interests with CAIANH include the Science and Ecology of Early Development (SEED) longitudinal study with American Indian infants and families, Head Start Research Center, Promoting Cognitive Development during Infancy in a Northern Plains Indian Reservation, and as the intervention director for CNOHR with the Northern Plains Indian Reservation (RC-1).  Dr. Fehringer’s overarching interest is in the promotion of physical, mental, and oral health for infants and their families.
 William Henderson, PhD, Principal Investigator, Stat Core
William Henderson, PhD, received his BA degree in mathematics from Pomona College, Claremont, CA in 1965, and his MPH and PhD degrees in biostatistics from the University of Michigan School of Public Health in 1967 and 1970.  From 1970-71, he served as a mathematical statistician at the National Institute of Neurological Diseases and Stroke.  From 1971-76, he was on the biostatistics faculty at the University of Iowa College of Dentistry.  In 1976, Dr. Henderson joined the VA Cooperative Studies Program Coordinating Center in Hines, IL in order to have the opportunity to conduct large-scale research which would have an impact on clinical practice, and became the Director of that center in 1978.  During his tenure at the VA Cooperative Studies Program from 1976 to 2002, Dr. Henderson helped design, implement, conduct, analyze, and publish over 40 multicenter clinical trials in the VA system in many different disease areas.  He also helped to design and implement the VA National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (NSQIP), a surgical quality improvement program that is now in over 300 hospitals in the U.S. in the private sector, VA, and Department of Defense.  Dr. Henderson retired from the VA in 2002, and is now a Professor in the University of Colorado School of Public Health (CSPH) and Director of the Biostatistics Core in the University of Colorado Health Outcomes Program (COHO).  Dr. Henderson also serves as a biostatistical consultant to the Centers for American Indian and Alaska Native Health (CAIANH) at the CSPH.  He participates in the Native Elders Research Center training program, the data core of the coordinating center for Indian Health Services’ Special Diabetes Program Initiative Competitive Grants Program (SDPI-CGP), and is the Director of the Statistics Core for the Center for Native Oral Health Research (CNOHR).  Dr. Henderson is a Fellow in the Society for Clinical Trials and the American Statistical Association. 
Spero Manson, PhD, CNOHR Co-Investigator, CAIANH Director
Dr. Manson's programs include 8 national centers, entailing research, program development, and training among 102 Native communities, spanning rural, reservation, urban, and village settings. Dr. Manson has published 160 articles on the assessment, epidemiology, treatment, and prevention of physical, alcohol, drug, as well as mental health problems in this special population. A member of the Institute of Medicine, he has received numerous awards including 3 Distinguished Service Awards from the IHS (1985; 1996; 2004), the prestigious Rema Lapouse Mental Health Epidemiology Award from the APHA (1998), the Distinguished Mentor Award from the Gerontological Society of America (2006), the Herbert W. Nickens Award from the AAMC (2006), and the George Foster Award for Excellence from the Society for Medical Anthropology (2006).
Kristen Nadeau, MD, MS, Principal Investigator, GRINS Development Project
Type 2 diabetes disproportionately affects American Indian and other historically disadvantaged youth. Dr. Nadeau strives to serve this population. She is a Pediatric Endocrinologist with a Masters in Clinical Sciences and is an investigator in translational pediatric diabetes and obesity research, focused on reducing long-term complications of pediatric-onset diabetes. She is the PI of the CNOHR developmental project investigating periodontal health in American Indian youth with Type 2 diabetes and obesity. The project focus is to better understand the mechanism(s) of insulin resistance (IR) in pediatric diabetes and interrelationships with periodontal disease, and identify treatment targets for interventions.  She was awarded an NIH K23 award, several local supplemental grants, a SEARCH/NIDDK supplement, and a JDRF Innovative Award to study cardiovascular deficits in pediatric diabetes, and their relationships to IR and ectopic fat, and develop an indes to estimate IR in diabetic youth from the NIH/CDC-sponsored SEARCH study.  Through the K23 and related grants, she became proficient at independent study management; ethical research conduct; recruitment/retention; continuous glucose monitoring; activity monitoring; and performance of hyperinsulinemic clamps, glucose and glycerol isotopes, muscle biopsy, venour plethysmography, and autonomic function and exercise testing in youth.  More recently, she has been funded by a 5-year JDRF Research Award, and ADA career development award, and NIH R56 award, and a CCTSI co-pilot grant for muscle MRI/MRS technology development to study relationships between insulin resistance, exercist, and muscle mitochondrial dysfunction in Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes using 31P MRS spectroscopy; and she is the PI of a new UO1 investigating beta cell preservation in youth and adults with prediabetes and type 2 diabetes. She is also a co-investigator on the NIH multicenter TODAY trial, a large randomized, double-blinded trial comparing two alternative diabetes drugs to a combined exercise and diet intervention in youth. Both the TODAY and SEARCH studies include pediatric American Indian cohorts with diabetes.
Greg Schaffer, BS, IT Manager
Greg Schaffer, BS is the IT Manager with the Centers for American Indian and Alaska Native Health (CAIANH) in the Colorado School of Public Health. Greg graduated in 1987 from University of Colorado Denver with a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science. Greg joined CAIANH in March 2005 working as the IT Manager for the coordinating center for Indian Health Services’ Special Diabetes Program Initiative Competitive Grants Program (SDPI-CGP) and is currently doing programming, assisting in computer related issues and working with the Statistics Core for the Center for Native Oral Health Research (CNOHR).
Tracy Zacher, BA, RN, Field Study Coordinator
Tracy Zacher is the Field Study Coordinator for Research Component 1, a research study using motivational interviewing to improve oral health outcomes for children living on an Indian reservation. Tracy is a member of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe. Tracy graduated in 1996 from the University of South Dakota with a bachelor of arts degree, double majoring in Spanish and Psychology. She then graduated with an associate degree in nursing in 1999 also from the University of South Dakota, and has been a registered nurse since that time. Tracy has experience in basic science research, clinic nursing, hospital nursing, extended care nursing, teaching, and coordinating various programs that benefit the American Indian population. While Tracy now works full time as the Field Study Coordinator for UCD, she still maintains her nursing license by working part-time for Rapid City Regional Hospital as a floor nurse in the Orthopedics, Neurology, Surgical Department. She currently serves on the Board of Directors for the SuAnne Big Crow Boys and Girls Club and the Asniya program. She in her 11th year working as volunteer coordinator for the Asniya program, a service learning program that benefits American Indian Children throughout South Dakota.

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