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Who We Are

QRMF Steering Committee

Committee Chair

Karen Albright, PhD, is Assistant Professor in the Department of Community and Behavioral Health in the Colorado School of Public Health at the University of Colorado Denver, Anschutz Medical Campus. She is also the Qualitative Research CORE Leader in the Colorado Health Outcomes Program (COHO), a center in the University of Colorado School of Medicine, and in the Children’s Outcomes Research Program (COR), in The Children’s Hospital Research Institute. Karen earned her PhD from New York University and received postdoctoral training in health policy and mental health from, respectively, the University of California, Berkeley, and Stanford University. She has extensive expertise in qualitative data analysis and has worked with a variety of qualitative methods, including in-depth interviews, focus groups, and ethnography. Her research interests center on health behaviors among socioeconomically disadvantaged populations, the psychosocial and health implications of socioeconomic mobility, and the social-psychological effects of trauma.


Committee Members

Juliana Barnard, MA, received her Master of Arts in Sociology from the University of Oklahoma in 1994. She joined the Children's Outcomes Research Program (COR) in September 2007 following twelve years as a research assistant in the Division of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences at National Jewish Medical and Research Center. At COR, Ms. Barnard is involved in several projects generally studying how to improve delivery of care in pediatric and adult primary care practices. She works principally in data collection using qualitative methodology and in project management. She is authored in peer-reviewed journals and has presented results from these projects at national conferences.

Douglas Fernald, MA, is Senior Instructor with the Department of Family Medicine at the University of Colorado Denver, Anschutz Medical Campus. He has over a decade of mixed-method research and evaluation experience that ranges from large, multi-site evaluations to small, exploratory research projects. He specializes in practice-based research and qualitative research methods. His current focus is on practice transformation and health risk assessment in primary care. Doug is the Director of BIGHORN and Assistant Director of CaReNet, both primary care, practice-based research networks in Colorado. He is a member of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality's PBRN Resource Center Steering Committee, and teaches beginning- and intermediate-level courses on ATLAS.ti qualitative data software

Leah Haverhals, MA, is a Health Research Specialist at the Department of Veterans Affairs in Denver. She has over a decade of mixed-method research and evaluation experience as a project manager for a variety of projects ranging from large, multi-site studies to improve specialty care and palliative care for Veterans to health and technology and community-based participatory research studies. She received her MA from Indiana University in telecommunications and is currently working on her PhD in Health and Behavioral Science at University of Colorado Denver. She has experience using ATLAS.ti software to analyze qualitative data individually and in groups, and her research interests include cognitive psychology, health and technology, palliative care, and health communication.

Courtney Lee Ricci, PhD, currently works in the Research, Evaluation and Strategic Learning Department at The Colorado Trust, a state health foundation dedicated to advancing health equity in Colorado. She received her PhD in Health and Behavioral Sciences at the University of Colorado Denver and an MA in cultural anthropology at the University of Colorado at Boulder. Courtney conducted ethnographic fieldwork for her dissertation research on medical tourism and the impact that this global process has on the national health care system in Costa Rica. She currently utilizes a variety of qualitative and mixed methods approaches in the work that she does for The Colorado Trust, as she has in several research studies in the fields of anthropology, public health, medicine, and education. Courtney works as an adjunct instructor, teaching public health courses at the University of Colorado Denver downtown campus.

Jean Scandlyn, PhD, is Research Associate Professor in the Departments of Anthropology and Health and Behavioral Sciences at the University of Colorado, downtown Denver campus. A medical anthropologist, her research interests focus on adolescence and early adulthood, migration and health care in American society, and global health with a focus on South America. Jean has completed a variety of community-based studies using qualitative methods and, with colleague Sarah Hautzinger and students at Colorado College and UCD has just completed an ethnographic study of the effects of multiple deployments on soldiers, their families, and the community of Colorado Springs. As a Fulbright scholar, she led collaborative workshops on qualitative research methods with staff of health-related non-governmental organizations in Bolivia and has served as a consultant on health-related qualitative research projects in Botswana and Guatemala.

Danielle M. Varda, PhD, is an Assistant Professor at the School of Public Affairs, University of Colorado Denver with a secondary appointment in the Colorado School of Public HealthDepartment of Health Systems, Management, and Policy. She specializes in collaborative management and policy networks, focusing specifically on public health systems research. Her research focus is on evaluating the network structure of collaborations between the public, private, and nonprofit sectors and the subsequent network affects of these recorded interactions. Using mixed methods in her research, she has developed models and methods of network measurement. Her work includes the development of a research model for measuring social capital by evaluating the network structure of local community networks, including developing questionnaires, conducting interviews and focus groups, and analysis of diverse network data. With funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, she is the author and manager of a social network analysis software tool (PARTNER, that allows community collaboratives to measure and monitor their partnership activity over time. Dr. Varda’s PARTNER tool was featured in her first place award for the 2008 Maxwell School Collaborative Governance Initiative competition, Teaching Simulation.​