Congratulations to the 2022 Research to Practice Award Winners

The annual Research to Practice Award is jointly awarded by the Journal of Public Health Management and Practice and the APHA Health Administration Section. 

Last December, the JPHMP/HA Section Research-to-Practice Award was given to Lauren M. Sauer, MSc, at the APHA annual meeting in Boston. Sauer’s abstract “Centering Public Private Partnerships in a National System of Care for Special Pathogens” was selected by a panel of judges that included members of the APHA HA Section and the editors of the Journal of Public Health Management and Practice. The award has been granted annually at the APHA annual meeting since 2016. Authors of the winning abstract are invited to submit a manuscript for publication consideration in the Journal of Public Health Management and Practice. 

Congratulations to all our winners!

2022 Research-to-Practice Award Winner: Lauren Sauer, MSc

Lauren Sauer, MSc

Lauren Sauer is an Associate Professor in the College of Public Health, Department of Environmental, Agricultural, and Occupational Health, at the University of Nebraska Medical Center and a Scholar of the UNMC Global Center for Health Security. She is the Director of the Special Pathogens Research Network, the research arm of the National Ebola Training and Education Center. She also serves on the American Red Cross Scientific Advisory Committee where she sits on the Disaster Preparedness Sub Committee, supporting the Red Cross’ operations with a scientifically sound evidence base. She also previously served as the JHU focal point for their partnership with the World Health Organization’s Global Outbreak and Alert Response Network.  Lauren has been working in the field of disaster and public health emergency research and has authored over 60 journal articles in the fields of bioemergencies and disaster preparedness and response.


Runner-Up: Maureen P. Bezold, PhD, MPH, MS

“A tool to make local emergency plans more equitable”

Maureen P. Bezold, PhD, MPH, MS

Maureen P. Bezold (PhD, Virginia Tech) is an associate professor of public health and the graduate coordinator for the Department of Health Sciences and Social Work at Western Illinois University (WIU) where she has taught for 12 years. Prior to joining WIU, Dr. Bezold earned her MPH from the University of Wisconsin – La Crosse and worked as public health emergency preparedness professional at the City of Milwaukee Health Department. Dr. Bezold has served on the American Public Health Association (APHA) Governing Council for two terms and has served as the co-program planner for the Health Administration Section for two years. She continues to be active in the organization. Dr. Bezold is also a member of the Illinois Public Health Association (IPHA) and has served as a program planner for the emergency preparedness and response section. Her current research interests include emergency preparedness and access to services for medically underserved rural communities and for the disability community.

Honorable Mention: Rebecca Flournoy, MPH

“Advancing Digital Equity through Public Policy: Leveraging Community Insights and a New Digital Equity Strategic Plan”

Rebecca Flournoy, MPH

Rebecca Flournoy, senior health policy leader at Kaiser Permanente, brings more than 20 years of experience in the nonprofit, government, and philanthropic sectors. At Kaiser Permanente, she facilitates internal policy discussions, conducts research, and shares perspectives and recommendations with both internal and external audiences.  In previous roles, she managed policy advocacy efforts to promote racial and economic equity while working at PolicyLink, a nonprofit advocacy organization, the Women Donors Network, a philanthropic donor organizing group, and the Alameda County Public Health Department. One advocacy campaign she co-led, to support community leaders in developing grocery stores and markets in underserved low-income communities, resulted in more than $220 million in grants and more than $1 billion in private sector investments. She also has worked as an independent consultant, conducting research and sharing recommendations, and she has designed and analyzed public opinion surveys as a researcher at the Kaiser Family Foundation, partnering with reporters to share findings with the public. She holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and a Master of Public Health degree from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

Honorable Mention: Bethany G. Lanese, PhD

“Evaluating Process Improvement, Productivity, Workforce Development, and Leadership for a County Mental Health and Addiction Board”

Bethany G. Lanese, PhD

Bethany G. Lanese, PhD, is an Assistant Professor in the College of Public Health at Kent State University. She earned her PhD in Political Science (Public Administration concentration) from Wayne State University in Detroit. She also has an MA in administrative management and a graduate certificate in healthcare administration. Between academic appointments at Eastern Michigan University and Kent State, she worked in healthcare administration at a nonprofit community hospital as the Co-Management Administrator and Director of Special Projects for almost five years. Her research focuses on Medicaid, underserved populations, access to care and improving health outcomes. Her research has been published in various journals including American Journal of Public Health, Public Health Reports, and Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved.

Honorable Mention: Jorma McSwiggan-Hong, MSc

“Applying a Staff After-Action Review for Process Improvement in a 4 Year Multi-Site, Parallel-Group Cluster Randomized Wait-List Controlled Trial in MA”

Jorma McSwiggan-Hong, MSc

Jorma McSwiggan, MSc, (they/them/theirs) is a Community Operations project management specialist with the NIDA-funded HEALing Communities Study at Boston Medical Center, providing operational support across 16 community coalitions in Massachusetts (MA) as they select and implement strategies aimed at reducing fatal opioid overdoses. In their current role, Jorma applies community-engaged approaches and their background in organizational theory to promote collaboration among study teams and improve implementation of the community-engaged intervention in communities. Prior to joining the HEALing Communities Study, Jorma provided nutrition counseling and linked high-risk families to essential community resources in their hometown of Lawrence, MA, in the Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) office. While at WIC, Jorma led implementation of the Massachusetts Immunization Information System to ease information transfer between partner organizations and clients. Jorma holds a Master of Science in Health Systems & Services Research from Boston University School of Public Health, and a Bachelor of Science in Nutrition & Dietetics from Framingham State University.

Honorable Mention: Lisa Villarroel, MD, MPH

“A Public-Private Partnership to Load-Level Hospitals”

Lisa Villarroel, MD, MPH

Dr. Lisa Villarroel serves as the Chief Medical Officer for Public Health at the Arizona Department of Health Services. She received her bachelor’s degree in biology at Princeton University and her Doctor of Medicine at Northwestern University before getting her master’s degree in public health and becoming board certified in Family Medicine in Phoenix, Arizona. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Villarroel was the architect of the Arizona Surge Line, the Arizona Surge Staffing Initiative, Arizona’s Post-Acute Care Capacity Tracker, ECMO Tracker, and Appendix P (lived experiences of public health).

Author Profile

Mirna Amaya
Mirna P. Amaya, PhD, MPH, is the Chair of the Mentoring Committee within the American Public Health Association (APHA) Health Administration Section and liaison with JPHMP Direct. She is also the APHA Human Rights Forum [] Chair and a Governing Councillor for APHA. Dr Amaya works as a full-time Senior Consultant and is also affiliated with the University of Florida as a Researcher at the Emerging Pathogens Institute. She has experience providing technical assistance to national, bilateral and multilateral health organizations at the local, regional and global levels.