Pravleen Bajwa, MPH is a Graduate Project Assistant with the University of Wisconsin-Madison Prevention Research Center. Pravleen is finishing up her PhD in Epidemiology and her research interests include chronic disease epidemiology, cardiovascular epidemiology, health disparities, and Geographic Information System (GIS). Prior to her PhD career, Pravleen was a Public Health Research Coordinator at the Washington University in St. Louis and worked on projects focused on Community Based Participatory Research and community engagement in public health research.
Alexa DeBoth, MPH, MPA is an Assistant Researcher with the University of Wisconsin-Madison Prevention Research Center. Alexa’s relevant experience includes maternal and infant health disparities research, women’s health policy research, and public health program evaluation. She is particularly interested in how state and federal policies impact health disparities and reproductive health care availability. As Assistant Researcher, Alexa is working with the associate directors to coordinate center evaluation and training activities to engage campus partners in relevant prevention research opportunities.
Ellie Knoll volunteers the UWPRC. She is a senior at UW-Madison majoring in Biology and Gender & Women’s Studies with a Certificate in Global Health. After graduating in the May, she plans to pursue an MPH and eventually go to medical school.
Melissa is a PhD student in Population Health and a Project Assistant (Project Coordinator) with the UWPRC’s “Building a Public Health Reserve with Community Health Workers” project. Her research interests center on patient experiences in healthcare, particularly for those who experience discrimination and marginalization at both individual and systematic levels. She received her MS in Population Health from University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2017; her thesis focused on how limited English proficient (LEP) Hmong- and Spanish-speaking patients speak about fear in relation to health and healthcare. Prior to her career in Population Health, she worked for nearly ten years as a user researcher / user experience strategist.
After earning her degree in Dental Hygiene, Deanna McKinney worked for ten years in private dental practice, volunteering in various oral health programs including, Healthy Smiles for Portage County school-based dental sealant program, Special Olympics Special Smiles and the Wisconsin Dental Association Missions of Mercy. Her passion for public health motivated her to find ways to make a larger impact which propelled her to become the program lead of the Healthy Smiles for Portage County program. Her collaborations with Boys and Girls Club of Portage County, Charles F Fernandez Center for Alternative Learning, Ministry Dental Center and Wisconsin Farm Technology Days generated programs that increase access to oral health care for many underserved populations. She is thrilled to take on the role of Outreach Specialist with the School of Medicine and Public Health.
Allie graduated from the University of Wisconsin Madison with a degree in Economics and Certificate in Global Health in December 2019. She joined the Division of Reproductive and Population Health as a Research Program Administrator in July of 2020. She is also the Administrative Assistant for the UW-Madison Prevention Research Center. Allie is interested in the socioeconomic determinants of health especially among women and children.
Janice Valenzuela is the Engagement & Translation Specialist with the University of Wisconsin-Madison Prevention Research Center. Prior to joining the Center, Janice was the Outreach Coordinator for the Minority Health Program at the Department of Health Services, where she worked to engage statewide partners addressing health disparities and equity issues across Wisconsin. Her relevant experiences include coordinating the activities of the Minority Health Advisory Committee and providing support to Minority Health Program grantees. Some of her interests include culturally responsive evaluation; interdisciplinary collaboration, and network analysis/network weaving; all in an effort to advance health equity.
Lesley is the Program Director for the Healthy Wisconsin Leadership Institute (HWLI) at the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute. Lesley has been providing coaching, training and technical assistance to build leadership capacity for HWLI communities since 2008. She works with coalitions across Wisconsin to address root causes of inequities, and center leadership of those most impacted to advance health and health equity. Prior to joining the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute, Lesley served as the Sales Manager for Homegrown Wisconsin Cooperative. In this role, she supported Wisconsin organic vegetable growers as a liaison to chefs in Chicago, Milwaukee and Madison and organized communities to develop localized food systems. Lesley’s work is rooted in social justice and analyzing relationships and systems of power to promote social change. Lesley’s program interests are the social determinants of health and health equity; grassroots community organizing; strategic planning and implementation of public health policy. Lesley also serves on the board of directors for GSAFE, dedicated to creating school communities where LGBTQ+ students can thrive.