Opel and Wittenborn: First CFIR Research Fellows

Dawn Opel, JD, PhDAndrea Wittenborn, PhDThe Sparrow/MSU Center for Innovation and Research has named its first two Research Fellows, who will focus on issues such as improving treatment for depression and use of information technology to enhance Patient care.

Dawn S. Opel, JD, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor of Digital Media and User Experience in the College of Arts & Letters at MSU. Her research focuses on improving the delivery of healthcare, with an emphasis on design and use of IT to enhance evidence-based practice. She is currently studying the coordination of care using electronic medical records and has worked with healthcare experts to create online resources for clinics.

Additionally, Opel is leading a study that helps Sparrow clinicians work together with community partners across social services and legal contexts, using an online tool for care coordination for older adult Patients.

Opel joined MSU in August 2016 after receiving her Ph.D. from Arizona State University and her juris doctorate from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Andrea Wittenborn, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor of Human Development and Family Studies at MSU.

She designs and studies mental health interventions with a goal of improving outcomes for treatment of depression. Wittenborn is leading a study that will develop an artificial intelligence-based virtual agent to screen for depression and intimate partner violence among pregnant and post-partum women.

She is also preparing an NIH grant proposal with collaborators at MSU and Sparrow on the implementation of collaborative care for perinatal depression. Prior to joining MSU, she earned her Ph.D. from Purdue University and held appointments at Virginia Tech.

The Center for Innovation and Research is a formal partnership between Sparrow and MSU, bringing together innovators and supporting partnerships between the systems to identify problems, design new approaches, strategies, processes and technologies that address care problems and challenges. An important key to helping Sparrow fulfill its mission and vision is through medical research.