Meet the Team


Mari-Lynn Drainoni, PhD, MEd
Dr. Drainoni serves as the Co-director of CIIS. She is an expert in qualitative research methods, mixed methods and implementation science. Dr. Drainoni’s research and clinical interests focus on improving care and services for underserved and vulnerable populations, including persons with HIV/AIDS, hepatitis C, substance use and mental illness. Dr. Drainoni coordinates activities and conducts outreach to the School of Public Health and the VA.

Allan J. Walkey, MD, MSc
Dr. Walkey serves as the Co-Director of CIIS. Dr. Walkey has expertise in clinical epidemiology and health services research focused on using large clinical databases to identify modifiable factors and health care practices to improve the outcomes of critically ill patients. His research focuses on improving processes and outcomes of critical care, reducing cardiovascular complications of sepsis, accounting for patient wishes in the evaluation of healthcare delivery, and developing novel methods to compare outcomes in observational research.

Assistant Director

Santana Silver, MPH
Santana serves as the Assistant Director of CIIS with a background in both qualitative and quantitative research methods. She obtained her MPH from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, where her research focused on social determinants of health that contribute to racial/ethnic and socioeconomic disparities in chronic disease outcomes across the life course. Her broad interests include the social, cultural, and environmental factors that influence health in low-income and minority populations. Specifically, she is interested in the ways in which the built and food environments affect chronic disease risk and outcomes. She aims to use implementation science and community-based participatory research to promote health equity in the clinical and community settings through creating more equitable access to healthy eating and active living opportunities.

Research Specialist

Kayla Jones, MA
Kayla serves as a Research Specialist at the CIIS as a qualitative researcher. Kayla obtained her MA in Applied Medical Anthropology from the University of South Florida. Her research experience has included a variety of mixed methods projects from disasters and health to nutrition and pregnancy. Kayla is interested in improving health care delivery and community health through the lens of culture of care and social structures.

Research Fellows

Kirsten Austad, MD
Dr. Austad is a hospitalist at Boston Medical Center and an Assistant Professor of Family Medicine at Boston University School of Medicine. She completed a fellowship in global women’s health where she focused on improving delivery of reproductive health care in rural indigenous Maya communities of Guatemala. Her research seeks to use implementation science to promote health equity and improve patient experience in low-resource settings, including for patients with limited English proficiency.

Gabriela (Gaby) Cordova Ramos, MD
Dr. Cordova Ramos is a neonatologist at Boston Medical Center and an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Boston University School of Medicine. Dr. Cordova Ramos’s research investigates racial/ethnic and linguistic disparities in neonatal-perinatal delivery of care. Her focus is on adapting evidence-base interventions to diverse populations in safety-net settings to increase their uptake, scale-up and sustainability. Her project for the CIIS Fellowship examines the adaptation and implementation of standardized social determinants of health screening and referral in a safety-net NICU setting.

Kathryn Fantasia, MD, MSc
Dr. Fantasia is an Assistant Professor of Medicine at Boston University School of Medicine and an endocrinologist in the Section of Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Nutrition at Boston Medical Center. Dr. Fantasia’s research interests are in improving access to care and health outcomes for underserved patients with diabetes. Her research focuses on identification of racial and ethnic disparities in diabetes care, particularly in the use of diabetes technologies, and interventions to increase technology adoption.