Faculty and Staff

Jean L Raphael MD, MPH

Jean Raphael is founding Director of the Center for Child Health Policy and Advocacy at Texas Children’s Hospital (TCH) and an Associate Professor of Pediatrics at the Baylor College of Medicine.  He is also an investigator at the Center for Innovations in Quality, Effectiveness and Safety (IQUEST) and affiliate member of the Center for Medical Ethics and Health Policy at Baylor College of Medicine. His research activities focus on improving systems of care for underserved and minority children with chronic conditions.

Dr. Raphael is leading an NHLBI funded study examining how patient navigation can improve the care of children with sickle cell disease. He has been previously funded by the Aetna Foundation to assess the impact of the patient-centered medical home on publicly insured children.  Dr. Raphael serves as an Academic Pediatric Association representative to the Pediatric Policy Council and is a past appointee of the Lieutenant Governor to the Texas Health Disparities Task Force. He completed the Commonwealth Fund Harvard University Fellowship in Minority Health Policy. Dr. Raphael’s awards have included the Research Mentorship Award from Baylor College of Medicine, Health Advocacy Award from Doctors for Change, and Meritorious Service Award from the Texas Health and Human Services Commission.  Dr. Raphael is a practicing primary care pediatrician at the Residents’ Primary Care Group Clinic at TCH. 

Selected Publications

  • Raphael JL, Richardson T, Hall M, Oyeku SO, Bundy DG, Kalpatthi RV, Shah SS, Ellison AM.   Association between Hospital Volume and Within-Hospital Intensive Care Unit Transfer for Sickle Cell Disease in Children’s Hospitals.  J Pediatr. 2015 Dec;167(6):1306-13.
  • Raphael JL, Cooley WC, Vega A, Kowalkowski MA, Tran X, Treadwell J, Giardino AP, Giordano TP.  Outcomes for Children with Chronic Conditions Associated with Parent- and Provider-reported Measures of the Medical Home.  Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved.  2015 May;26(2):358-376.
  • Lion KC, Raphael JL.  Partnering Health Disparities Research and Quality Improvement Science in Pediatrics.  Pediatrics.  2015 Feb;135(2):354-361.
  • Raphael JL, Rueda A, Lion KC, Giordano TP.  The Role of Lay Health Workers in Pediatric Chronic Disease:  A Systematic Review. Academic Pediatrics.  2013 Sept-Oct;13(5):408-20.
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Tiffany Rattler, BS

Tiffany Rattler is the lead project coordinator for the Center for Child Health Policy and Advocacy. Tiffany has over 10 years of research experience in the areas of public policy, clinical trials in cancer prevention and smoking cessation, and health service research. Her areas of interest include access to care, underserved populations, and health disparities. Her recent research focuses on access and quality of care among children with sickle cell disease.

Tiffany’s research and advocacy on behalf of the pediatric sickle cell population lead to the adaptation of the Sickle Cell Education and Research Day - an annual interactive educational collaborative for patients, families, supporting communities, and providers - hosted by Texas Children’s Hospital. Tiffany is working to develop a community advisory board to support and inform the efforts of the Center. She received her bachelors of science in Nutritional Science from Texas A&M University- College Station.

Selected Publications

  • Rattler TL, Walder AE, Feng H, Raphael JL. Care Coordination for Children with Sickle Cell Disease: A Longitudinal Study of Parent Perspectives and Acute Care Utilization. American Journal of Preventive Medicine. 2016 July; 51 (1 Suppl 1): S55-61.
  • Raphael JL, Rattler TL, Kowalkowski MA, Brousseau DC, Mueller BU, Giordano TP. Association of Care in a Medical Home and Health Care Utilization Among Children with Sickle Cell Disease. Journal of the National Medical Association. 2013 Summer; 105(2):157-165.
  • Raphael, JL, Butler AM, Rattler, TL, Kowalkowski, MA, Mueller, BU, Giordano, TP. Parental Information, Motivation, and Adherence Behavior Among Children with Sickle Cell Disease. Pediatric Blood and Cancer.  2013 Jul;60(7):1204-10.
  • Raphael, JL, Rattler, TL, Kowalkowski, MA, Mueller, BU, Giordano, TP. The Medical Home Experience among Children with Sickle Cell Disease. Pediatric Blood and Cancer. 2013 Feb; 60(2):275-80.
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Keila Lopez, MD, MPH

Keila Lopez is a faculty member at the Center for Child Health Policy and Advocacy and an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics in the Section of Pediatric Cardiology at Texas Children’s Hospital and Baylor College of Medicine. Dr. Lopez’s research portfolio reflects a longstanding commitment to addressing health disparities. Following her pediatric residency, she completed the Commonwealth Fund Harvard University Fellowship in Minority Health Policy and received a Master of Public Health at the Harvard School of Public Health with a concentration in healthcare management. She subsequently completed pediatric cardiology training with a focus on cardiovascular imaging.

Dr. Lopez’s research interests focus on identifying healthcare disparities among minority and underserved, particularly as they pertain to the field of pediatric cardiology. She has worked with the Texas Department of State Health Services on population-based epidemiologic projects to better understand congenital heart disease patients in the state of Texas.  She is the director for the cardiology transition program, and is creating educational programs for transitioning adolescents with congenital heart disease from pediatric to adult care. She received grant support from the NIH NHLBI Pediatric Heart Network to develop mobile technologies to assist in this transition.  She is spearheading other educational programs including initiatives for pediatricians, dentists and pediatric cardiologists to improve oral health screening and access to care. Overall, Dr. Lopez seeks to incorporate cardiology, public health, and minority health policy in order to develop research initiatives that directly inform health policy and improve the health care of underserved and minority populations.

Selected Publications

  • Lopez KN, Karlsten M, Bonaduce De Nigris F, King J, Salciccioli K, Jiang A, Marelli A, Kovacs AH, Fordis M, Thompson D. Understanding Age-based Transition Needs: Perspectives from Adolescents and Adults with Congenital Heart Disease. Congenit Heart Dis. 2015 Nov 12;10(6):561-71.
  • Lopez KN, Marengo LK, Canfield MA, Belmont JW, Dickerson HA.  Racial Disparities in Heterotaxy Syndrome.  Birth Defects Res A Clin Mol Teratol. 2015 Nov;103(11):941-50.
  • Lara DA, Lopez KN. Public health research in congenital heart disease. Congenit Heart Dis. 2014 Nov-Dec;9(6):549-58. 
  • Lopez KN, Knudson JD.  Obesity:  from the agricultural revolution to the contemporary pediatric epidemic.  Congenit Heart Dis. 2012 Mar-Apr;7(2):189-99.
  • Patten CA, Hughes CA, Lopez KN, Thomas JL, Brockman TA, Smith CM, Decker PA, Rock E, Clark LP, Offord KP. Web-based intervention for adolescent nonsmokers to help parents stop smoking: a pilot feasibility study. Addict Behav. 2012 Jan;37(1):85-91.
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Quianta Moore JD, MD

Quianta Moore is a faculty member at the Center for Child Health Policy and Advocacy, Health Policy Scholar at Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy, and Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of Pediatrics at Baylor College of Medicine. Dr. Moore is a health policy expert with prior experience in developing health policies for the City of Houston and for local healthcare organizations. Dr. Moore’s current work involves developing tailored, empirically informed policy and intervention recommendations.  She employs both qualitative and quantitative methodologies. 

Her current research focuses on barriers to access to care, including barriers to adolescent participation in research and improving health outcomes through school-based clinics and telemedicine. Dr. Moore has been funded by a number of organizations including the Episcopal Health Foundation, CHRISTUS Foundation for Healthcare, and Heimbinder Family Foundation. 

Selected Publications


Claire Bocchini, MD

Claire Bocchini is the Associate Director for Advocacy Education at the Center for Child Health Policy and Advocacy and an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics in the Section of Pediatric Infectious Disease at Texas Children’s Hospital and Baylor College of Medicine. Dr. Bocchini’s research focuses on incorporating screening for social determinants of health (SDH) into routine pediatric care. She is currently conducting a randomized control trial designed to measure the impact of a SDH screening tool in the inpatient setting on family ability to enroll in community resources and child health outcomes.  Additionally, Dr. Bocchini leads the advocacy training program for residents through the Center. She coordinates the Baylor College of Medicine (BCM)/ Texas Children’s Hospital (TCH) pediatric resident advocacy curriculum and mentors several of the residents in scholarly activities focused on child health advocacy.

She has co-authored multiple online educational modules on advocacy for the Texas Pediatrics Society. Dr. Bocchini has also mentored residents in authoring policy briefs on obesity prevention and wellness promotion and draft bills.  She is one of the founding members of Doctors for Change, a 501c3 organization that works with communities and schools to implement programs that result in improved access to health care and improved wellness. She has been awarded the Children at Risk Health Advocate Award.

See list of pubilications


Rachel Kimbro, PhD

Rachel Tolbert Kimbro is a faculty member at the Center for Child Health Policy and Advocacy, Professor of Sociology and Director of the Kinder Institute's Urban Health Program. Dr. Kimbro earned her M.A. in Sociology at Princeton and her B.A. in Sociology and Policy Studies at Rice. Following her doctoral work at Princeton, Dr. Kimbro was a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health & Society Scholar at the University of Wisconsin, Madison where she received interdisciplinary training in population health. Dr. Kimbro's research focuses on racial and ethnic health disparities and family influences on health behaviors and outcomes. Current work examines family and neighborhood influences on child obesity, food insecurity, and physical activity in low-income and immigrant families. Her work is funded by the Houston Endowment, the Foundation for Child Development, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's Active Living Program, and the University of Kentucky Center for Poverty Research.

Selected Publications

  • Kimbro RT, Denney JT.  Transitions Into Food Insecurity Associated with Behavioral Problems and Worse Overall Health Among Children. Health Affairs.  2015;34(11): 1949-1955.
  • Sharp G, Denney JT, Kimbro RT.  Multiple contexts of exposure: Activity spaces, residential neighborhoods, and self-rated health. Soc Sci Med. 2015 Dec;146:204-13.
  • Desmond M, Kimbro RT.  Eviction’s Fallout: Housing, Hardship, and Health.Social Forces. 2015;94: 295-324.
  • Taylor WC, Kimbro RT, Evans-Hudnall G, Haughton McNeill L, Barnes AS.   Sedentary Behavior, Body Mass Index, and Weight Loss Maintenance among African American Women. Ethnicity and Disease. 2014;25: 38-45.
  • Brewer M, Kimbro RT. Neighborhoods and Immigrant Children’s Physical Activity. Social Science and Medicine.  2014;116: 1-9.
  • Kimbro RT, Denney JT. Neighborhood Context and Racial/Ethnic Differences in Young Children’s Obesity: Structural Barriers to Interventions. Social Science & Medicine. 2013;95:97-105.

Heidi Russell, MD, PhD

Heidi Russell is a faculty member at the Center for Child Health Policy and Advocacy and Associate Professor of Pediatrics in the Section of Hematology/Oncology at Texas Children's Hospital and Baylor College of Medicine.  Dr. Russell completed a Ph.D. in public health from the University of Texas School of Public Health with concentrations in health economics and health services research and a minor in statistics. Since completing graduate school, her research focus has been to increase the value of the medical care we provide to children with cancer. Her work includes cost effectiveness and comparative effectiveness studies as well as assessing the economic burden of medical care on families. Her studies aim to identify areas of treatment and medical delivery that are that could be more efficient while providing the best care for children

Selected Publications

  • Lin, J. L., Guillerman, R. P., Russell, H. V., Lupo, P. J., Nicholls, L. and Okcu, M. F. (2016), Does Routine Imaging of Patients for Progression or Relapse Improve Survival in Rhabdomyosarcoma?. Pediatr. Blood Cancer, 63: 202–205. doi: 10.1002/pbc.25750
  • Beaty, R. S., Bernhardt, M. B., Berger, A. H., Hesselgrave, J. E., Russell, H. V. and Okcu, M. F. (2015), Inpatient versus outpatient vincristine, dactinomycin, and cyclophosphamide for pediatric cancers: Quality and cost implications. Pediatr. Blood Cancer, 62: 1925–1928. doi: 10.1002/pbc.25610
  • Jennifer Blumenthal-Barby, Scott B. Cantor, Aanand D. Naik, Heidi V. Russell, Robert J. Volk, Emily Robinson.  The neglected topic: Presentation of cost information in patient decision aids.  Medical Decision Making. 2015, May;35(4):412-8.
  • Heidi Russell, J. Michael Swint, Lincy Lal, Jane Meza, David Walterhouse, Douglas Hawkins, M. Fatih Okcu.  Cost minimization analysis of two treatment regimens for low-risk rhabdomyosarcoma in children:  A report from the Children’s Oncology Group. Pediatric Blood and Cancer. 2014 June;61(6):970-6.
  • J.S. Blumenthal-Barby, Scott B. Cantor, Heidi V. Russell, Aanand D. Naik, Robert J. Volk.  Decision aids: when ‘nudging’ patients to make a particular choice is more ethical than balanced, nondirective content. Health Affairs 2013 Feb 32(2): 303-310.
  • Heidi Russell, Janki Panchal, Helena VonVille, Luisa Franzini , J. Michael Swint.   Economic evaluation of pediatric cancer treatment: a systemic literature review.  Pediatrics. 2013 Jan;131(1):e273-87. 
  • See full list

Michelle Lopez MD, MPH

Michelle Lopez is a faculty member at the Center for Child Health Policy and Advocacy and an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics in the Section of Hospital Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine/Texas Children’s Hospital. Dr. Lopez completed her MPH in Community Health at UT School of Public Health with a concentration in Health Disparities.

Dr. Lopez’s interests include inpatient resource utilization, patient communication, health disparities and social determinants of health (SDH). She has authored a webcast and chapters on health disparities and SDH. She is currently conducting a randomized control trial with Dr. Bocchini designed to measure the impact of an inpatient SDH screening tool on the family’s ability to enroll in community resources and child health outcomes.  

Selected Publications

  • Keren R, Shah SS, Srivastava R, Rangel S, Bendel-Stenzel M, Harik N, Hartley J, Lopez M, Seguias L, Tieder J, Bryan M, Gong W, Hall M, Localio R, Luan X, deBerardinis R, Parker A. Comparative effectiveness of intravenous vs oral antibiotics for postdischarge treatment of acute osteomyelitis in children. JAMA Pediatr. 2015 Feb; 169(2):120-8. PMID: 25506733.
  • Lopez MA, Cruz AT, Kowalkowski MA, Raphael JL. Trends in hospitalizations and resource utilization for pediatric pertussis. Hosp Pediatr. 2014 Sep; 4(5):269-75. PMID: 25318108; PMCID: PMC4199386.
  • Lopez MA, Cruz AT, Kowalkowski MA, Raphael JL. Factors associated with high resource utilization in pediatric skin and soft tissue infection hospitalizations. Hosp Pediatr. 2013 Oct; 3(4). PMID: 24377057; PMCID: PMC3871213.
  • Lopez MA, Cruz AT, Kowalkowski MA, Raphael JL. Trends in resource utilization for hospitalized children with skin and soft tissue infections. Pediatrics. 2013 Mar; 131(3):e718-25. PMID: 23439899; PMCID: PMC3581839.
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Aman Narayan

Aman Narayan is a 2017 Summer Research Fellow at the Center for Child Health Policy and Advocacy and the Urban Health Program at the Kinder Institute. He is a current senior at Rice University studying Economics and Policy Studies and ultimately aspires to attend medical school. Aman has cultivated a passion for health policy issues throughout his varied public health experiences and is excited to expand upon his interests this summer.

In the Summer of 2015, Aman interned with Harris County Public Health & Environmental Services where he worked on a redevelopment project for the East Aldine community, specifically by examining how the built environment influenced health. In the Summer of 2016, Aman served as an administrative consultant at TIRR Memorial Hermann, where he worked with hospital directors on a variety of independent projects relating to care delivery protocol. Aman was also named a Health, Humanism and Society Scholar at Rice for his yearlong contributions to the University of Texas School of Public Health’s analysis on mental health and primary care integration in Texas.