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Meet the Core Partners

The Core Partners share extensive expertise in the social model of disability, health care, and the measurement of health outcomes in the context of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). Together, this group articulated the project’s core ideas in the proposal to the Administration for Community Living (ACL). Core Partner institutions are engaged in piloting and evaluating the interprofessional education (IPE) curriculum and protocols developed during the project.

Sarah Ailey

Sarah H. Ailey, Ph.D., RN, PHNA-BC, CNE, CDDN, FAAN

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR (PI)

Dr. Ailey is a professor in the Department of Community, Systems, and Mental Health Nursing at Rush University. Dr. Ailey is an internationally recognized champion in the advancement of scholarship and professional practice in the care for people with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities.

Dianne Cooney Miner

Dianne Cooney Miner, Ph.D., RN, FAAN

CO-INVESTIGATOR (CO-I)

Dr. Cooney Miner is the executive director of the Golisano Institute for Developmental Disability Nursing and dean emeritus of the Wegmans School of Nursing at St. John Fisher College. Dr. Cooney Miner’s visionary leadership around healthcare education and policy teams is world-renowned, making her a perfect partner for the PATH-PWIDD work.

Beth Marks, Ph.D., RN, FAAN

CO-INVESTIGATOR (CO-I)

Dr. Marks is a research associate professor in the Department of Disability and Human Development at the University of Illinois at Chicago. She is the past president of the National Organization of Nurses with Disabilities and co-directs the HealthMatters Program and research programs related to the empowerment and advancement of people with disabilities through health promotion initiatives and primary health care.

Jasmina Sisirak

Jasmina Sisirak, Ph.D., MPH

CO-INVESTIGATOR (CO-I)

Dr. Sisirak is the co-director of the HealthMatters Program and a research assistant professor in the Department of Disability and Human Development at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Dr. Sisirak’s research interests include health promotion, nutrition, health literacy, community-based research, interventions, and curriculum design for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their caregivers.

Brian Abery

Brian Abery, Ph.D.

CO-INVESTIGATOR (CO-I)

Dr. Abery is the co-director of the Research and Training Center on Outcome Measurement and the Global Resource Center for Inclusive Education at the University of Minnesota. He has been the Principal Investigator of numerous projects designed to enhance the educational outcomes, social inclusion, and self-determination of persons with disabilities at a national and international level.

Renata Ticha

Renata Ticha, Ph.D.

CO-INVESTIGATOR (CO-I)

Dr. Ticha is a research associate at the Institute on Community Integration at the University of Minnesota and co-directs the Research and Training Center on Outcome Measurement and the Global Resource Center for Inclusive Education. She has extensive experience developing and implementing assessment and intervention materials for children, youth, and adults with different types of disabilities.

Suzanne Smeltzer

Suzanne Smeltzer, Ed.D., RN, ANEF, FAAN

CO-INVESTIGATOR (CO-I)

Dr. Smeltzer is the inaugural Richard and Marianne Kreider Endowed Professor in Nursing for Vulnerable Populations at Villanova University. Dr. Smeltzer is an internationally known scholar, researcher, educator, and author in the care of persons with disabilities. Dr. Smeltzer is an advocate who is committed to making health promotion practices and services more accessible for all.