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Center for Health Equity Research and Promotion

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Center for Health Equity Research and Promotion Leadership


Michael Fine, MD, MSc (Director)

Dr. Fine is a general internist with a 25-year track record conducting research on the quality and equity of care for vulnerable patients (e.g., racial and ethnic minorities, women, elderly, HIV+) with common medical problems (e.g., pneumonia, diabetes). He conceptualized and oversaw the development of CHERP and has served as its Director since 2001. Dr. Fine collaborated with CHERP colleagues to develop a widely cited conceptual framework for advancing the field of health equity research, published numerous influential editorials, and conducted original research in the field.  Dr. Fine co-chaired the VA Equality Workgroup that established the Office for Health Equity in 2011, and has represented VA as a council member of the National Institute for Minority Health and Health Disparities since 2002. He is the prior recipient of a K24 NIH Mid-Career Development Award and has mentored more than 55 trainees and junior faculty at VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System (VAPHS) and University of Pittsburgh.



Judith Long, MD (Co-Director)

Dr. Long’s research focuses on social determinants of health and health care especially as they pertain to socioeconomic and racial disparities. Dr. Long’s current work focuses on interventions to support behavioral change in low-income patients with chronic diseases. She recently completed two studies funded by NIH evaluating the effectiveness of peer mentoring and financial incentives to improve glucose control in African Americans with poorly controlled diabetes. Both studies were randomized controlled trials (RCT). She is also the PI of a RCT evaluating how best to create sustainable peer mentor models for the VA. This study is being funded by VA HSR&D.



Sonya Borrero, MD, MS (Associate Director, Pittsburgh)

Dr. Borrero's research examines gender and racial disparities in health care, with a focus on reproductive health care. Dr. Borrero is interested in understanding how patient-level and provider/system-level factors contribute to health care disparities. She has conducted secondary data analyses to investigate racial/ethnic differences in the use of tubal sterilization and poststerilization regret. She is currently examining the roles of patient preference, knowledge, and patient-provider communication in observed racial differences in contraceptive use. Dr. Borrero leads the VA Women’s Health Research Consortium Disparities Workgroup and is now leading a program for underrepresented minority medical students to stimulate their pursuit of scholarly projects in health services research.  




Melissa Dichter, PhD, MSW (Associate Director, Philadelphia)

Dr. Dichter's current research focuses on identifying and responding to the psychosocial needs of women military Veterans, particularly as related to the experience of intimate partner violence and associated social health concerns, including reproductive health, parenting, housing, social support, and economic stability.

Center for Health Equity Research and Promotion Steering Committee

The national steering committee that guides our COIN is chaired by Nancy Kressin, PhD, a national leader in VA Health Equity Research, and includes leaders from the host VA Medical Centers, academic affiliates, and national VA offices and centers that share CHERP's commitment to improving the quality and equity of Veteran health and health care. In addition, the steering committee includes VA leaders in information technology and systems engineering to support our implementation efforts, a national leader in VA Pharmacy Benefits Management to support our emerging focus on clinical therapeutics, and national experts in health equity research.

Click Here for the complete list of the CHERP national steering committee members.