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Meet our team

The Virginia Commonwealth University Office of Health Innovation is composed of specialists with expertise spanning policy, data analysis, health care, health administration, government relations, strategic planning, community partnerships and other areas. Combined, these talents provide the VCU Medical Center and the local community an invaluable resource in planning for the future of health care in Virginia and beyond.

Contact us to share in our expertise. If you’re not sure whom to contact, email

Administrative team

Sheryl Garland

Vice president for health policy and community relations, VCU Health System

(804) 828-1290

Garland established and oversees the Office of Health Innovation. Since 2002, she has been developing relationships on the federal, state and local levels to address the access and funding needs of vulnerable populations.


B.A., Wake Forest University

Areas of expertise

Anne Massey

Director of sponsored projects and program planning

(804) 828-8120

Massey is responsible for researching and identifying funding opportunities; assisting with pre-award activities including proposal and budget development, grant writing and editing; providing project management support; and coordinating with the Office of Sponsored Programs.


B.S.W., Rutgers University

Areas of expertise

Towanda Vaughan

Department administrator

(804) 828-9008

Vaughan is responsible for human resource administration, financial accounting and resource management, budget development and management, and post-award administration for grants and contracts.



Areas of expertise

Susan H. Cross

Administrative assistant

(804) 828-8301

Cross assists with the day-to-day operations of the Office of Health Innovation.


A.S., Richard Bland College

Areas of expertise

Health policy initiatives team

Karah L. Gunther

Executive director, Office of Government Relations and Health Policy

(804) 828-6879

Gunther plans, coordinates and executes an overall government relations program for VCU and VCU Health. She works with the governor’s administration, the Virginia General Assembly and the Virginia congressional delegation on issues of health care policy, including Medicaid and Medicare reimbursement, physician issues and health care regulatory matters.


B.A., University of Virginia
J.D., Washington and Lee University

Areas of expertise

Legislative and budget advocacy at the state and federal levels

Benjamin A. Paul

Health policy analyst

(804) 828-5274

Paul researches and analyzes federal, state, and local policies that impact VCU Health.  He communicates these policies with University, VCU Health, and community stakeholders throughout the commonwealth.


B.A., University of Richmond
M.P.P., University of Virginia Batton School of Public Policy

Areas of expertise

Medicare and Medicaid financing, delivery, and reform.

Data analytics team

Federico A. Puma

Systems analyst

(804) 628-4621

Dr. Puma is responsible for the development and maintenance of the Office of Health Innovation's analytic and research database.  He assures the data is accurate, timely, and "analytic ready" for the analysts on the team.  He has over twenty years of experience in systems planning, development, and patient information management.


Electronics engineering: telecommunications, Army Polytechnic School, Quito-Ecuador
Electrical metrology, National Institute of Standards and Technology
Ph.D., VCU

Areas of expertise

SQL databases, systems development and analysis, clinical and billing data systems

Jennifer Ohashi

Lead evaluation coordinator and data analyst

(804) 828-8558

Ohashi plans, coordinates, and conducts process and outcome evaluations of health care delivery models and special projects in the Office of Health Innovation.  She has experience in qualitative research, project management, and evaluation across various clinical fields, including cancer and end-stage renal disease (ESRD) for Medicare patients.


B.A., University of Virginia

Areas of expertise

Qualitative research, project management, and evaluation.

Scott H. Clark

Geographic information system analyst

(804) 828-7424

Clark conducts geospatial data analysis for the Office of Health Innovation.  He creates maps to visualize health care outcomes in the community.  He has more than two decades of experience in information systems and urban planning.


B.A., The University at Albany
Post-baccalaureate Certificate in Information Systems, VCU

Areas of expertise

Data and mapping

Matthew DePuccio

Graduate assistant

(804) 828-7411

DePuccio applies principles of health services research to evaluate population health management models that address social determinants of health.  He has experience conducting qualitative and quantitative research on patient-centered medical homes and team-based care in ambulatory settings.


B.S. , St. Lawrence University
M.S., University at Albany, State University of New York

Areas of expertise

Health services research, program evaluation, and statistical analyses of health care data.

Alicia Brooks

Evaluation coordinator and data analyst

(804) 828-6677

Brooks conducts statistical analysis on healthcare data to evaluate health care delivery models for program and senior management at VCUHS as well as partners in the community.


B.S., High Point University
M.P.H., University of Georgia

Areas of expertise

Epdemiology, statistical analysis, healthcare data.

Safety net provider initiative

Steven Crossman, M.D.

Associate professor, VCU Department of Family Medicine and Population Health

(804) 828-9779


B.S., The College of William and Mary

Areas of expertise

Community medicine, global health and doctor-patient relationship

Partner with us

We’d like to help you bring your innovative idea to fruition. Contact us to start a relationship, learn more about what we do or share in our expertise.

Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center Office of Health Innovation One Capitol Square, 23rd floor, Suite 2310 830 East Main Street Richmond, Virginia 23298-0622 Phone: (804) 828-8301 Fax: (804) 828-2118 Email: Updated: Created by University Relations