Center for Applied Health Research (CAHR)

The Center for Applied Health Research (CAHR) supports competitively funded investigator-initiated research to generate applied health knowledge across our health care system.

Founded in 2010 under the guidance of Dr. Alejandro Arroliga, Chief Clinical Innovation Officer, Baylor Scott & White Health, we are a multidisciplinary, system-level research center within the Baylor Scott & White Research Institute (BSWRI) and serve as a collaborative for researchers, clinicians and community leaders who seek to improve health care delivery and health outcomes. The core value of CAHR is to support innovations that lead to improve outcomes and the value of care for our patients and community. We are located in Temple and Dallas, Texas.


Below is a list of CAHR expertise and services:


Through our partnerships with BSWH medical education training programs, CAHR fosters research development and mentorship to cultivate the next generation of researchers.

Research Design

CAHR consultations can support BSWH investigators and clinician scientists in the design and implementation of research projects. This includes model development, evaluation planning and methods of engaging patients and community members.

Care Delivery Models & Program Evaluation

Drawing on CAHR’s extensive experience in chronic disease self-management programs, CAHR supports investigators and innovators in developing and testing innovative healthcare delivery and community care models.

Data Collection

CAHR has expertise in successfully executing research studies including survey/interview administration, recruitment and training of reliable data collectors, and recruiting participants.

Scientific Communication

CAHR actively promotes scientific communication through scholarly publications, policy papers and online platforms dedicated to health-related information.


CAHR facilitates connections with experts both within and outside the BSWH system for potential collaboration, while also offering guidance for collaboration the Baylor Scott & White Research Institute to advance research initiatives.

Research Programs

CAHR's research programs include:

  • Intervention development of community and family support programs for persons with dementia and their family caregivers
  • Implementation science of evidence-based programs leading to innovations in care delivery
  • Dissemination of evidence-based programs/practices for older adults from diverse settings
  • Healthcare delivery implementation programs to address critical illness outside of the ICU
  • Intervention development to support patients and families after critical illness
  • Real-world clinical and economic evidence generation focused on drug therapy outcomes in ambulatory care

Aging and Dementia Care

Description: The research in this area involves family caregiving for person with dementia, translation of evidence-based interventions and transitional care

Program Leader: Alan B. Stevens, PhD, FAPA, FGSA

Current Projects

Comparative Effectiveness of Health System-based versus Community-based Dementia Care; Pragmatic Trial of the Effectiveness and Cost-Effectiveness of Dementia Care

This study compares three different approaches to managing persons with dementia and helping their caregivers. This pragmatic randomized trial is being conducted to determine the comparative effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of two evidence-based models of comprehensive dementia care (Health Systems-based Dementia Care & Community-Based Dementia Care), as well as the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of both arms versus usual care. This is a multi-site clinical trial carried out at four sites-Baylor Scott & White Health (BSWH), University of Texas Medical Branch Health Care System, Wake Forest University, and Geisinger Health. UCLA is the prime site and Yale is the data coordinating center.

More about the study

GamePlan4Care: Web-based Delivery System for REACH II

GamePlan4Care (GP4C) will adapt therapeutic components of an existing evidence-based intervention, Resources for Enhancing Alzheimer’s Caregiver Health II (REACH II), and deliver them online by leveraging modern internet technology with integrated support from an interventionist (Dementia Care Specialist [DCS]) via telephone and video conferencing. The major goal of this project is to create an online family caregiver support system that would facilitate delivery of an evidence-based skills-training and support intervention for dementia caregivers, with the potential of both scalability and sustainability. Once the GP4C system is fully developed, a randomized control trial will be conducted to test the complete system against a control condition, Resources4Care (R4C). R4C will be similar to GP4C in system technical design but differ in system content, availability of skills training exercises tailored to the unique needs of the caregiver, and social support enhanced by online and telephone support from a DCS. The aims are to: 1) Advance the current proof-of-concept GP4C into a viable delivery system for the REACH II Intervention, and 2) Compare the relative impact of GP4C and R4C, both of which include access to a Dementia Care Specialist, on a wide range of family caregiver outcomes.

More about the study

Aging and Healthcare Services

Description: The research in this area involves identifying health status and healthcare service utilizations for geriatric patients within integrated healthcare system

Program Leader: Jinmyoung Cho, PhD, FGSA

Current Projects

A Multidimensional Approach to Studying the Impact of Caregiving on Health among Dementia Caregivers

This study seeks to identify the health risk profiles of ADRD spousal caregivers using self-reported health functioning by merging clinical health indicators and health care utilization data represented in EHR.

More about the study

Racial-ethnic variation in Multiple Chronic Conditions among Oldest-old patients

This study examines racial-ethnic variation in multimorbidity and its impact on healthcare service uses among oldest-old patients with multiple chronic conditions.

More about the study

Evaluation of Dementia Friendly North Central/East Texas Project

This dementia friendly Texas project Is to build a robust system of home and community-based services for persons living with dementia and their caregivers throughout a 30 county area. So, we are working with 14 social service and healthcare partner agencies, our role is to evaluate the progress and achievement in targeted outputs and outcomes of service provisions.

More about the study

Critical Care Research

Description: The research in this area involves recognizing critical illness outside of the ICU and post-acute care of ICU survivors.

Program Leader: Valerie Danesh, PhD, RN, FCCM, FAAN

Current Projects


ICU-acquired long-term cognitive dysfunction (dementia) attributed to surviving critical illness is discernible from clinical, biological, and imaging-related changes in the brain following delirium and critical illness in roughly half of ICU survivors. The goal of the Driving Rehabilitation and Innovation for Evaluating Risk in Post Intensive Care Unit Survivors (DRIVE-PICS) project is to use in-vehicle driving data collection with neurocognitive assessments at 3- and 6-months after hospitalization to develop data-based insights on driving decisions after critical illness.

More about the study

Precision Medicine

Description: The research in this area is focused on building a broad, representative cohort of participants and their health data within the NIH All of Us Research Program, the NIH precision medicine research initiative

Program Leader: Alan B. Stevens, PhD, FAPA, FGSA

Current Projects

The All of Us Research Study (AoU)

The All of Us Research Program is a large research program. The goal is to help researchers understand more about why people get sick or stay healthy. People who join will give us information about their health, habits, and what it’s like where they live. By looking at patterns, researchers may learn more about what affects people’s health. Baylor Scott & White Health is a proud participant of the All of Us Research Program, from the National Institute of Health.

More about the study

Hospital Medicine Research

Description: The research in this area is focused on finding out whether continuous glucose monitoring using the Dexcom G6 Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM) device helps clinical staff maintain glucose readings within the target range during their hospital stay.

Program Leader: Tresea McNeal, MD

Current projects

Continuous Glucose Monitoring of Hospitalized Type II Diabetics Patients: Establishing Evidence and Innovating Practice

The major goal of this project is to systematically investigate the use of continuous glucose monitor in the inpatient care of patients with diabetes mellitus who are receiving care in a hospital setting that is typical of inpatient care.

More about the study

The Health Economics and Outcomes Research (HEOR) Fellowship

Description: The Health Economics and Outcomes Research (HEOR) fellowship program will provide training and hands-on experience in a broad range of health economics, outcomes research, and comparative effectiveness research (CER) as conducted in academic, managed care, hospital, and health policy settings. Fellows learn how to apply HEOR concepts and analytical methods in conducting retrospective database studies, prospective research studies, and economic modelling. The HEOR fellowship provides a framework for gathering, translating, and communicating real-world evidence to help demonstrate value and guide decision-making to key stakeholders in the health care industry.

Pharmacology Program Leader
Paul Godley, PhD

Current Projects

Venous Thromboembolism Transitions of Care Quality Evaluation Study

Assessment of the effectiveness of an education initiative on physician knowledge and confidence in evaluating factors that determine if a patient, upon presenting to the emergency department (ED) with venous thromboembolism (VTE), is a candidate for outpatient treatment.

More about the study

Operationalizing a Treat-to-Target Disease Activity Management Algorithm (DAMA) in Rheumatoid Arthritis

Implementation and assessment of a new rheumatoid arthritis disease management program at a health system specialty pharmacy. The primary outcome examined its impact on treat-to-target goals in patients with rheumatoid arthritis.

More about the study

HIT Clinical Decision Support in Non-valvular Atrial Fibrillation

Implementation of a system-wide best practice alert (BPA) that identifies potential gaps in anticoagulation for non-valvular atrial fibrillation patients at high risk for stroke. The primary outcome examined its impact on the anticoagulation rate of these patients.

More about the study

Retrospective descriptive analysis of a managed care population with obesity

Descriptive retrospective analysis of demographics, comorbidities, and weight change patterns of patients struggling with increased weight or obesity within a health plan population over a five-year period.

More about the study

Outcomes and cost impacts of new anti-diabetic agents for high-risk diabetic patients in Central Texas

Comparison of clinical and economic outcomes among adults with type 2 diabetes newly initiated on SGLT-2is, GLP-1 RAs, and other antidiabetic medications in a real-world setting.

More about the study

Baylor Scott & White Clinical Informatics Fellowship Program

Description: The fellowship provides thorough education in clinical informatics, supported by hands-on experience with health information systems and their design, implementation, and maintenance. Fellows contribute to the transformation of health care by analyzing, designing, implementing, and evaluating information and communication systems that enhance individual and population health outcomes, improve patient care, and strengthen the clinician-patient relationship. Fellows are required to pursue academic research projects, the results of which are disseminated through publication or presentation at academic or professional conferences. The fellowship includes funded enrollment in a comprehensive health informatics graduate certificate program tailored for health care professionals.

Informatics Program Director
Kenneth Youens, MD, MBA
Jacob Minor, MD (Associate Program Director)

More information

Pulmonary and Critical Care Fellowship

Description: The Pulmonary and Critical Care Fellowship Program research electives and corresponding research projects often focus on advancing knowledge and improving clinical outcomes specific to asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), pulmonary fibrosis, Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS), sepsis, and other chronic and critical illnesses. Project designs span retrospective observational and prospective interventional studies.

Critical Care/Pulmonary Program Director
Shekhar Ghamande, MD

Current Projects

Covid coinfection

To assess the impact of coinfections on covid outcomes among the 3 surges over the past 2 and ½ years.

More about the study

ChatGPT utility in education of fellows in a PCCM fellowship

More about the study

Completed Projects

(since 2018)

UW Live Well Initiative Evaluation (PI: Cho, Jinmyoung, PhD)
Evaluation of Model for Alzheimer’s/Dementia Services focused on People Living Alone (MASPLA) (PI: Cho, Jinmyoung, PhD)
Evaluation of Meals on Wheels (MOW) and Hospital Uses (PI: Cho, Jinmyoung, PhD)
Evaluation of REACH-TX (PI: Cho, Jinmyoung, PhD)
Engagement in Heart Failure Care (EHFC)
Supporting, Unifying and Streamlining in Texas through Active Integrated Networks (SUSTAIN)
Meals on Wheels and Social Innovation (SI) Partnership
Evidencetoprograms.com: Toolkit for Identifying, Selecting and Implementing Evidence-Based Program
The Change Leaders for Health Aging Communities-Partnering for Choice (PfC): A Systems Approach to Advance Care Planning

Our Team

Alan B. Stevens, PhD, FAPA, FGSA

Alan B. Stevens, PhD, FAPA, FGSA, holds the endowed Vernon D. Holleman-Lewis M. Rampy Centennial Chair in Gerontology at Baylor Scott & White Health (BSWH) and is the Director of the Center for Applied Health Research (CAHR), a system-level research center within the Baylor Scott & White Research Institute. As Director of CAHR, he promotes collaborative health research exploring the impact of innovative care models on population health within healthcare and community settings. Currently, he leads two research programs embedded in CAHR.

More about Dr. Stevens

Jinmyoung Cho, PhD, FGSA

Jinmyoung Cho is a Research Investigator at Baylor Scott & White Research Institute. She is also an Adjunct Assistant Professor of School of Public Health and Faculty Affiliate of Center for Population in Aging at the Texas A&M Health Science Center. As a gerontologist, Dr. Cho’s research aims to improve health and well-being among older adults and caregivers from diverse settings. Funded by the National Institute on Aging, her research has been dedicated to utilizing electronic health records (EHR) to identify older adults and caregivers at high-risk healthcare utilization and improve their health status and healthcare outcomes.

Valerie Danesh, PhD, RN, FCCM, FAAN

Dr. Valerie Danesh is a Research Scientist at Baylor Scott & White Health in Texas. As a health services researcher with a background in critical care nursing, her research contributes to linking nurse-led surveillance and interventions with patient outcomes to address quality and safety needs for hospitalized patients across the continuum, from pre-ICU care to ICU recovery. Currently, her research includes examinations of cognitive impairment and driving safety after critical illness and intervention development to test peer support interventions for ICU survivors.

Paul J. Godley, Pharm.D, FASHP

Dr. Godley is the Director of Clinical Pharmacy Services at Baylor Scott & White Health Memorial Hospital and Clinics, as well as Director for the Scott and White Health Plan’s Clinical Pharmacy Services from 1992-2016. He accepted his current position in 2016 as System Director for Specialty Pharmacy Clinical Services and continues to hold an appointment as Associate Professor with the University of Texas at Austin. Dr Godley has also served as the Program Director for the Baylor Scott and White Health Economics and Outcomes Research Fellowship Program for 20 years. His principal interest is in chronic disease management, health economics and outcomes research. He has co-authored over one-hundred and fifty research articles and abstracts.

Shekhar Ghamande, MD

Dr. Ghamande is a Pulmonologist at Baylor Scott & White Health and also the Critical Care/Pulmonary Program Director. He joined Baylor Scott & White in 2011 and has been the program director since 2013. He is currently professor of Medicine at Baylor college of Medicine and continues as Clinical Professor at Texas A & M University. His principal research interests include viral pneumonias, ARDS, sepsis, COPD exacerbations, COPD readmissions. He has co-authored 80 publications and is on the American College of chest physician network committees on non-pulmonary critical care as well as CHEST infections diseases. He has multiple presentations at annual meetings of the American College of chest physicians and has chaired several sessions.

Kenneth Youens, MD, MBA

Dr. Youens is a clinical informaticist and pathologist at Baylor Scott & White Health. He is the Program Director of the BSWH Clinical Informatics Fellowship, a subspecialty fellowship training program designed to prepare physicians for leadership roles in clinical informatics. Dr. Youens’s primary clinical and administrative role is as system medical director for laboratory informatics, in which capacity he works to develop, implement, and refine clinical information systems, particularly as they impact clinical workflows and business processes. Dr. Youens’s current research interests include the use of artificial intelligence tools to support provider expertise, and healthcare information system innovations designed to reduce burnout.

Sybila E Godoy, CMI-Spanish,
BSHCA-Supervisor Clinical Research

Sybila Godoy is the Supervisor for Clinical Research at CAHR. She has a Bachelor of Science in healthcare administration at Brigham Young University-Idaho, an Associate of Arts in psychology, and a national certification as a medical interpreter-Spanish. Her background as a medical interpreter gave her exposure to a variety of settings, patients and experiences that she is utilizing here. She helps with the coordination of the project between participants, research assistants, interventionists and the sponsor.

Donna Parker,
LBSW-Health & Community Interventionist

Donna is a licensed baccalaureate social worker and has completed a Bachelor of Science in social and human services. She has over 25 years of experience in social services with 20 years in developing and managing social services, adult, and children’s programs. She is a Health and Community Interventionist at Baylor Scott & White.

Donna has a unique background in program management, program development and project management. Her experience in social services has given her the unique ability to communicate and transfer job knowledge and skills to all levels within an organization. She has experience working with both adults and children in multiple delivery and service settings. Most recently, Donna has worked with adults with dementia in the Veterans-directed program and community settings. Her background as a social worker has given her exposure in a variety of settings and she is utilizing this experience to work closely with a variety of staff at different levels and working with the community, assisting with recruitment and retention within the research projects

Breann Collins,
Clinical Research Assistant

Breann Collins is a Clinical Research Assistant at Baylor Scott and White Health. She is currently pursuing a degree in healthcare management at Franklin University. She has over 10 years of experience in patient care. For the study, Breann will be assisting in recruitment, enrollment and data collection for the caregiver.

Jordan Reese, PMP, LSSB,
Project Manager/Site Coordinator

Jordan Reese is a Senior Research Project Manager/Site Coordinator at Baylor Scott & White Health. He has a Bachelor of Science in operations research from the United States Military Academy at West Point. He previously served in the Army as a Captain leading field artillery teams/units. He works with the principal investigator and team members to plan, organize, implement, and monitor research project protocols. He conducts risk analysis and implements mitigation measures to ensure the day-to-day activities are streamlined/safe and that the research project yields the best possible experience for the patients and their loved ones.

Sitara Abraham, MPH, PMP,
Project Manager

Sitara Abraham is a Project Manager at Baylor Scott & White Health. Sitara is a certified Project Management Professional with a breadth of experience and expertise in project management. She works with principal investigators to plan, organize, and implement research project protocols, coordinates and provides technical direction of work activities to ensure effective completion of projects, manages day-to-day activities including applications and reports to IRB, and monitors progress towards goals and implementation of project tasks. Her research interests include program design, implementation and best practices in program evaluation of rigorous, collaborative and theory-driven evaluations. She has a Bachelor of Science in biology from Texas A&M University and a Master of Public Health in community health policy and management from the University of Texas School of Public Health.

Jennifer Thorud, MPH,
Research Associate

Jennifer is a Research Associate at Baylor Scott & White Health. She has a background in both public health and applied health research including project management; data management and interpretation; manuscript and grant development; program evaluation; and overseeing public health surveillance and infectious disease outbreak response. She completed her graduate training at the University of Iowa, earning a Master of Public Health in epidemiology.

Karin Myers, PMP,
Manager, Research Shared Services

Karin Myers is a Senior Research Project Manager at Baylor Scott & White Health. Karin holds a BSBA in human resource and minoring in agricultural business from The Ohio State University, and an MBA from Franklin University. Karin obtained her Project Management Professional (PMP) Certification in 2020. Before joining BSWH, Karin was a consultant with Infor Software, Inc. flying around the world to implement enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems at healthcare organizations. While working on the Cleveland Clinic implementation, she won Employee of the Quarter. Stepping into the role as the All of Us research program manager, Karin worked together with Dr. Stevens to re-establish this important program

All of Us Workstream

Karin Myers, PMP,
Manager, Research Shared Services

Jason Ettlinger,
Manager, Research Shared Services

As manager of research and research data support services at Baylor Scott and White Research Institute for twelve years, Jason has had the opportunity to support nearly a thousand unique studies. At the same time managing a full research center conducting NIH funded research, specialized in research data support, through EHR data extraction, the development of analytical data sets, and the use of REDCap for surveys and clinical data capture. Jason has worked on multi-site studies organized by the CDC to conduct vaccine effectiveness work in flu and covid and have maintained data-focused research network partnerships such as with PCORNet and the Healthcare Services Research Network (HCSRN). He has the privilege to mentor staff, particularly around Epic data extraction, and received training in Epic Clarity with eight years’ experience managing Epic data work. Jason also oversees the team maintaining REDCap system at Baylor Scott and White Health.

Nursamaa Abdoel,
Research Project Coordinator I

Nursamaa Abdoel is a Research Program Coordinator at Baylor Scott & White Health. She was born and raised in Caracas, Venezuela. Nursamaa did basic scientific research in early T cell signaling mechanisms in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus for more than 15 years. She is currently the retention lead for the All of Us research program for BSWH, where she works closely with the principal investigator, project manager and team leaders to coordinate efforts, make recommendations and plan accordingly to accomplish project goals. She reviews reports, analyzes data, organizes, and prioritizes outreach efforts for the team to effectively meet expected standards, as well as assists with front facing communication to participants to engage and retain them throughout the scope of the research program. Nursamaa is bilingual (fluent in English and Spanish), has a Bachelor of Science in biology from Universidad Central de Venezuela and a PhD in Immunology from Instituto Venezolano de Investigaciones Científicas.

Jessica Prather,
Research Project Coordinator I

Jessica is a Research Project Coordinator at Baylor Scott & White Health. Her background in exercise science and nutrition research has provided the opportunity to contribute to refereed journals and present at prestigious conferences, which highlight her commitment to academic excellence. Pursuing a Doctor of Philosophy in leadership, Jessica's thirst for knowledge and personal growth is evident. She currently serves as the engagement lead for the All of Us research program, where she actively collaborates with team members and community partners to enhance participant engagement. With a passion for advancing research and making a positive impact, Jessica consistently demonstrates a commitment to excellence in her work.

Shirmia Artis,
Research Project Coordinator I

Shirmia Artis is a Research Project Coordinator with the All of Us research program at Baylor Scott & White Health. Shirmia has been with the program since 2018, and has been promoted to the quality assurance/biobank lead and super trainer. She oversees five different Central and North Texas sites. Shirmia comes from a background in laboratory and compliance with 20 years of experience. Shirmia graduated from Trident University International with a master’s degree in health Science, public health epidemiology. She is currently a PhD student at Walden University, obtaining her doctorate in public health epidemiology. She is a member of the Alpha Beta Kappa (ABK) honors society, Golden Key International Honour Society, and the National Society of Leadership and Success (NSLS) Honors Society. Shirmia plans to continue working in research to become a principal investigator.

Stephen Sequiera,
Analytics Developer I

Stephen Sequeira is the IT Lead for the All of Us research program at Baylor Scott and White Health, under the auspices of the Center for Applied Health Research. His responsibilities include data collection, reporting, and IT support. He has a background in the healthcare insurance industry, having worked for a TriCare contractor and a benefits enrollment vendor. He has a Bachelor of Science degree and is Epic certified.

Resource Pool

Dr. Stevens & the workstream leads are supported by a robust staff of team members who engage with participants on a daily basis.

Clinical Research Coordinator I
  • Ashley Bocanegra
  • Melina Basnight
  • Adela Smith
  • Carla Martinez
Clinical Research Assistant I
  • Ciana Pablo
  • Amber Hickey
  • Linda Lagunes
  • Ashley Horton
  • Ailene Hert
Health & Community Interventionist
  • Donna Parker
Research Enrollment Analyst
  • Chris Brown
  • Samantha Beevers (PRN) 

Current and Past Funding Sources

Our diverse research programs demonstrate collaborative efforts with various organizations, including, Texas A&M Health Science Center, The University of Texas, national foundations and numerous health-oriented community-based organizations across Texas.

  • National Institutes of Health (NIH)
  • Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI)
  • National Institutes on Aging (NIA)
  • Administration for Community Living (ACL)
  • United Way of Tarrant County, TX
  • Toyota Motor North America
  • Pfizer
  • Novo Nordisk
  • Astra Zenica

Contact Us

We want to hear from you if you are interested in partnering with us or if you want more information on the projects above, have any questions, comments or recommendations.

Central Division

Physical location:
Baylor Scott and White West Campus
5701 Airport Rd
Temple, TX 76502

Mailing address:
2401 South 31st Street
Temple, TX 76508

North Texas Division

3434 Live Oak St
Dallas, TX 75204