Meet Our Team and Learn More About Our Research in Rural Healthcare

The Center for Rural Health Care Delivery Science is led by Program Co-Directors Mark A. Creager, MD, and Sandra L. Wong, MD, MS.

Mark A. Creager, MD

Dr. Marc Creager

Dr. Creager is the Emeritus Director of the Heart and Vascular Center at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center (DHMC) and the Anna Gundlach Huber Professor of Medicine at Geisel School of Medicine. He is a director (PI) of an American Heart Association (AHA) Vascular Disease Strategically Focused Research Network (SFRN) Center, a large program project grant focused on elucidating mechanisms, defining predictors, evaluating pharmacotherapies in people with vascular disease and ultimately determining how integrated care in high-risk populations, particularly those with health disparities, could reduce the burden of disease at a population level.

Prior to his position at DHMC, he was professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and director of the Vascular Center at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, where he was PI of an NIH/NHLBI K12 Clinical and Research Training Program for Academic Vascular Medicine Specialists (K12 HL083786), and PI of two NIH/NHLBI R01 grants (R01 HL091750; R01 HL075771). Over his career, he has mentored more than 40 medical residents/fellows and early-career faculty. As president of the AHA and member of its National Board of Directors, he was engaged in numerous public initiatives aimed at improving cardiovascular health through preventative measures like lifestyle modifications and addressing access to care, affordability and disparities.

Learn more about Dr. Creager's current research.

Dr. Creager serves as a PI of one of the three projects for the AHA SFRN, which is assessing multidisciplinary treatment strategies to reduce disparities and improve outcomes in people with diabetes and peripheral artery disease. He is a co-investigator of an NIH UM1 (UM1 HL147371), whose goals are to integrate rural people who need medical care in clinical trials conducted by the NIH Cardiothoracic Surgical Trials Network, expand the capacity of cardiothoracic surgery research in northern New England and develop strategies to implement research findings to rural communities.

View Dr. Creager's publication list.

Sandra L. Wong, MD, MS

Dr. Sandra Wong

Dr. Wong is the William N. and Bessie Allyn Professor of Surgery and Chair of the Department of Surgery at DHMC and Geisel. She is also a professor of TDI. Her current federally-funded research program includes evaluating rural disparities in cancer surgery (1R01CA248470, MPI) and developing and implementing an electronic symptom management platform for people undergoing surgery or systemic treatment (UM1CA233080, MPI). Over her career, Dr. Wong has mentored more than 40 undergraduate/PhD/medical students, residents/fellows or early-career faculty and has received numerous teaching awards.

She has taught and developed professional development and leadership training courses with a focus on women and those underrepresented in medicine. Dr. Wong is a nationally recognized leader in surgical oncology and health services research, and is past president of the Society of Surgical Oncology, the Society of University Surgeons and the Society of Surgical Chairs.

Learn more about Dr. Wong’s current research.

She currently serves as principal investigator (PI) on an NIH/NCI R01 (1R01CA248470) that evaluates rural disparities in cancer surgery (1R01CA248470, MPI), including how geography intersects with race, ethnicity and socioeconomic status to exacerbate differences in access, quality and outcomes. She is also PI of an NIH/NCI UM1 (UM1CA233080, MPI) that is evaluating the development and implementation of an electronic symptom management platform for people undergoing surgery or systemic treatment.

View Dr. Wong's publication list.

Administrative and Mentoring (A&M) Core

Learn more about the Administrative and Mentoring (A&M) Core.

Statistics, Informatics, and Qualitative Methods (SIQM) Core

Learn more about the Statistics, Informatics, and Qualitative Methods (SIQM) Core.

Community Engagement and Outreach (CEO) Core

Learn more about the Community Engagement and Outreach (CEO) Core.

Research operations and administration

  • Cassandra Brugger, MA – Research Cores Operations Manager
  • Elaine Geffken – Program Assistant

Current research project leaders

Rian M. Hasson, MD

Rian M. Hasson, MD

Dr. Hasson is a thoracic surgeon at DHMC. She trained in General Surgery at Brigham and Women's Hospital, which included a two-year postdoctoral research fellowship, followed by clinical fellowships in cardiothoracic surgery and advanced general thoracic surgery at the Ohio State Wexner Medical Center and Mayo Clinic, Rochester, respectively. She recently earned an MPH from TDI. Her previous studies systematically explored the lung cancer screening landscape in New Hampshire and Vermont to evaluate current processes, lung cancer positivity rates, and screening attrition rates, as well as rural population perceptions of lung cancer screening. This work led to a better understanding of the knowledge gaps, barriers, and facilitators to screening, and described screening preferences. Learn about her ongoing Community-Based Participatory Research Program at our Center, "Mobile units for cancer screening."

Emily P. Zeitler, MD, MHS

Emily P. Zeitler, MD, MHS

Dr. Zeitler is a cardiac electrophysiologist at DHMC. Her body of work focuses on cardiovascular clinical outcomes and health policy and builds on clinical training and research completed during fellowships at Duke University and the Duke Clinical Research Institute. Prior to that, Dr. Zeitler served as a medical device officer at the US Food and Drug Administration, participating in the regulatory activities related to cardiovascular medical devices. She has experience designing and working with data from regional and national databases, administrative claims and clinical trials, and has participated in multi-stakeholder working groups to address systematic shortcomings of cardiovascular investigation and health policy evaluation. Learn about her current Digital Health Utilization Research Program at our Center, "Remote monitoring for cardiac arrhythmia."

Internal Advisory Committee

External Advisory Committee