Meet the PERC Team

Our dedicated research professionals will be completing studies with real-world data that will help refute and pre-empt traditional randomized clinical trials. The research team brings a variety of expertise to the design of Patient Engaged Research Center and the study of the data collected here.

Our team’s specialties range from Women's Health to Pediatrics and continues to involve various Henry Ford departments and services.

Meet our team: 

Christine Joseph, PhDChristine Johnson, Ph.D., M.P.H., is the Chair of the Public Health Sciences Department at Henry Ford Health and the lead investigator for the Patient-Engaged Research Center (PERC). Dr. Johnson has a wide range of research interests including Pharmacoepidemiology related to cancer and other diseases, cancer screening and survival, and behavioral intervention studies. Her leadership role in PERC includes collaboration with physicians and the national research community to ensure publication and implementation of our evidence-based findings. Meet Dr. Johnson.



Karen E. Kippen, MSA MT (ASCP), is the Executive Director of the Patient-Engaged Research Center (PERC). Karen is a Senior National Baldrige Examiner with a focus on strategic planning and customer engagement. Her leadership role in PERC includes oversight of the Center’s resources and activities and outreach to stakeholders and researchers both inside and outside of Henry Ford Health. Karen also serves as the All of Us Patient Advisory Council Champion.



Dana MurphyDana Murphy, BA is the Project Manager of the Patient Engaged Research Center (PERC). She manages the Patient Advisor Program, a sustainable, Henry Ford Health system-wide initiative where patients and caregivers partner with stakeholders to advise on process improvement efforts and provide feedback to make healthcare and research more patient-centered. She develops and maintains recruitment and onboarding of new advisors, training workshops and materials, and retention of program participants. She also collaborates and trains staff and administration that partner with Patient Advisors. She is responsible for the placement of Patient Advisors on councils, committees, and other projects. She also leads the strategic planning process and development of new Patient & Family Advisor Councils (PFAC). Dana has worked with PERC and the Patient Advisor Program since 2017 and is passionate about bringing patient and caregiver voices to the table.

Sara Santarossa, Ph.D is an Assistant Scientist in the Department of Public Health Sciences, working closely with the Mom and Baby Research Studies and the Center for Allergy, Asthma and Immunology Research (CAAIR). She is also the Scientific Director of the Patient-Engaged Research Center. She is committed to using diverse participant-driven methodologies that combine both qualitative and quantitative approaches and has expertise in engaging with diverse communities to improve patient-centered outcomes. Much of her work uses a mixed method approach that enriches quantitative measures of behavioral interventions with qualitative data collection, including surveys, interviews, and focus groups. She also has experience with collecting and analyzing qualitative multimedia, including thematic analysis of visual and audiovisual data (e.g., photovoice projects that include images and/or videos posted on social media). Moreover, she has employed cutting-edge innovations in analyzing qualitative data, such as computer coding (e.g., Leximancer, Netlytic) to produce conceptual extraction (i.e., thematic) and relational (i.e., semantic) analyses. Dr. Santarossa is committed to translating research to create knowledge mobilization outcomes and impacts (e.g., infographics, interactive workshops/handouts, webinars). Meet Dr. Santarossa

Ashley Rapp, MPH, is an Epidemiologist in the Department of Public Health Sciences, focused on research methods and data analysis. As a proud team member of the Mom and Baby Research Studies, she facilitates stakeholder collaborations and outreach. Leveraging her training in survey methodology, Ashley consults on various evaluation efforts for the health system, including provider experience surveys and Diversity Equity Inclusion and Justice efforts. On PERC, she assists with project planning, mixed-method data analysis, and grant and manuscript preparation.



Leah Copeland, BA is the Project Coordinator of the Patient Engaged Research Center. She supports the Patient Advisor Program, which was developed to empower patients and caregivers to ask questions, be involved, and actively participate in system initiatives and projects that improve patient quality of life. Leah recruits, onboards, and supports the PERC Project Manager in the coordination of councils and committees, the placement of Patient Advisors within the health system, and keeps patients and caregivers at the center of PERC initiatives.

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