Our people


Dr. Wardibo Allison

Waridibo Allison MD, PhD, FACP, CPE, FIDSA

Vice President of Health Policy and Center Director

Dr. Waridibo Allison is Vice President of Health Policy in the Division of Research and Innovation and Associate Professor in the Department of Medical Education. She is Executive Director of the HSC Center for Health Policy. Dr. Allison believes health care is a human right and the focus of her work is on improving access to health care for underserved, marginalized populations by combating disease specific, racial, cultural, gender-based, geographical, and economical barriers to health care access from the individual to the health systems level. This includes telementoring and work force development. Her work has received consistent federal funding for several years. She is the principal investigator and program director of the multi-million-dollar Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) funded national Rural Telementoring Training Center and Integration of the National HIV Curriculum e-learning Platform into Health Care Professions Programs project.


Aamana Burney 2Aamana Burney, BA, CHW

Research Assistant

Aamana Burney is the Research Assistant for TAKE on HIV, for which she provides support in all aspects of the project including planning, development, & implementation.  She graduated from the University of Texas at Dallas with a Bachelor of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies with course foundations in Political Science and Business Managment with a concentration in public health. She is also a Texas Department of State Health Services licensed Community Health Worker. She is very passionate about public service and community engagement and has volunteered and worked in many roles with various different government agencies and organizations such as the City of Fort Worth Mayor and Council Offices, the U.S. Census Bureau and College Bound UT Dallas, serving high needs, low-income communities aiming to provide residents with much needed resources.


Kristen Cathey

Kristen Cathey, BFA

Senior Project Coordinator

Kristen Cathey serves as Senior Project Coordinator at the University of North Texas Health Science Center, Department of Research and Innovation, Center for Health Policy.  She provides administrative and financial reporting support for the Rural Telementoring Training Center.  Ms. Cathey earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Art with an emphasis in printmaking from Texas Christian University.  She has over twenty years of non-profit arts management experience with a background in ticket services and financial operations.   Ms. Cathey seeks to create a landscape of healthier communities with universal access to care that utilizes a whole health approach.



Aro ChoiAro Choi, MS

Senior Research Associate  /  Statistician

Aro Choi serves as a Senior Research Associate at the University of North Texas Health Science Center, Department of Research and Innovation, Center for Health Policy. She provides statistical expertise for the Center for Health Policy. Before joining the UNT Health Science Center, Ms. Choi worked with extensive clinical and pharmaceutical data from various agencies, including Duke Clinical Research Institute, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, and The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. Ms. Choi earned a Master of Science in Biostatistics from Duke University. Her research interest is to promote the well-being of rural and remote health care workers and to develop measurements for occupational determinants of health.



Charde' Jones

Charde’ Jones

Senior Administrative Coordinator

Charde’ Jones serves as the Senior Administrator, Executive Support for the Center for Health Policy in the Division of Research and Innovation. Ms. Jones joined the UNT Health Science Center in 2018 and has served in various office management roles assisting high-level executives, facilitating all aspects of internal and external communications and coordinating special projects. As part of her experience, Ms. Jones has helped improve office procedures, managed office budget tracking systems all while maintaining a high degree of excellent customer care.




Trisha MelhadoTrisha Melhado, MPH

Evaluation Staff Lead

Trisha Melhado leads evaluation efforts across the Center for Health Policy and the Rural Telementoring Training Center, including the development of telementoring quality measure toolkit and dissemination of program findings. As a Senior Research Specialist, she provides research guidance to faculty and residents on all aspects of the research process with an emphasis on study methodology and statistical analysis. She has collaborated with teams across institutions to implement multi-year grant funded projects from the state and federal grantors, including the following: Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas, National Institute on Aging, National Institutes of Health, National Cancer Institute, Department of Defense, and Health Resources and Services Administration. She has presented research at local and international conferences in addition to co-authoring publications based on her analytical contributions.



Rashana Raggs Web 2

Rashana E. Raggs, MEd

Senior Project Coordinator

Rashana “Shana” Raggs serves as the Senior Project Coordinator at the University of North Texas Health Science Center, Department of Research and Innovation, Center for Health Policy. She comes to us with a Masters in Health Education and HIV program planning coordination experience. She has provided support with compiling Ending the HIV Epidemic action plans for the Austin/Travis County area submitted to the CDC through the Texas Department of State Health Services, as well as possessing experience with grant reviewal and grant proposal writing. Rashana previously provided support for Austin’s HIV Planning Council utilizing Ryan White Part A and B grant funds and facilitated Boards and Commission meetings. She prides herself on being an active board member and community liaison for the 501©3 organization “ATX Black Pride” from 2019-2021. She comes with an extensive community service background and hopes to continue providing community outreach through the projects she is working on while in this role.


Blake Ross

Blake Ross, MPH

Research Assistant

Blake Ross is a Research Assistant at the University of North Texas Health Science Center, Department of Research and Innovation, Center for Health Policy. He earned his Masters of Public Health in Epidemiology from UNTHSC.  As a part of his MPH practicum, Mr. Ross spent time working with urban farming projects and discount food events in Southeast Fort Worth and gathered extensive data on the food inventory of vendors across Tarrant County.  From these experiences, his professional desire is to contribute to innovative and multifaceted approaches to building healthier and more resilient communities.




Juan Sanchez Duarte

Juan Sanchez Duarte, MHA, CAPM

Project Coordinator

Juan Sanchez Duarte serves as the Project Coordinator at the University of North Texas Health Science Center, Department of Research and Innovation, Center for Health Policy. He earned his Master of Health Administration from the UNTHSC. He brings his data analysis, project and program management, and healthcare operations knowledge and skills to the team. In this role, Juan is eager to work with diverse stakeholders, manage multiple projects, and lead various teams to successful project execution.