People

Sara Geierstanger

Evaluation Director
Institute for Health Policy Studies

Sara Geierstanger, MPH, Evaluation Director, has worked with the Institute for Health Policy Studies at UCSF since 1994. Sara’s evaluation work focuses on the potential of school health services to improve student physical and mental health and well-being to help them succeed in school and life. Her expertise is in multi-site evaluations, using a mixed methods approach of both qualitative and quantitative methods.

Sandy Ng

Senior Data Analyst
Institute for Health Policy Studies

Sandy Ng, MPH, Evaluation Data Manager, has worked with the Philip R. Lee Institute for Health Policy Studies at UCSF since 1999. Sandy’s research interests focus on access to care, primarily through school health services and the expansion of children’s health insurance coverage. Her expertise is in multi-site evaluations, using a mixed methods approach of both qualitative and quantitative methods. She works collaboratively with partners to improve data collection processes and share data and findings to support program improvements and expansion.

Samira Soleimanpour, PhD

Senior Researcher & Principal Investigator
Institute for Health Policy Studies

Samira Soleimanpour, PhD, MPH, Senior Researcher, has led numerous multi-site, multi-method evaluations of school and adolescent health initiatives with the School Health Services Research and Evaluation Team for over 20 years. Her primary research interests focus on the influences of school environments and health services on children’s health and education outcomes, with a focus on school-based health centers (SBHCs), school-based mental health (SBMH) services, and community-based participatory research.

Christina Agostino

Student Intern
Institute for Health Policy Studies

Christina Agostino, BA, Graduate Student Intern, is an MPH Student at UC Berkeley and began working with the School Health Research and Evaluation Team in May of 2022. Christina’s research interests focus on social policies and upstream social investments that can be leveraged to support family health and child development. She is particularly interested in the role school-based health centers (SBHC’s) play in addressing youth mental health and childhood food insecurity.

Natasha Borgen

Research Data Analyst
Institute for Health Policy Studies

Lowell Huang

Financial Analyst
Institute for Health Policy Studies

Ruby Lucas

Research and Evaluation Consultant
Institute for Health Policy Studies

Ruby Lucas, MPH, Research and Evaluation Consultant, is a PhD student in Epidemiology at the University of Washington. Ruby received their Master's degree in Public Health in Epidemiology (Maternal & Child Health) at the University of Washington and Bachelor's degree in Public Health at the University of California, Berkeley.

Sophia Navarro

Research and Evaluation Consultant
Institute for Health Policy Studies

Sophia Navarro, MPH, Research and Evaluation Consultant, has worked with the School Health Service Research and Evaluation Team since 2020. Sophia’s primary research interests are centered around public health nutrition and maternal and child health topics. Sophia enjoys performing quantitative and qualitative data analysis, conducting in-depth interviews and focus groups with participants, and communicating key findings through reports and infographics. Sophia currently works with partners at the California Department of Education to support the evaluation of Youth Mental Health Fir

Melissa Saphir

Research Data Analyst
Institute for Health Policy Studies

Melissa Saphir, PhD, Data Analyst 3, is a social scientist with over 20 years of experience analyzing nationally representative surveys and evaluation data for non-profit organizations. Melissa analyzes survey data and writes reports and briefs for a variety of projects for the School Health Research and Evaluation team, including the annual survey of California public school principals, survey of California school-based health centers, and the California Healthy Kids Survey (CHKS).

Joanne Yang

Student Intern
Institute for Health Policy Studies