Health Care Delivery Science

The Center for Health Care Delivery Science (CHDS) is an innovative and unique community of 18 investigators that uses diverse methods from family and learning health systems science, behavioral science, implementation science, informatics, health policy and behavioral economics with a goal to build a strong base of scientific evidence about how health care can best be delivered, equitably, to foster the healthiest generation of children. Health care delivery is optimized when conceptualized as integrating aspects of health outcomes, health behavior, care delivery and health policy. CHDS spans the Nemours enterprise with locations in Wilmington, Del., Jacksonville, Fla., and Orlando. We offer a two-year intensive research fellowship program to professionals from a variety of backgrounds (e.g., psychology, nursing, medicine, public health) who aspire to academic research careers.


Focus Areas

  • Improving delivery of care to children with medical conditions and their families
    • We use diverse research methodologies to improve the delivery of care to families of children with a range of medical conditions. 
  • Focusing on health equity and underserved populations
    • Health disparities and inequities in care are well known. Our research provides data to promote the delivery of equitable care that is inclusive of underserved populations.  
  • Identifying and addressing key psychosocial and behavioral factors that impact health
    • Our team includes experts in many behavioral and psychosocial factors that impact the outcomes of pediatric care.
  • Addressing the diverse needs of youth, families and pediatric health care providers
    • We conduct research across settings focused on the integration and implementation of evidence-based care across the trajectory of illnesses and development. 
  • Developing and evaluating technology-enhanced interventions
    • We are leaders in the integration of technology-enhanced interventions to improve pediatric health care.


  • More than 50 million dollars in research funding since 2013
  • More than 23 million dollars in active NIH funding in 2023 (4 R01s, 2 K awards, 1 P award, 1 R01 subaward)
  • More than 3 million dollars in active funding from national foundations in 2023
  • More than 75 papers published in 2022
  • More than 100 poster and professional presentations given in 2022
  • 18 investigators conducting research

Our People

Research Leadership

Anne E. Kazak, PhD, ABPP Enterprise Director

Melissa Alderfer, PhD Center Director Delaware Valley

Susana Patton, PhD, ABPP Center Director Florida

Jessica Pierce, Ph.D. Director, Fellowship Training 

Dana Berger, MPH Research Program Administrator

Alison Taggi-Pinto, MEd Clinical Research Manager


Research Team


Anne E. Kazak, PhD, ABPP (DV) Enterprise Director

Melissa Alderfer, PhD (DV) Center Director Delaware Valley

Susana Patton, PhD, ABPP (FL) Center Director Florida



Kimberly Canter, PhD (DV) Senior Research Scientist/Clinical Psychologist

J.J. Cutuli, PhD (DV) Senior Research Scientist

Paul Enlow, PhD (DV) Research Scientist/Clinical Psychologist

Danielle Hatchimonji, PhD (DV) Assistant Research Scientist

Aimee Hildenbrand, PhD (DV) Research Scientist/Clinical Psychologist

Shreela Palit, PhD (FL) Assistant Research Scientist/Clinical Psychologist

Jessica Pierce, PhD (FL) Senior Research Scientist/Clinical Psychologist

Julia Price, PhD (DV) Research Scientist

Thao-Ly Phan, MD, MPH (DV) Physician 

Corinna Schultz, MD (DV) Physician

Erica Sood, PhD (DV) Psychologist

Steven Reader, PhD (DV) Psychologist

Rachel Wasserman, PhD (FL) Assistant Research Scientist/Clinical Psychologist

Abbas Zaidi, MD (DV) Physician


Data Management and Biostatistics

Kamyar Arasteh, PhD (DV) Senior Biostatistician

Rachel Skocypec, PhD (DV) Biostatistician

Amanda Lewis, MPH (DV) Senior Data Analyst


Research Staff 

Benjamin Bear, MSW (DV) Clinical Research Coordinator II

Tony Collins, BS (DV) Program Coordinator

Jolinda Corry, BA (FL) Clinical Research Coordinator

Michelle Goodreau, MPH Clinical Research Coordinator II

Kelsey Higgins, BS (DV) Clinical Research Coordinator

Joanne Jung, BS (DV) Clinical Research Coordinator

Mikaela Miller, BA (FL) Clinical Research Coordinator

Kristen Morga, MS (FL) Clinical Research Coordinator

Amy Milkes, MA (FL) Senior Clinical Research Coordinator

Angel Munoz-Osorio, BA (DV) Clinical Research Coordinator

Zumana Noor, MS (DV) Clinical Research Coordinator

Alejandra Perez Ramirez, BA (DV) Clinical Research Coordinator II

Michele Scialla, RN, MSN (DV) Clinical Research Nurse

Courtney Thomas, MA (DV) Clinical Research Coordinator II

Gabriela Vega, MS (DV) Program Coordinator



MaryJane Campbell, PhD (FL) Research Postdoctoral Fellow

Mallory Garnett, PhD (DE) Research Postdoctoral Fellow

Monica Gordillo, PhD (DE) Psychology Postdoctoral Fellow

Alexandra Monzon, PhD (FL) Research Postdoctoral Fellow

Emily Pariseau, PhD (DV) Research Postdoctoral Fellow

Stephanie Romo, PhD (DE) Psychology Postdoctoral Fellow

Nicole Ruppe, PhD (DE) Research Postdoctoral Fellow

Sarah Wawrzynski, PhD, CCRN (DV) Research Postdoctoral Fellow


Program Management

Dana Berger, MPH (DV) Research Program Administrator 

Alison Taggi-Pinto, MEd (DV) Clinical Research Manager


Administrative Support

Alyssa Decino, BA (DV) Administrative Coordinator

Mary McElwain (DV) Administrative Coordinator

Research Themes

  • Improving the Delivery of Pediatric Care
  • Health Equity and Disparities
  • Technology in interventions: Digital Health/mHealth/eHealth
  • Implementation Science
  • Family Adaptation (including siblings) and Psychosocial Risk Screening
  • Community and stakeholder engagement
  • Transition from pediatric to adult health care
  • Developing and testing interventions and models of care
  • Medical Traumatic Stress and Trauma-Informed Care
  • Risk and resilience in pediatric medical conditions
  • Research related to COVID-19 pandemic
  • Risk-taking

Clinical Trials

  • Testing eSCCIP: An eHealth Psychosocial Intervention for English and Spanish Speaking Parents of Children With Cancer (PI: Kimberly Canter, PhD)
  • Experiences and Decision-Making for CFTR Modulators: A Qualitative Analysis ( (PI: Kimberly Canter, PhD)
  • Implementation of Family Psychosocial Risk Assessment in Pediatric Cancer (PAT) (PI: Anne Kazak, PhD)
  • Home Video-based Telemedicine to Reduce Hypoglycemia Fear in Parents of Young Children (REDCHiP) (PI: Susana Patton, PhD)
  • Coin2Dose: Behavioral Economics to Promote Insulin BOLUS Activity and Improve HbA1c in Teens (Coin2Dose) (PI: Susana Patton, PhD)
  • Remedy to Diabetes Distress (R2D2): A Scalable Screen to Treat Program for School-age Families (PI: Susana Patton, PhD)
  • Study of Healthy Adaptation and Resilience to Pain in Emerging Adulthood (SHARPE) (PI: Shreela Palit, PhD) (
  • A Crowdsourced Social Media Portal for Parents of Very Young Children With Type 1 Diabetes (PI: Jessica Pierce, PhD)
  • Feasibility Trial of the iAmHealthy Intervention for Healthy Weight in Rural Children (Milford, Del.) ( (PI: Thao-Ly Phan, PhD)
  • Mobile Integrated Care for Childhood Obesity (PI: Thao-Ly Phan, PhD)
  • HEARTPrep: A Virtually-delivered Psychosocial Intervention for Mothers Expecting a Baby With Congenital Heart Disease (HEARTPrep) (PI: Erica Sood, PhD)

Major Grants

  • Anne Kazak & Melissa Alderfer, NIGMS COBRE. Research Expanding Access to Child Health. $10,929,735. 2022-2027
  • Susana Patton, NIDDK R01. Coin2Dose: Behavioral economics to promote insulin bolus activity and improve HbA1c in teens. $900,000 2021-2026
  • Susana Patton, NIDDK R01. Remedy to Diabetes Distress (R2D2): A Scalable Screen to Treat Program for School-Age Families. $3,200,000 2020-2025
  • Susana Patton, NIDDK R01. Home-based video telemedicine to reduce parental fear of hypoglycemia in young kids with T1D. $2,246,623. 2019-2024
  • Kimberly Canter, NCI R01, A randomized controlled trial of eSCCIP: An eHealth psychosocial intervention for English and Spanish speaking parents of children with cancer $3,745,635. 2022-2027
  • Aimee Hildenbrand (Site PI), NINR R01, A socio-ecological approach for improving self-management in adolescents with SCD. 2023-2028 
  • Julia Price, NIDDK K23. Uptake of Evidence-Based Behavioral Intervention for Pediatric Type 1 Diabetes. $724,869 2020-2025
  • Shreela Palit, NICHD K23, Study of Healthy Adaptation and Resilience to Pain in Emerging Adulthood (SHARPE) $835,000 2022-2027.
  • Anne Kazak, American Cancer Society. Cross Cultural Psychosocial Risk Screening in Pediatric Cancer. 2020-2025 $1,834,913
  • Jessica Pierce, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. Transdisciplinary Care for Young Adults with Type 1 Diabetes Transitioning to Adult Healthcare. 2023-2026 $628,819
  • Rachel Wasserman, American Diabetes Association. Piloting a Novel Intervention for helping Teens Manage Everyday Emotional Burdens of Living with Type 1 Diabetes: The TRAC-D Pilot Study. 2023-2025 $276,001
  • Nemours Children’s Health Researchers Awarded $10.9 Million NIH COBRE Grant Supporting Work ‘Well Beyond Medicine’ (Nemours — News Releases from Nemours Media Room)
  • Nemours Children’s Health researcher secures $900k grant to study behavioral health interventions on teens with Type 1 Diabetes (Nemours — News Releases from Nemours Media Room)
  • Nemours Children’s Health Researchers Awarded NIH Grants Totaling $5 Million (Nemours — News Releases from Nemours Media Room)
  • Nemours Children’s Health Experts Outline Key Population Health Strategies in International Journal
  • Nemours Children’s Health Experts Outline Key Population Health Strategies in International Journal (Nemours Media Room)
  • Survey of Delaware Parents Reveals Disparities in Beliefs about the COVID-19 Vaccine for Children
  • Nemours — News Releases from Nemours Media Room)
  • Leaders and collaborators on international practice guideline development
  • Editorial positions
  • Highly cited publications
  • Participants on NIH study sections
  • REACH Center of Biomedical Research Excellence: 
  • Center for Pediatric Traumatic Stress Category II Treatment Development Center, National Child — Traumatic Stress Network:
  • Psychosocial Assessment Tool (PAT) 
  • Surviving Cancer Competently Intervention Program (several versions of SCCIP)
  • Assessment of exposure and impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on children and families
  • Leaders in community based participatory research 
  • Sibling Partnership for Advocacy, Research and Care (SPARC): an international community-academic partnership to bring siblings into family-centered care,
  • Anne Kazak — 2023 Research Excellence Award, Nemours Children’s Health, Delaware. Medical staff physician recognition award. 
  • Anne Kazak — 2023 R. Bob Smith III, Ph.D. Excellence in Psychological Assessment Award, Society of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology (SCAAP), Division 53 of the American Psychological Association
  • Melissa Alderfer — SPP Michael Roberts Mentorship Award 2022
  • Shreela Palit — North American Pain School 2022
  • Rachel Wasserman — Medical Staff Excellence in Research Award, Nemours 2022
  • Kim Canter, Alejandra Perez Ramirez, Gaby Vega, Aimee Hildenbrand, Anne Kazak — Honorable Mention: Clinical Practice in Pediatric Psychology Manuscript of the Year in 2022 Award
  • Alexandra Monzon — Student Poster Award. Society of Pediatric Psychology Annual Conference 2022
  • Erica Sood — 2021 Newburger-Bellinger Cardiac Neurodevelopmental Award, Cardiac Neurodevelopmental Outcome Collaborative Invited to join American Psychological Association Fellows Committee 2022–2024 
  • Danielle Hatchimonji — Inaugural Cohort of CASEL Weissberg Scholars. 2021
  • Melissa Alderfer — 2020 Lifetime Achievement Award, Child & Family Health SIG, Society of Behavioral Medicine. 
  • Anne Kazak and Center for Pediatric Traumatic Stress — 2020 Compassionate Champion Award, presented to CPTS by the State of Delaware for outstanding achievement in providing trauma-informed services. 
  • Danielle Hatchimonji — NIH Proposal Academy, University of Delaware (2020-2021). Selected to participate in mentorship and training to prepare an NIH grant for submission in June 2021.