Patricia Franklin, MD, MPH, MBA
Sr Scientific Director
Patricia Franklin serves as Professor of Orthopedics and Physical Rehabilitation and Executive Director of Research, Musculoskeletal Center of Excellence, at University of Massachusetts Medical School in Worcester, MA. Following a residency in Preventive Medicine at the University of Rochester School of Medicine, she completed a fellowship in Health Services Research (MPH/MBA) emphasizing large database design and analysis and inter-disciplinary chronic care models. This training laid the foundation for a career in quality improvement (Medical Director for Quality) and outcomes research. She is the Principal Investigator for the FORCE-TJR research registry and has served of PI of research funded by NIH (NIAMS, NLM), AHRQ, RWJF, FDA, and a new PCORI award that will design, implement, and evaluate individualized outcome prediction tools to guide shared decisions for surgery.
David Ayers, MD
Sr Orthopedic Director
David Ayers is Arthur M. Pappas Professor of Orthopaedics, Chair of the Department of Orthopedics and Physical Rehabilitation, Medical Director of the Musculoskeletal Center of Excellence, as well as, Orthopedist-in-Chief at University of Massachusetts Memorial Health Care System in Worcester, MA. With Dr. Franklin, he led the development of several department-based clinical registries that uniquely include patient-reported outcomes in TJR, Spine, and Hand and upper extremity.
Hua Zheng, PhD
Director of IT and Informatics
Hua Zheng, PhD leads FORCE’s IT and Informatics team. She is also an Assistant Professor of Orthopedics and Physical Rehabilitation at University of Massachusetts Medical School.
After completing a PhD in computer science and engineering, she completed a post-doctoral fellowship in clinical informatics supporting the outcome registries at UMass and the FORCE-TJR national database. Her innovative work focuses on user interface design and database function to process and present real-time data to inform clinical practice.
Stephanie Wissig, MD PhD
Director of QI Services
Stephanie leads FORCE’s growing suite of quality improvement tools and supports the implementation of these products at member sites. FORCE QI services aim to meet the regulatory reporting needs of hospitals and surgeons while also promoting continuous improvement in quality and value.
Stephanie completed her medical and research training at Albert Einstein College of Medicine. She then served Director of Standardization and Benchmarking at the International Consortium for Health Outcomes Measurement (ICHOM), gaining valuable experience in value-based health care and outcomes measurement, before joining the FORCE team.
Celeste A. Lemay, RN, MPH
Director of Research Operations
Celeste directs operations for FORCE Research at the data coordinating center. She is responsible for maintaining our high standards for data quality and completeness and leads our Qualified Clinical Data Registry (QCDR) and Patient Quality Reporting System (PQRS) programs.
Celeste has been a Registered Nurse for more than 35 years and completed her Master’s in Public Health at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. With expertise in both the clinical and research worlds, she brings valuable insight on the use of Patient Reported Outcomes in both settings. She also contributes her experience in qualitative research to many of FORCE’s ancillary studies.
I.T. Systems Lead
Michael has worked for FORCE-TJR for over 3 years to support the I.T. infrastructure. In addition to managing our I.T. systems to meet our member’s needs, he provides customer support for technical issues, and assists with data integration and analysis.
Before joining the FORCE-TJR team, Michael served in the United States Navy as an Aviation Electronics Technician for 4 years. Afterwards he pursued his degree in Computer Science while working as an I.T. intern at UMASS Medical School.
Chu-Yuan Luo, MS
Clinical Data Analyst
Chu-Yuan is a Clinical Data Analyst/ Clinical Data Integration Developer in the FORCE IT team. His work focuses on designing computational solutions for data tracking systems, performing data analysis and reporting through business intelligence software, developing survey systems, and maintaining clinical databases.
Chu-Yuan has a multidisciplinary background with a Master's Degree in Public Health - Biostatistics and a Master’s Degree in Microbiology from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. He was a special education teacher before studying at UMASS. In his spare time, he enjoys playing the piano, bass and drums.
Wenjun Li, PhD
Wenjun has expertise in design and analysis of probability sample surveys, observational cohort and clinical registry studies, individual or cluster-randomized clinical trials in both hospital and community settings.
Wenjun is expert in predictive modeling of medical outcomes and health care utilizations as well as risk adjustment in outcomes research.
Wenyun Yang, MS
Wenyun is a Biostatistician on the FORCE analysis team. In collaboration with the research team, Wenyun executes statistical modeling for risk adjustment, benchmarking, and the new outcome and risk predictions.
Wenyun holds a Masters Degree in Healthcare Biostatistics from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.
Julianne manages the day-to-day operations for FORCE QI services and leads implementation of FORCE at member sites.
Prior to joining the FORCE QI team, Julianne worked at a high volume joint replacement institute in Hartford, Connecticut executing data queries and creating data visualization reports. She also has over 5 years of experience directing and managing research studies. When Julianne is not working, she enjoys baking and watching football.
Betsy Costello, BS
Patient Outcomes Coordinator
Betsy has been with FORCE since the beginning in 2010. She brings expertise in patient engagement, contributing to FORCE’s high recruitment and follow-up PRO data collection rates. Prior to joining FORCE, Betsy worked as research coordinator on several projects, including the Women’s Health Initiative- a multisite national study looking at major health issues causing morbidity and mortality in postmenopausal women.
Betsy received a bachelor’s degree at Worcester State College with a major in health studies and minor in physical education. In her spare time, Betsy enjoys participating in many sports including competitive tennis and recreational golf. She also spends lots of time having fun with her family including her new granddaughter.
Kim Trettel Smith, MA
Patient Outcomes Coordinator
Kim contributes her significant research and patient engagement experience to maintaining the FORCE-TJR cohort ensuring the robustness and completeness of our comparative data set.
Kim earned a bachelor degree in Psychology and Social Rehabilitation, and her master of arts degree in Counseling Psychology at Assumption College. Before joining the FORCE-TJR team, Kim worked for 20 years as Project Coordinator in the UMass Center for Mental Health Services Research. When Kim is not talking with study participants, she enjoys spending time with her family, taking photographs, hiking and biking.
Katie Sullivan, MHA
Patient Outcomes Coordinator
Prior to joining the FORCE-TJR team in 2016, Katie worked with at-risk elders assisting with care coordination, with the goal of decreasing readmission after a hospitalization. Her people skills have been an asset in engaging patients to collect their PROs before and after surgery
Katie completed her Bachelor’s Degree in health science at Anna Maria College, and her Master’s Degree in healthcare administration at Southern New Hampshire University. When Katie is not working, she enjoys spending her time running and volunteering at local races.
Mary Jean Skelly-Miller, BA
Patient Outcomes Coordinator
Mary Jean joined the FORCE team in late 2013 as a study coordinator working to enroll and retain patients in the FORCE – TJR cohort. She now spends much of her time supporting the collection of PRO data from patients. In this role, she draws on her varied experiences in Human Resources, hospitality, healthcare, and construction to engage support patients throughout the process.
Mary Jean completed her studies at SUNY-Oswego, holds paralegal certification from Adelphi University and has taken education courses from Marist College. She currently works in HR at a consulting engineering firm and part time with FORCE. She and her husband, dog and cat enjoy getting to the beach or lake as often as possible. She also enjoys sports, yoga, reading and considers herself a part time political junkie.
Rebecca Sullivan, BA
Rebecca manages survey mailings and patient enrollment on the data entry team. She works to ensure that all patients’ PRO data is documented with the utmost accuracy.
Rebecca was awarded a Bachelor of Arts degree, summa cum laude, from Smith College, with a major in English language and literature and a double minor in German language and literature and modern European history. She is fluent in 14 languages, and when not working, enjoys participating in competitive longbow archery and épée, sabre, and foil fencing.
Lea is responsible for tracking and reporting data from the over 30,000 patients enrolled in the FORCE – TJR registry. She also assists the data entry team with patient mailings and data documentation.
Lea holds an associate degree in Medical Lab Technologies and Bachelor degrees in Sociology and Nursing. Before joining FORCE, she worked as a clinical reviewer in bariatrics.
Nathan Taber, BS
Nathan recently joined the FORCE-TJR team in July of 2017 and he works to maintain patient engagement and helps to ensure the integrity of the FORCE cohort data set.
Before joining the team, he was a student at Brandeis University in Waltham, MA, where he earned Bachelor of Science degrees in Biology and Health: Science, Society, and Policy and graduated Cum Laude. He is planning to attend medical school in the fall of 2019 and currently in the process of applying.
During his free time, he enjoys playing soccer and tennis, and is an avid amateur photographer in both digital and film.