Rachael L. Fleurence, PhDExecutive Director NESTcc
Rachel R. Rath, MPHDeputy Director NESTcc
Tiffany AbushaikhaProject Manager NESTcc
Jessica GasvodaProject Manager NESTcc
Rachel StiversProject Coordinator
Rachael L. Fleurence, PhD
Rachael L. Fleurence, PhD is the newly appointed Executive Director for the NEST Coordinating Center. She joins MDIC from the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) where she has led PCORI’s initiative to build the National Patient-Centered Clinical Research Network, or PCORnet, since 2012. PCORnet has been a transformational effort to engage patients and leverage electronic health data to improve the speed and efficiency of clinical research in the United-States. A 330 million dollar investment involving 130 health institutions across the country, 20 patient powered research networks and covering 110 Million patients, PCORnet has just launched as an independent foundation in March 2017. Dr. Fleurence has served on a number of Boards and Steering Committees, including most recently the National Medical Device Evaluation System Planning (NEST) Planning Board, the Medical Device Innovation Consortium (MDIC) Board and the SMART IRB Steering Committee, an effort to streamline IRB reviews across academic research institutions. She was the chair of the PCORnet Executive Committee, and vice-chair of the PCORnet Council.
A health economist and health services researcher by training, Dr. Fleurence previously worked in the private sector in health outcomes research and has authored multiple peer-reviewed publications. Dr. Fleurence received a BA from Cambridge University (United-Kingdom), a MA in business management from ESSEC-Paris (France), and a MSc and PhD in health economics from the University of York (United-Kingdom).
Rachel R. Rath, MPH
Rachel R. Rath, MPH is the Deputy Director for the NEST Coordinating Center. She joins MDIC from the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI). Since joining PCORI in 2014, she helped build and manage the development of the PCORnet, the National Patient-Centered Clinical Research Network, a transformational effort to engage patients and leverage electronic health data to improve the speed and efficiency of clinical research in the United States. Most recently she focused her on governance, sustainability, and communications efforts to advance the mission of PCORnet. PCORI’s investment in PCORnet has exceeded $400 million from a combination of infrastructure and research investments. In March 2017, the PCORnet partners successfully launched an independent non-profit entity to advance the long-term sustainability of PCORnet. Prior to joining PCORI, she worked with disease-specific organizations including the National Multiple Sclerosis Society and the COPD Foundation and served as an Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) Therapist for children with Autism Spectrum Disorders.
Rachel received her MPH in global health policy from The George Washington University and is currently pursuing an MBA from Georgetown University.
Tiffany Abushaikha joins MDIC as a Project Manager for the NEST Coordinating Center. With her, she brings years of professional and academic experience providing regulatory guidance, analytical, and strategic consultative support to clients in the healthcare and biotech sectors.
Prior to MDIC, Tiffany worked for Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO), the world’s largest biotech trade association, where she acted as a liaison between the public-private sectors to advance key science policy priorities as well as regulatory initiatives that reduce burdens for R&D advancements across industry and the total product life cycle. At BIO, she supported the Executive Vice President and section directors in composing industry data analysis reports, as well as the drafting of regulatory guidance documents and submissions. Prior to joining BIO, she acted as a research coordinator for NIH-funded studies at KAI where she helped lead disease-specific working groups for the Common Data Elements Project whose primary mission was to develop common data standards to encourage information sharing between investigators, improve patient outcome measures, and generate consistency in patient data collection. This initiative helped to increase the efficacy of clinical studies while also strengthening data quality.
Tiffany holds an MS in Bioinformatics and Computational Biology from the University of Maryland and an MS in Biotechnology and Regulatory Science from Johns Hopkins University. She is currently pursuing a Regulatory Affairs Certification (RAC)
Jessica Gasvoda joins MDIC as a Project Manager for the NEST Coordinating Center. She previously worked at the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI). At PCORI she supported the management of PCORnet, the National Patient Centered Clinical Research Network, an initiative designed to engage patients and leverage electronic health data to improve the speed and efficiency of clinical research in the United States. As a Program Associate she focused on governance, communications, and meeting planning to advance the mission of PCORnet.
Jessica received her BS in Community Health from George Mason University and is currently pursuing an MPH from South University.
Rachel Stivers joins MDIC from the National Health Council (NHC), an organization that brings together all segments of the healthcare community to provide a united voice for the more than 133 million people with chronic diseases and disabilities and their family caregivers. As a Policy Associate at the NHC, Rachel directly supported the Vice President of Policy and Government Affairs. She also worked directly with the Manager of Public Policy with a variety of programs with focuses on Health Care Reform and Medical Innovation.
Rachel has a BA in Criminology, Law and Society from George Mason University and is pursuing a MA in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Argosy University.