Ms. Wierda brings nearly 13 years of experience in public health, ten of which have been in research. At CORE, she provides overall programmatic support to various projects including supporting staff across CORE with their research activities. She assists with all stages of the research process: study design, development, execution, analysis and reporting. As a team member on the Rural Health Research and Delivery Core on the NNE-CTR, she coordinates activities and facilitates the development and maintenance of partnerships and collaborations across clinical and community settings in rural Maine. In addition, she and her colleagues are championing a community engaged approach to research.
Prior to joining CORE, Ms. Wierda sharpened her qualitative and quantitative skills while evaluating public health and child welfare programs in Maine, as well as directing an organizational assessment. As the Chief of Quality Management at the Massachusetts Veterans Epidemiology Research and Information Center (MAVERIC) in the Department of Veteran’s Affairs, Ms. Wierda oversaw the development and implementation of an ISO 9001:2008 compliant Quality Management System for clinical research activities across the VA’s Cooperative Studies Program. This included working collaboratively on cross-functional teams to foster a culture of quality while measuring and driving systems level improvements. Ms. Wierda’ s earliest work in Public Health was while working at the Betsy Lehman Center for Patient Safety in the Massachusetts Department of Public Health; this role included legislative work and convening an expert panel to examine patient safety in obstetrics.
Ms. Wierda’s educational background includes a Bachelor’s of Science with Honors in the History of Science from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, in 2006. The following year she earned an Master’s in Public Health with a concentration in Health Law, Bioethics and Human Rights from Boston University. Her desire to understand the social, environmental and cultural factors which impact individual well-being and population health forms the foundation for her commitment to research.