Team Members

Principal Investigators

Christopher Slatore, MD, MS: Christopher Slatore is interested in the prevention, detection, treatment, and healthcare delivery for patients with tobacco-related lung diseases, chiefly lung cancer and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). His research has focused on improving patient outcomes and identifying innovative approaches to treatment in these areas. He is currently investigating the influence of patient-clinician communication on patient-centered outcomes for patients with and at risk of having lung cancer. Through the application of comparative research methodologies, he hopes to improve healthcare quality for patients with tobacco-related lung diseases. When he’s not working, he enjoys biking uphill and hearing his wife and kids complain about the volume on his stereo. Listed Publications



Donald Sullivan, MD, MA: Assistant Professor of Pulmonary & Critical Care Medicine at OHSU; Affiliate Investigator, Portland VA Healthcare system; NIH-NCI K-awardee. The overall goal of his research program is to improve patient outcomes and the quality of care through advances in cancer care processes. The breadth of his background in clinical research, supplemented by hos training in pulmonary medicine make him well-suited to examine ways to improve outcomes among lung cancer patients. His eventual goal is to translate these findings into the development of an integrated, clinical practice model that will be implemented in health care networks. Listed Publications




Kelly Vranas, MD: Kelly is from originally from Eugene, OR. She attended Santa Clara University for her undergraduate studies, and received her medical degree from Cornell University. She completed internal medicine residency at the University of Pennsylvania, then spent two years working as an ICU hospitalist at the Philadelphia VA Medical Center before beginning her Pulmonary and Critical Care Fellowship at Stanford University. While at Stanford, Kelly joined the Clinical Excellence Research Center, where she studied innovative methods to improve the quality and efficiency of critical care. She then completed her fellowship at Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) and has since joined the faculty in OHSU’s Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care. Her research is focused on understanding how organizational factors and processes of care influence the outcomes of critically ill patients. She hopes to use insights gained from her research to improve the value of intensive care for patients with critical illness. Kelly enjoys reading, running, wine tasting, and spending time with her husband and 2 kids back home in the Pacific Northwest. Listed Publications


Program Manager/Research Associate

Sara Golden, MPH, CCRP: Sara graduated with her B.S. in Cell and Molecular Biology from Santa Clara University, and received her Master’s in Public Health from Benedictine University, emphasizing health policy. She is currently working as a Health Services Research Associate at the VA Portland Health Care System on studies centered around patient-centered outcomes in pulmonology and critical care medicine. Sara is well-versed in administrative and regulatory aspects of investigator-initiated research, qualitative methods, and mixed methods research designs. Through her work, Sara has clarified her interest in health disparities and the psychosocial aspects of health services. She is now pursuing her PhD in Sociology at Portland State University to further her research skills. Outside of work and school Sara enjoys exploring foreign countries by getting lost on purpose and eating anything on the menu that is unfamiliar.


Senior Research Assistants/Coordinators


Sujata Thakurta, MPA: HA, research coordinator, joined the PDX-PCCCRT in February 2016.  She completed her graduation from Portland State University.  Prior to working at the VA, she worked at the Pacific Northwest Evidence-based Practice Center, OHSU.  In her new role, she is experienced in working with the regulatory entities, patient recruitment, communicating with the patients and conducting surveys.  She also assists with data collection and analysis.  She is interested in improving the patient-physician communication, thereby improving delivery of health care. Outside of work, Ms. Thakurta enjoys exploring the restaurants of the Pacific Northwest with her husband and two daughters.



Molly Delorit, BA: Molly Delroit is a research coordinator. She has her BA in psychology. She has worked primarily on mental health studies including studies of end-of-life care, physician aid in dying, decision-making capacity, and suicide. She is appreciating the opportunity to learn more about lung cancer, screening, and provider-patient communication as part of PDX-PCCRT. On Sundays, she likes watching birds that she can’t identify or watching football while consuming some form of cured meat.





Philip Tostado, MA: Philip joined the PDX-PCCRT team in July 2017 after receiving his Master’s Degree in Sociology at Portland State University. During his educational career, he developed an interest in studying depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues. He looks forward to investigating the many ways mental health and physical health can effect one another. When he is not working, Philip enjoys overanalyzing reality television shows, listening to podcasts, and exploring the great indoors.





Research Assistants


Matthew Howard, BS: Matthew Howard is a recent graduate of the University of Oregon with a BS in Human Physiology. He has research experience in the fields of cardiovascular disease and thermoregulation. He is excited to learn more about patient-centered research and have the opportunity to work with veterans.






Tara Thomas, BS: Tara Thomas is a research assistant who joined the PDX-PCCCRT team in August of 2016.  She recently received her Bachelor of Science in General Science from the University of Oregon where she worked as an undergraduate research assistant in both a brain electrophysiology and developmental behavior lab. She is passionate about the healthcare field, specifically the interaction between patients and their physicians. She hopes to gain a better understanding of how research can help improve that interaction and what role she can play in that process. In her free time, Tara enjoys eating unhealthy amounts of Mexican food and petting every dog that comes her way.