Core Staff

Dr. Nina Ashford

Nina Ashford, Dr.P.H., MPH

Maternal and Child Health Policy Unit Lead

Dr. Ashford is a Clinical Assistant Professor at the Tufts University School of Medicine. She is committed to health equity through innovative person-centered policy, public health programming, and evaluation. She has over 16 years of experience working across multiple sectors including government, academia, and community-based non-profits. Dr. Ashford’s dissertation examined the role of Patient Activation on clinical preventive service utilization among Medicare beneficiaries. She is currently the Deputy Director for the Program Alignment Group at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Medicare-Medicaid Coordination Office. She also spent 7 years leading the State and Population Health portfolio at the CMS Innovation Center.

Sunde Daniels

Sundé Daniels, MBA, CLC

Education & Training Unit Lead

Along with charisma and leadership, Sundé brings to the Center of Black Maternal Health and Reproductive Justice over a decade of experience in providing strategic guidance and advice to senior leadership, maximizing budgetary resources, expanding partnerships, and improving operations. It has been said of Sundé that “…she has a buoyancy and positive, forward-thinking outlook; Sundé takes the initiative to identify problems and devise solutions, she organized the day-to-day operations to Swiss clock precision and her communication skills of are a high order.”

Sundé’s strong background in business, the pharmaceutical industry, and academia fuels her passion for public health and life science research, improving operational efficiency and shaping organizational strategy and culture. Her career has afforded her to work with companies and institutions such as Pfizer, Boston University, Boston Medical Center, and Harvard University.

Sundé received her BA in Biochemistry (Eastern University) and holds a Master of Business Administration, with a concentration in Pharmaceutical Business (University of the Sciences Philadelphia), and she has also studied law. She is a Certified Life Coach, Notary Public, and a Certified NFL Contract Negotiator.

Dr. Linda Hudson

Linda Hudson, Sc.D., M.S.P.H., Sc.M

Community Engaged Research Unit Lead

Dr. Hudson is anl Assistant Professor at the Tufts University School of Medicine. The strength of her contribution has been in community-based practice, implementation, management and evaluation of programs designed to facilitate health-related behavior change by addressing individual and community level determinants of health. In her early doctoral work, although not published, was designed to examine chronic disease prevention behaviors among women specific to protective behaviors associated with Lupus (secondary data analysis from a national study), and prevention behaviors associated with Obesity (e.g. physical activity and nutrition) among women in an urban environment. Her most recent work has been in the community-based formative research designed to adapt a nationally tested curriculum addressing CVD prevention, for the express use of African-American Women. (Manuscript in process)

Shikhar Shrestha

Shikhar Shrestha, PhD

Maternal and Child Health Epidemiological Data Unit Lead

Dr. Shrestha is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Public Health and Community Medicine at the Tufts University School of Medicine. His research studies the opioid crisis, emphasizing prenatal opioid exposure and associated health outcomes, opioid overdose events, and harm reduction. He received his Ph.D. from the University of New Mexico in 2019 - his dissertation research examined post-discharge healthcare utilization in infants with a neonatal opioid withdrawal syndrome. Dr. Shrestha's current research primarily focuses on the nexus of accessibility and acceptability of substance use treatment using Geographic Information Systems.

Candace Stewart, MPH

Candace Stewart, MPH

MOTHER Lab Unit Lead

Candace Stewart, MPH is a graduate of Philadelphia University, now known as Thomas Jefferson University (2011), and completed her Master of Public Health with a concentration in Health Policy and Management in 2016 at Stony Brook University.  

Candace has worked in research since 2009, where she worked as a Quality Improvement Research Associate for the Yale-New Haven Stroke Center.  While she pursued her master’s degree, she worked as a Research Program Coordinator for the World Trade Center Health and Wellness Program in Long Island, NY.  Here, her research focused on investigating the relationship between post-traumatic stress disorder and pre-mature cognitive impairment in 9/11 responders.  

After spending years researching trauma in police officers, Candace made the move to Boston where she currently works as a Clinical Research Manager for the Department of Otolaryngology and Communication Enhancement at Boston Children’s Hospital.  Candace’s interest in health equity led her to pursue a Juris Doctorate with a concentration in Health Law and Policy. She plans to graduate in 2026 and continue her work in the health equity advocacy arena.

Jennifer Chapple Ingram, Communications Specialist

Jennifer Chapple Ingram

Communications Specialist

Jennifer Chapple Ingram is an accredited communications professional with more than 15 years of experience in public relations, advertising, marketing, digital/social media management, and business consulting. Her track record includes launching successful omni-channel campaigns and PR programs across a wide array of industries, from B2B and B2C to luxury goods, healthcare, education, media, tech, arts, and not-for-profit sectors. As a change-maker and natural storyteller, developing and executing effective campaigns is one of her superpowers, while working cross-collaboratively is her lifeblood.

Jennifer is an alumnus of Cornell University and currently serves as the communications board chair for the NAACP Main Line Branch, serving suburban Philadelphia, advocating to expand human and civil rights, eliminate discrimination, and accelerate the well-being, education, and economic security of Black people and all persons of color.


Judith Jeanty

Event Coordinator/Project Manager for the BE A MOM Study (R01)

Judith Jeanty, MPH, is from New Jersey where she received her Bachelor of Science from Montclair State University and her Master's in Public Health with a concentration in Community Health and Prevention from Drexel University. She was previously a program management officer at the New Jersey Department of Health where she managed statewide doula-funded programs. Her research interests include Maternal and Child Health, health disparities, and reproductive health specifically amongst Black women and low-income communities. She is passionate about increasing access to doula services and achieving health equity. She is the project manager for the Be a Mom R01 study and served as the 5th annual Black Maternal Health conference coordinator working directly under Dr. Ndidiamaka Amutah-Onukagha. 

Alysha Noel Headshot

Alysha Noel

Senior Administrative Coordinator

Alysha Noel is a results-driven professional with a diverse background in operations management and community engagement.  She has had the privilege of contributing her skills and expertise to renowned institutions, including Boston University School of Public Health and Boston Children's Hospital. Alysha has a BS in Biology from Suffolk University.