Senior Leadership

Research Manager

Sheri Lesansee is a Program Manager for the RWJF Center for Health Policy at UNM. She has over 10 years' experience in contracts and grants management. She also has 5 years’ experience working in community based settings in areas of prevention and intervention related to health disparities in tribal communities and has a Master’s degree in Public Health.  She has experience working on community based research programs and research in university settings.

Associate Professor of Political Science

Executive Director of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Center for Health Policy at the University of New Mexico

Dr. Gabriel Sanchez is an Associate Professor of Political Science, and Executive Director of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Center for Health Policy at the University of New Mexico. He is also Director of Research for Latino Decisions and the Director of the American Economic Association Summer Training Program.

Sanchez received his Ph.D in Political Science from the University of Arizona. His research explores the relationship between racial/ethnic identity and political engagement, Latino health policy, and minority legislative behavior. His work has been published a wide range of academic journals and is also a co-author of, Hispanics and the U.S. Political System, one of the most popular Latino Politics textbooks in colleges today. He recently edited Latinos and the 2012 Election: The New Face of the American Voter. Sanchez has been the principal or co-principal investigator on several large-scale surveys, including the Latino Decisions National Poll on Health Care Reform (2009), and the Collaborative Multi-racial Post-election Study (2008). Professor Sanchez has provided political commentary to several state, national, and international media outlets. 

As the Executive Director of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Center for Health Policy at UNM, Dr. Sanchez is engaged in several research projects focused on Latino health policy. This work includes a survey in development funded by the National Institute of Health (NIH) focused on identifying best practices for engaging the Hispanic population in the Affordable Care Act.

Dr. Sanchez is also the Director of Research for Latino Decisions, the leading survey firm focused on the Latino population. A leading expert on Latino and New Mexico politics, Dr. Sanchez provides political commentary to several state, national, and international media outlets.

Awards and Grants

Dr. Sanchez has received several campus wide awards for his mentoring and service efforts, including the "Luminaria" UNM Presidential Award for Commitment to Diversity in 2010. Dr. Sanchez was awarded the 'Best Article Published' in PRQ in 2011 at the Western Political Science Association Annual Meeting, and was more recently awarded the 'Best Paper on Latino/Latino Politics' at the 2013 Western Political Science Association Annual Meeting. Previously, Dr. Sanchez coauthored papers awarded 'Best Paper on Latino/Latino Politics' at the 2008 Western Political Science Association Annual Meeting, and 'Best Paper on State Politics and Policy' at the 2009 American Political Science Association Annual Meeting. Dr. Sanchez is currently engaged in a research project funded by the Russell Sage Foundation focused on the impact of the recent economic recession on foreign-born, Latino and African American populations of the United States.

A native New Mexican, Dr. Sanchez is a graduate of St. Pius X High School in Albuquerque.

See his official bio page here.

Associate Professor, Director, Community Engagement Core NM CARES Health Disparities Center, Senior Fellow, RWJF Center for Health Policy
Department of Family & Community Medicine, University of New Mexico

Lisa Cacari Stone, PhD, is an Associate Professor of Health Policy with the Public Health Program in the Department of Family and Community Medicine and Senior Fellow with the RWJF Center for Health Policy. Her research interests span across a range of social determinants of population health.

Her investigations encompass the macro-level determinants of health and access to health care (e.g. migration, immigration policy, political ideologies), to the community level (e.g. social and contextual influences of substance use for immigrant women), to the individual level (e.g. psychosocial risks factors for hypertension management among Latinos).

Her studies along the U.S.-Mexico border have involved multi-disciplinary collaborations (e.g. economics, medical sociology, anthropology) with community and academic partners to develop and evaluate evidence-based interventions and policies that promote health equity. From 2010 to 2012 she was the Principle Investigator for a Comparative Effectiveness Research project in collaboration with Hidalgo Medical Services (NIH/NIMHHD). This two-year project evaluated and compared a primary care/community health worker intervention to just primary care for medically underserved Latino rural border residents diagnosed with hypertension.

Other recent projects include a bi-national comparison of Mexican women’s perceptions on access to health care in two colonias in the Paso del Norte region, a study of county-state policy responses to health and welfare eligibility and benefits immigrants in the U.S. and the impact of the Affordable Care Act on access to health care for vulnerable children and families in New Mexico.

Dr. Cacari Stone is Director of the Community Engagement Core under the P20 funded Disparities research Center funded by the National Institutes of Health and was elected to the Expert Research Panel of the U.S.-Mexico Border Health Commission and is currently a fellow with the Kaiser Permanente Chris Burch Minority Leadership Program.

Assistant Professor, UNM Department of Economics

Dr. van der Goes has a PhD in economics from Lehigh University with specializations in health and labor. His dissertation focused on Vietnam veterans and their families, covering the impact of active duty service on health outcomes and labor market outcomes, and effects on the children of the Vietnam War draft era.
 
After graduate school, Dr. van der Goes completed a 2 year postdoctoral fellowship in the School of Pharmacy at the University of Washington. He continued his training and developed skills in pharmacoeconomics and outcomes research. His work there included research on surgical quality, smoking cessation, and migraine amongst other areas.
 
Dr. van der Goes’ interest in migraine led him to pursue research in the economics of the practice of neurology, focusing on intraoperative neurophysiological monitoring and electro-diagnostics. Dr. van der Goes has publications on these topics in Neurology, Clinical Neurophysiology, and the Journal of Clinical Neurophysiology. Dr. van der Goes currently has several neurology projects underway, including one funded by the American Academy of Neurology (AAN).
 
Additionally, Dr. van der Goes is interested in pain, chronic kidney disease, and pediatric oral health. He has ongoing research projects these areas, as well.

Pharmacoeconomics, Outcomes Research, Health Economics, Applied Microeconometrics, Applied Microeconomics