Health Equity and Access Lab People

Headshot of Brigham, Walker, PhD, Research Assistant Professor in Department of Health Policy and Management, on a white background White spacer image


Brigham Walker is a Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Health Policy and Management at the Tulane School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine. His research generally focuses on how providers, payers, and patients behave in response to new information or incentives. He is also interested in discrimination and equity topics generally. He is a Research Affiliate at the Institute of Labor Economics (IZA), and his CV can be found at

Headshot of Janna M. Wisniewski, PhD  


Janna Wisniewski focuses her research on health system strengthening in fragile and post-conflict settings, and on the ways in which the health system contributes to health disparities. Her current work includes an evaluation of a large health system strengthening program in the Democratic Republic of Congo and a field experiment on disparities in access to medical appointments in the United States. In addition, she teaches courses in comparative health systems and an introduction to health management and policy. Dr. Wisniewski holds a PhD and an MHA from the Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine as well as a BA in linguistics from Michigan State University.

Patrick Button, Assistant Professor in the Department of Economics  


Patrick Button (he/they) is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Economics at Tulane University. Button is working on a National Science Foundation-funded project that seeks to quantify discrimination in access to mental health care appointments based on race, ethnicity, transgender or nonbinary status, and health insurance status. In preliminary results, they find discrimination against transgender and nonbinary people of color in access to appointments with counselors and therapists. Button is currently quantifying how COVID-19 has affected access and discrimination in access to mental health care. In other work, Button studies age and disability discrimination.

Headshot of Sarah Tinkler, Ph.D. Professor of Economics, Portland State University  


Sarah Tinkler has published in the areas of health economics, foreign direct investment, and the economics of criminality, education and gender. Her teaching interests include international economics, engineering economics and the economics of gender. She chairs the undergraduate committee and advises undergraduate students, including transfer and prospective students, for the Department of Economics.

Headshot of Dr. Rajiv L. Sharma, Professor of Economics, Portland State University  


Rajiv Sharma specializes in microeconomics and health economics. Some journals where his research has been published include the RAND Journal of Economics, Journal of Health Economics, Medical Care and the American Journal of Public Health. He has collaborated extensively with physicians, and has advised public agencies on health and economic issues. Professor Sharma has led the Longitudinal Access to Physicians Study (LAPS) since its inception in 2013. LAPS audits primary care physicians nationally to assess the effects of state and federal policies on access to health care. 

Headshot for Miron Stano  Emeritus Professor. Oakland University  


Miron Stano conducts research in managed care, the professional services markets and cost evaluation. His research has been supported by the Health Care Financing Administration, the Health Resources Services Administration, the National Institutes of Health, and the Michigan Health Care Education and Research Foundation. His article, "Individual Health Accounts: An Alternative Health Care Financing Approach," (Health Care Financing Review, 1981) introduced the concept of medical savings accounts. Other publications include: The Economics of Health and Health Care, 7th edition (Prentice-Hall, 2013) co-authored with S. Folland and A. Goodman, and many article in journals such as the RAND Journal of Economics, Southern Economic Journal, Journal of Health Economics, Journal of Human Resources, Economics Letters, Medical Care, Inquiry, Health Policy, American Journal of Managed Care, and Journal of Health Policy, Politics and Law. Please visit his web page to learn more about Dr. Stano's career. 

Research Assistants

If you are interested in working as a research assistant with the HEAL team, please contact Dr. Walker or Dr. Wisniewski