News & Updates

New Class of Fellows Bring Strong Experience in Women’s Health to IMI

July 25, 2019

New Class of Fellows Bring Strong Experience in Women’s Health to IMI


Washington, DC- The Institute for Medicaid Innovation (IMI), a non-profit, nonpartisan research organization, is pleased to announce that three fellows are joining the DC-based team. The fellows come from a number of diverse backgrounds and all share a passion for women’s health in the Medicaid population. The fellows will work with IMI over the next years to research policy and practices within Medicaid in association with a handful of the Institute’s grant-funded work. Read more about the newest team members below.


Clare C. Brown, PhD, MPH and the IMI team are co-leading grant funded projects related to disparities in rates of maternal morbidity among women with different insurance coverages as well as an evaluation of the Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid Expansion on the rates of maternal morbidity among vulnerable populations.

Dr. Brown received her Master in Public Health with a concentration in Health Policy and Management in 2015 from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) Fay W. Boozman College of Public Health (COPH). In 2018, Dr. Brown received her PhD in Health Systems and Services Research at UAMS, with a concentration in health economics.

Dr. Brown currently serves as an Assistant Professor for the Health Policy and Management Department in the COPH at UAMS. Dr. Brown’s research primarily involves using econometric approaches with large-scale databases to evaluate the impact of policies on access to healthcare services and ultimately patient health. Dr. Brown looks forward to working with the Institute for Medicaid Innovation team to assess the impact of policies on Medicaid populations, with a particular focus on maternal and infant health outcomes.


Megan Fuerst is investigating how LARC access and delivery can improve during the immediate postpartum setting especially in the adolescent population.

Fuerst went to the University of Notre Dame where she studied biochemistry and anthropology. She has always had a strong interest in women's issues and undeserved medicine. As an undergraduate, Fuerst completed several research projects in Uganda focusing on access to maternal healthcare and sexual healthcare for adolescents. After graduating, she went on to complete a Fellowship based in South Africa that evaluated the efficacy of Teenage Pregnancy Interventions by various large, international NGOs across Sub-Saharan Africa. Fuerst began her studies at George Washington School of Medicine and Health Sciences in 2016 and will graduate in 2021 with a dual MD/MPH. She is passionate about family planning, healthcare access, and working with underserved populations. She plans to become an OB/GYN and is excited to continue to engage with these issues as an IMI Fellow.


Karen George, MD, MPH, FACOG is co-leading a grant-funded project with IMI that is exploring innovative maternal models of care that are high-value, evidence-based but underutilized in Medicaid.  The team is specifically focusing on midwifery-led models of care (both in-hospital and freestanding birth centers) and home visiting programs (both community health workers and doulas).

Dr. George is a practicing obstetrician-gynecologist and Clinical Associate Professor at George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences. She received her BS from Bates College and her MD at the Ohio State University. She completed a residency in obstetrics and gynecology at the University of New Mexico. She recently completed her masters in public health at The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice with a research focus on value-based payment models in obstetrics and gynecology. She holds a national leadership position in resident education at the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology and serves an oral examiner for American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

Her work at IMI explores best practices in the provision of evidenced-based, high value maternity care that are currently unavailable to most women enrolled in Medicaid including midwifery models, free standing birth centers, and doula and community health worker support for marginalized populations. She is passionate about reducing disparities in maternal and infant outcomes through policy, education, and delivery of safe, high quality care for all women and their babies.



About the Institute for Medicaid Innovation

The Institute for Medicaid Innovation (IMI) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit, nonpartisan research and policy organization that provides independent, nonpartisan information and analysis to inform Medicaid policy and improve the health of the nation.


Media contact:

Lydia Tonkonow