meet the team building a culture of health

Systems for Action (S4A) is a new National Coordinating Center of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF). The program is administered by faculty and staff at the University of Kentucky College of Public (UK CPH) Health and Gatton College of Business and Economics. It is a national initiative to discover and apply new evidence about ways of aligning the delivery and financing systems that can support a RWJF’s mission to build a Culture of Health.

Glen P. Mays - Ph.D., M.P.H.


Dr. Mays, director of the Systems for Action National Coordinating Center, is the Scutchfield Endowed Professor of Health Services & Systems Research at the University of Kentucky College of Public Health. He also serves as director of the Center for Public Health Systems and Services Research within the College of Public Health, and associate director of the Center for Health Services Research within the College of Medicine. Dr. Mays' research focuses on strategies for organizing and financing public health services, preventive care, and care management systems for underserved and high-risk populations. A graduate of Brown University, Dr. Mays earned Ph.D. and M.P.H. degrees in health policy and administration from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, and completed a postdoctoral fellowship in health economics at Harvard Medical School. Prior to joining Kentucky, he chaired the Department of Health Policy and Management at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences for eight years and served on the inaugural faculty of the Clinton School for Public Service.

Anna Goodman Hoover - Ph.D., M.A.


Dr. Hoover is a co-director of the Systems for Action National Program Office where she helps organize cross-cutting and multi-network research studies designed to evaluate and compare public health strategies implemented across diverse settings. Dr. Hoover, a communication scientist and assistant professor in the Department of Preventive Medicine and Environmental Health, conducts research in such areas as participatory communication, dissemination and implementation science, and stakeholder engagement in support of evidence-based decision making. She also serves as communications director and co-leader of research translation for the University of Kentucky Superfund Research Program, supporting the use of research outcomes at the community, provider, and policy levels.

James P. Ziliak - Ph.D., M.A.


Dr. Ziliak is co-investigator at the Systems for Action National Program Office. Dr. Ziliak also holds the Carol Martin Gatton Endowed Chair in Microeconomics in the Department of Economics and is Founding Director of the Center for Poverty Research at the University of Kentucky. He served as assistant and associate professor of economics at the University of Oregon from 1993-2002, and has held visiting positions at the Brookings Institution, University College London, University of Michigan, and University of Wisconsin. During the 2015-2016 academic year he will be Visiting Scholar at the Russell Sage Foundation and Visiting Professor at University College London. His research expertise is in the area of labor economics, with particular emphasis on U.S. poverty, food insecurity, and tax and transfer policy. Recent projects include trends in earnings and income volatility; the origins of persistently poor regions in America; the causes and consequences of food insecurity; and the effect of survey nonresponse on the level and trends in poverty and inequality.

Lizeth Fowler - M.S., M.P.A.

Deputy Director

Ms. Fowler is the deputy director of the Systems for Action National Program Office. She serves as a technical resource and providing grant-related communication and financial oversight. Fowler received a master of science degree in biology from Brown University and a master of public administration degree from UK's Patterson School of Public Policy and Administration.

Nicole Howard

Administrative Assistant

Ms. Howard is the administrative support to the staff at the national program office.  She oversees staff travel, scheduling meetings and assists with the processing of financial documentation.  Before joining the team, she gained valuable experience in the Office of Sponsored Projects Administration at the University of Kentucky.

Ann V. Kelly - M.H.A.

Project Manager

Ms. Kelly is the project manager working on grant-related funding opportunities, communications and reporting. Kelly received her master of health services administration and planning degree from the University of Washington School of Public Health.

C. B. Mamaril - Ph.D.

Research Faculty

Cezar Brian (C.B.) Mamaril, PhD, is a senior research scientist at the center and a research faculty member at the UK College of Public Health. His research focuses on systems financing and economics. C.B. received his PhD in Public Policy and Administration at UK from the Martin School. He also holds an M.S. in Agricultural and Applied Economics from Virginia Tech and an B.S. in Agricultural Economics from the University of the Philippines.

John Poe - PhD

Postdoctoral Scholar and Research Methodologist

John Poe is a Postdoctoral Scholar and research methodologist with the Center for the Public Health Services and Systems Research. He received his PhD in Political Science at the University of Kentucky and a B.A. in Political Science and History from the University of Arkansas.

Kara Richardson - B.B.A.

Communications Director

Ms. Richardson maintains the website, designs print materials and handles various marketing projects for the coordinating center. She graduated from Florida Atlantic University with a bachelor of business administration in marketing and is working on her master of public health at the University of Kentucky.

Dominque Zéphyr - M.A.


Mr. Zéphyr provides statistical expertise to the Systems for Action National Program Office in the areas of  survey sampling, analysis of complex sample survey data, multi-level modeling, structural equation modeling, and analysis of experimental and non-experimental data. He completed his graduate studies at Vanderbilt University, where he obtained two Master’s degrees in Economics and Latin American Studies.