Aitalohi (Aita) Amaize MPH BSN RN CEN SANE-A is a PhD candidate in the Department of Health Policy and Management at University of Maryland-College Park's School of Public Health. Formerly a summer intramural research fellow at the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, she is currently a teaching assistant for the Online MPH program in Public Health Practice and Policy and a research assistant in the "Hospital And Public health interdisciPlinarY research" (HAPPY) lab. Her research interests are in health service delivery systems and utilization / access specifically in vulnerable populations that face challenges related to social determinants of health. Other areas of interest are coordination of care, care transitions, use of technology to enhance care management across the care continuum, primary care (particularly health centers), workforce issues (particularly nursing and lay professionals), behavioral health integration, population health, and health system transformation.
Prior to joining the HAPPY Lab, Aita worked as the RN Clinical Program Manager for the Transition of Care Program at Unity Health Care, Inc., Washington DC's largest Federally-Qualified Health Center. In that position, she led a multi-disciplinary team of Registered Nurses, Community Health Workers, and Case Managers to implement an intensive care management program targeting high hospital utilizers. In 2017, she was part of the National Council for Behavioral Health's Addressing Health Disparities Leadership Program, and was awarded a UMD All-S.T.A.R. fellowship for her work on a rural health assessment of Mid-Shore Maryland communities. She is a former emergency department and forensic nurse with a passion for bettering the conditions of underserved and hypermarginalized populations. She has worked with under-insured women in New York City, homeless persons in Boston, children in The Philippines, and survivors of sexual and intimate-partner violence in D.C. She holds a BA in Psychology from Princeton University (with certificates in Neuroscience and African-American Studies) and an MPH from The Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health (with certificates in Health Communications and Health Disparities). She received her BSN from The Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing as a second-degree NURSE Corps and New Careers in Nursing (NCIN) scholar.
Her dissertation will examine the health service utilization, costs, and related contextual factors for super-utilizers of emergency medical services (EMS) who are also Medicaid beneficiaries in the District of Columbia.