Lab Staff

Nationwide Children's Hospital Medical Professional

Cynthia Gerhardt, PhD
Principal Investigaor
Cynthia.Gerhardt@NationwideChildrens.org

Cynthia A. Gerhardt, PhD, is a psychologist in the Pediatric Psychology and Neuropsychology Program at Nationwide Children's Hospital, director of the Center for Biobehavioral Health at The Research Institute at Nationwide Children's Hospital, and an Associate Professor of Pediatrics at The Ohio State University College of Medicine. She is the Janet Orttung-Morrow, MD and Grant Morrow, III, MD Endowed Chair in Pediatric Behavioral Health. Her primary focus is research on child and family adjustment to cancer and bereavement.

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Kylie Hill, BS
Research Assistant
Kylie.Hill@NationwideChildrens.org

Kylie Hill, BS, is a Research Assistant working with Dr. Gerhardt in the Center for Biobehavioral Health. She graduated from the University of Nevada, Reno in 2019 with a Bachelor of Science in Community Health Sciences and a minor in Japanese Studies. Her research interests broadly include patient-provider communication, family-centered decision making, self-management skills, and quality of life among children with chronic medical conditions and their families. In the future, Kylie plans to pursue a PhD in Clinical Psychology, with a focus in pediatric or child psychology.

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Anna Olsavsky, PhD
Post-Doctoral Researcher
Anna.Olsavsky@NationwideChildrens.org

Anna Olsavsky, PhD, earned her doctorate in Human Development and Family Science from Ohio State University in 2020. She is currently a Post-Doctoral Researcher in the Patient-Centered Pediatric Research Program. Anna’s research interests center on the intersection of attachment theory and a family systemic perspective focusing on coparenting, couple, and parent-child relationships, as well as individual, dyadic, and family-level characteristics. She is currently investigating the role of family processes in child adjustment in two contexts: the COVID-19 pandemic and pediatric cancer.

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Jessica Ralph, BA
Research Assistant
Jessica.Ralph@NationwideChildrens.org

Jessica Ralph, BA, is a second year Research Assistant working with Dr. Gerhardt in the Center for Biobehavioral Health. She graduated from The Ohio State University in 2020 with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and a minor in Child Abuse and Neglect. Her passion for pediatric psychology began during her undergraduate career when she first worked for Dr. Gerhardt as a student volunteer. Now, as a full-time employee at Nationwide Children’s, she is interested in exploring the impact of symptom burden on school re-entry, peer relationships, and neurocognitive functioning and how dysfunction in those areas may lead to the development of psychopathology (i.e., anxiety, depression) in children who are in survivorship or off-treatment for a chronic illness. Her goal is to obtain her PhD in Clinical Psychology with a specialization in pediatrics.

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Valdeoso Patterson, BA
Research Assistant
Valdeoso.Patterson@NationwideChildrens.org

Valdeoso Patterson, BA, is a Research Assistant working with Dr. Gerhardt in the Center for Biobehavioral Health. He graduated from The Ohio State University with a Bachelor of Arts in Biology. Valdeoso first discovered his passion for working with children and under-deserved communities after graduating high school while employed for Inspiring Minds, which is a nonprofit organization founded on engaging, inspiring, and empowering youth to reach their full potential in life. While at OSU, he retained that same drive of being there for the kids as he volunteered as a mentor through the Bell National Resource Center to local middle schools throughout Columbus. Valdeoso is interested in studying the effects that chronic illnesses have on the social and emotional functioning of survivors as well as the healthcare disparities faced by some communities. In the future, Valdeoso plans to obtain an MD and begin a career as a Primary Care Pediatrician.

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Dana Garcia, BS
Research Assistant
Dana.Garcia@NationwideChildrens.org

Dana Garcia, BS, is a Research Assistant working with Dr. Gerhardt in the Center for Biobehavioral Health. She graduated from the University of the South: Sewanee in 2021 with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and a minor in Business. As an undergraduate, Dana gained qualitative research experience in cognitive and developmental psychology. Her research interests include how chronic illness impacts children’s cognitive, emotional, and psychosocial development, as well as sibling and family relationships. Dana is also passionate about working with Latinx communities through community-based research to examine ethnic differences in health behaviors and risk factors. In the future, Dana plans to obtain a PhD in Developmental or Clinical Psychology.

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Malcolm Sutherland-Foggio, BA
Research Assistant
Malcolm.Sutherland-Foggio@NationwideChildrens.org

Malcolm Sutherland-Foggio, BA, earned his degree in Psychology and Business at the University of Rochester in 2020 and joined CBH in 2021 following an elective fifth year at his university. Malcolm’s interest in pediatric psychology stems from his personal experience as a cancer patient. His primary research interest is in the impact of psychological need support from healthcare providers on mental health outcomes and well-being in children with chronic illness and their families during treatment. Furthermore, Malcolm is interested in how children, parents, and siblings can better support each other’s psychological needs during and after treatment for chronic illness to benefit overall well-being. Ultimately, Malcolm plans to pursue a doctoral degree in clinical psychology.

Former Lab Members

Lexi Himelhoch
Research Assistant