Meet Our Staff

Tracy M. Downs, MD, FACS

Principal Investigator

Dr. Downs is a urologic surgeon specializing in prostate and bladder cancer.  He is also the Associate Dean of Multicultural Affairs and Diversity at UW SMPH, and vice president of the African American Urological Association.  In addition to his leadership of CHDI, Dr. Downs plans to expand his health equity research, developing a multi-disciplinary research program addressing prostate cancer disparities among African American men.

Expertise: prostate and bladder cancer research, chemoprevention, clinical trials, health equity, mentorship of under-represented students and program development.

Alexandra Adams, MD, Ph.D.


Dr. Adams is a Professor in the Department of Family Medicine and former director of the UW Collaborative Center for Health Equity.  She has conducted health disparity research for over 15 years, with a focus on prevention of obesity and related chronic diseases using a community-based participatory research approach.  Dr. Adams has ongoing collaborations with multiple tribal partners across Wisconsin and the nation.

Expertise: community based participatory research, grant writing, Preparing publications, mentoring junior faculty and students and program development.


Rick StricklandMA
CHDI Program Director
Mr. Strickland oversees CHDI’s research, outreach and training functions and supervises staff, interns and students. Rick leads  program development, manages CHDI’s budget and represents CHDI to UW  Faculty, UWCCC administration and external  organizational partners.  Rick has been with CHDI since its inception and also serves as Outreach Director for UW Spirit of  EAGLES, a Community Networks  Center funded by NCI's Center to Reduce Cancer Health Disparities. He brings 35 years of  organizing, community development and health promotion experience to CHDI.

Expertise: community outreach, community organizing, facilitation and strategic planning, community-academic partnerships,  participatory research methods, and program development.

Amanda EggenPh.D.
Research Director

Dr. Eggen directs development of CHDI research projects in partnership with UWCCC faculty. She also leads the development  of CHDI’s publications and the conduct of formative assessments and secondary data  analysis. Amanda’s PhD is in social and  cultural psychology and she has experience designing and conducting research employing multiple quantitative statistical  approaches. She brings experience in patient  advocacy, health disparities outreach, and teaching in Vietnam and Ethiopia.

Expertise: research project design and implementation, data collection and analysis, grant writing, formative assessment,  process improvement, student mentorship and teaching

Erin Bailey, BS
(608) 890-3174

Outreach and Education Associate

Ms. Bailey leads outreach, education and research initiatives with African American and other underserved communities. Prior to joining CHDI in 2011, Erin worked for several years with the Witness Project of  Madison.  She has experience as a patient navigator and implementing culturally competent intervention and education projects in Madison and Dane County. Erin is also currently a Ph.D. student in the Civil Society  and Community Research program of the UW School of Human Ecology 

Expertise: outreach, training and education, program development and implementation, program evaluation, community-based participatory research methods and research development

Cody FredrickMPH 


Community Health Educator

Mr. Fredrick is a Community Health Educator and the coordinator of CHDI’s Rural Cancer Disparities Project. Cody has a background in public health, quality improvement, and patient safety, and his undergraduate  training at Marquette was in biomedical sciences. He is from a small rural community in Illinois and has strong family ties to northern Wisconsin.

Expertise: community outreach and education, quality improvement, community-academic partnership development, and community-based research.


Joshua WrightBA
Community Project Coordinator

Mr. Wright supports education and research collaborations with African-American communities in Madison and Dane County. Joshua has experience in outreach and recruitment through working with  underrepresented youth and their families in college preparatory and recreation programs. His UW-Madison undergraduate training was in Afro-American Studies.

Expertise: mentorship and working with disparate communities, planning and implementing disparities-related events and conducting community-based education and research