Our Team


Anisha I. Patel, MD, MSPH, MSHS

Associate Professor of Pediatrics, Stanford University

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Dr. Anisha Patel is an Associate Professor in the Department of Pediatrics at Stanford. She is also an affiliate faculty at Philip R. Lee Institute for Health Policy Studies at the University of California, San Francisco. Clinically, Dr. Patel sees general pediatric patients at the Gardner Packard Children’s Health Center and in the Newborn Nursery at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital.

Dr. Patel’s research interests include developing and evaluating interventions and policies to prevent disparities in childhood obesity. She is widely recognized for her research examining drinking water access in schools; she has published widely on this topic and has a diverse funding portfolio ranging from the National Institutes to foundations. Dr. Patel’s research has helped to inform the development of state and federal policy that requires drinking water access in food service areas in schools.

Dr. Patel received her MD and MSPH at the University of North Carolina, completed her pediatric residency at Stanford, and obtained a masters in health services research as a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholar at the University of California, Los Angeles.


LAUREN Blacker

Clinical Research Coordinator Associate

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Lauren supports the Water First and water access/quality in schools studies. She holds a BA in Biology & Society with a minor in Global Health from Cornell University, and an MSc in Nutrition for Global Health from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine. Lauren grew up in Chicago and enjoys spending her spare time with friends and family, hiking, and traveling.


Jeffery Ezennia

Clinical Research Coordinator Associate

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Jeffery supports the Water First, water access/quality, and the water in parks studies. He holds a BA in Integrative Biology and Minor in Global Poverty and Practices from UC Berkeley, as well as a M.S. in Global Health from UC San Francisco. Jeffery was born in Nigeria and grew up in Los Angeles. In his spare time, Jeffery enjoys going on hikes, exploring the bay area, and traveling.


heather Gerrish

Clinical Research Coordinator Associate

Heather supports work on the Water First and water access/quality in schools studies. She holds a BS in Food Science and Nutrition with a specialization in Dietetics from Central Washington University and MS in Nutrition and Exercise Physiology from the Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine at Washington State University. Heather recently moved to California from Washington State and enjoys, running, hiking and spending time with her dog, Walter.


Valeria Ordonez

Clinical Research Assistant

Valeria collaborates with data collection and observations for the Water First study. Valeria is an experienced field interviewer/data collector with a demonstrated history of working in social science and clinical research industry. Valeria was born and raised in Lima, Peru and is fluent in Spanish. In her spare time, she enjoys spending quality time with her three children, going salsa dancing with her husband and traveling.

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Maggie Rosenthal

Haas Fellow

Maggie supports the water in parks study as a 2019 Haas Center Community-Based Research Fellow. She is a junior pursuing a BA in Human Biology with a concentration in Biological and Social Determinants of Development. She is a peer counselor at the Bridge Peer Counseling Center on campus and volunteers at Arbor Free Clinic. In her free time, she enjoys baking, taking her dog on walks, and writing for the Stanford satirical newsletter.

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Jazmin Perez

Medical Student, Stanford School of Medicine

Jazmin holds a BA in Social Studies from Harvard University and a MA in Education from Loyola Marymount University. She served as a teacher for four years prior to starting her medical studies at Stanford. In her spare time, she enjoys baking, going on hikes, and relaxing at the beach.


Isi umunna

Graduate Student, Stanford University

Isi supports work on the Water First and water access/quality in schools studies. She holds a BA in Human Biology from Stanford University, and is currently pursuing an MSc in Community Health and Prevention Research from Stanford. Isi is Nigerian and grew up in South Africa and Nigeria. In her spare time Isi enjoys spending time with friends, watching movies and traveling.