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Medical University of South Carolina
Department of Family Medicine
5 Charleston Center, Suite 263
MSC 192
Charleston, SC 29425

Phone 843-876-1212  Fax 843-876-1211

PPRNet Faculty and Staff

Steve Ornstein, MDSteven Ornstein, MD
Professor of Family Medicine
Founder – PPRNet

Dr. Ornstein trained in the Department of Family Medicine and joined the faculty in 1985. Dr. Ornstein is the founding director of PPRNet, a national primary care research network of practice sites that use electronic medical records. His professional interests include health promotion and computers in medicine.

Ruth Jenkins PHDRuth Jenkins, PhD
Research Assistant Professor/Investigator

Dr. Jenkins joined the Department of Family Medicine in 1987 as a Research Programmer/Specialist and Statistician. She completed her PhD in 2005 in Medical Informatics from MUSC's Department of Biostatistics, Bioinformatics and Epidemiology and joined the Family Medicine faculty in 2006. She is the Information Manager for PPRNet, a national primary care research network of practices that use electronic medical records. Her interests include Medical Informatics, Biomedical Statistical Computing and Information Management, EMRs, Quality Improvement, and Chronic Disease Management Research.  She is one of the founding PPRNet team members.

Cara Litvin MDCara Litvin, MD
PPRNet Investigator

Dr. Litvin is an Assistant Professor in the MUSC Department of Medicine, Division of General Internal Medicine and Geriatrics.  After working with PPRNet during medical school at MUSC, Dr. Litvin completed her residency training in Internal Medicine at New York University School of Medicine.  She returned to South Carolina and PPRNet  in 2008. Dr. Litvin completed an Academic Generalist Fellowship at MUSC and also received her Master of Science in Clinical Research in 2010.  Dr. Litvin has worked with PPRNet on several projects and is currently funded by a career development award from the Agency for Healthcare Research to study how technology can be used to  improve the identification and management of patients with chronic kidney disease in PPRNet practices.

Lynn Nemeth PhDLynne Nemeth, PhD 
PPRNet Investigator

Dr. Lynne Nemeth is an Associate Professor in the College of Nursing, and a Nurse Researcher at the Medical University Hospital Authority. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in nursing from the State University of New York at Stony Brook, her Masters of Science degree from Boston College as a Clinical Nurse Specialist, and her doctoral degree from the Medical University of South Carolina, in Nursing Science. She specializes in implementation research, theoretical modeling and qualitative methods.

Paul Nietert PhDPaul Nietert, PhD
PPRNet Statistician 

Dr. Nietert, Associate Professor in the MUSC Department of Biostatistics, Bioinformatics, and Epidemiology, is a PPRNet co-investigator and the PPRNet biostatistician.  He has worked closely with the PPRNet research team on all of its major funded projects by assisting in the design of the surveys, conducting randomizations, overseeing the creation of datasets for analyses purposes, and conducting data analyses.  Dr. Nietert has expertise in analyzing hierarchical data, which arises from patients being clustered within practices.

Andrea Wessell, PharmDAndrea Wessell, PharmD
PPRNet Investigator

Dr. Wessell is a Research Associate Professor in the Department of Family Medicine. She has been a co-investigator for a number of PPRNet projects and is currently the Principal Investigator for the Medication Safety dissemination project (MS-TRIP 2).  She works with practices to implement the PPRNet quality improvement model and medication safety strategies through site visits, network meetings and webinars. 

Vanessa Congdon MSPHVanessa Congdon, MSPH
PPRNet Data Coordinator and Research Analyst

Vanessa Congdon joined PPRNet’s research team in May, 2011 as a Research Analyst and also serves as Data Coordinator. She earned a BS in 2007 from Longwood University followed by a year of professional experience as a research assistant on the Study of Health and Activity in Preschool Environments (SHAPES) project at the University of South Carolina. She recently graduated with a MSPH degree in epidemiology from the University of South Carolina’s Arnold School of Public Health. Her professional focus relates to chronic disease management research.

Ruth Wyse, MA
PPRNet Coordinator

Ruth Wyse serves as the coordinator for PPRNet and is responsible for membership, the website and social media in addition to providing assistance to PPRNet faculty in research efforts. She has been employed at MUSC over 15 years supporting the educational and clinical missions of the university in  an administrative and IT capacity. Prior to coming to MUSC, she managed a private medical practice.  She attended Kent State University where she received a B.A. and Anthropology.