Our Staff

Robert J. McGrath, Ph.D ABD

Robert J. McGrath is Executive Director of the New Hampshire Health Information Center. McGrath holds masters degrees from both the Harvard University School of Public Health and from The Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University.

He is currently completing work for a Ph.D. in Health and Social Policy from The Heller School through a federal health policy fellowship from the Agency for Health Research and Quality (AHRQ). McGrath teaches in the Department of Health Management and Policy at the University of New Hampshire and also serves as a Senior Policy Analyst with NH Institute for Health Policy and Practice at UNH.

His research interests include state level health issues, health politics, and health policy and program implementation. His dissertation work is a comparative examination of the implementation of the State Children’s Health Insurance Program in three states.

Previous to his work at the NHHIC, McGrath worked as a health-planning analyst for Healthsource, now part of CIGNA Corporation, and also served as an intern health policy adviser in the New Hampshire Governor’s office under Governor Jeanne Shaheen in 1998. His recent papers and publications include the Implementation Report of Welfare Reform in New Hampshire and a co-authored chapter in the edited text, The New Politics of State Health Policy entitled “State Legislatures and Health Policy in the Market Era” with John McDonough, Ph.D.

Amy Costello, M.P.H.

Amy Costello is the Projects Coordinator for the NHHIC. As part of her responsibilities, she manages the content and organization of the Health Data Inventory website, a web-based inventory of health data and reports. In addition, she is a co-author and instructor for the Prove It! curriculum.

Amy is also working with the Institute of Health Policy and Practice and the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services on a grant from the Endowment for Health: The Empowering Communities Project, providing support to the NH HealthWRQS Project (web-based reporting and query system), a DHHS initiative to provide consumer and community health information on the web.

Amy came to UNH from Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, where she was Data Manager and Analyst for the REACH 2010 Breast and Cervical Cancer Project, a project aimed at investigating and eliminating racial disparities in health. After completing her Masters of Public Health degree in 1999, she co-authored a compendium of data on women’s reproductive health in developing countries.

Melanie Higgins

Melanie Higgins is a Program Assistant at the New Hampshire Institute for Health Policy and Practice and the Carsey Institute for Families and Communities. A long-time resident of Kingston, New Hampshire, Melanie Higgins ’97 is a proud graduate of the University of New Hampshire, with a degree in Tourism Planning and Development.

Melanie has spent much of her career working for non-profit groups throughout the state including First Night New Hampshire, Capitol Center for the Arts, and Celebrate New Hampshire Culture.

Christina Thomas

Chrissie Thomas is assisting the New Hampshire Health Information Center in expanding the Health Data Inventory. She is a senior majoring in Health Management and Policy major at UNH with business and psychology minors. She is a participant in the University Honors Program and received the Hamilton S. Putnam Scholarship from the NH Medical Society.

Her honors thesis, “Presenting and Using Health Data through the Internet: Understanding What Makes Information Useful,” will be performed in conjunction with the NHHIC. She is a member of Alpha Epsilon Delta, a premedical honors society, and the UNH Campus Activities Board.

She is also the vice president of the Healthcare Financial Management Association for the Student Health Management Organization. Chrissie spent the 2003 summer as an intern in the Cardiology Department of Children’s Hospital Boston.


  • Amy Philbrick, M.P.H.
  • Ned Helms, M.S.
  • John Seavy, M.P.H., Ph.D
  • Jim McCarthy, M.A., Ph.D
  • Holly Tutko, M.S.