Lori Melichar Gadkari, PhD, MA, a labor economist and senior program officer in the Foundation’s Research and Evaluation unit embraces the challenge of “understanding what motivates health care professionals to do high quality work.”
As part of the Foundation’s focus on ensuring that the nation has a diverse, well-trained leadership and workforce in health and health care, Melichar manages four programs to develop human capital: Interdisciplinary Nursing Quality Research Initiative, Investigator Awards in Health Polich Research, RWJF Scholars in Health Policy Research and RWJF Health Policy Fellows. She also is engaged in the Foundation’s efforts to advance the science of quality improvement (QI) research and evaluation, and to produce information that is useful to employers and providers considering investing in quality improvement training.
Melichar has worked for six years to engage researchers from a range of disciplines and backgrounds to increase what is known and understood about how to improve the quality of care provided by nurses in hospitals and other settings. Currently, Melichar is guiding the development and synthesis of research that can educate policy-makers, health care leaders, public health departments, and the public about the opportunities for nursing to play a key role in increasing the value of health care delivered in the United States.
Melichar joined the Foundation in 2002, after serving with the National Institutes of Child Health and Development. Previously, she was associated with the “Demography of Inequality” initiative at the University of Maryland Center on Population, Gender and Inequality. She also has worked at Pfizer Pharmaceuticals as a consultant and economic policy analyst, as well as at the Project Hope Center for Health Affairs.
She holds a PhD and MA in economics from the University of Maryland at College Park and a BA in economics from Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania.
An Oklahoma native, she resides in New York City with her husband. She enjoys running, cooking, and reading to her three children.