The What's Next Health series features leading thinkers and visionaries. Stanford social scientist & innovator BJ Fogg discusses his model f...
Clinical Scholars On March 31, 2011, Ryan Greysen, MD, (’09) hosted a live discussion on the RWJF Human Capital Grantee Network where he shared his research on behavior by medical professionals on social media tools such as Facebook and Twitter. Greysen’s work on this issue was subsequently cited in a New York Times Well Blog post about whether doctors should be on Facebook. Greysen also received the Lipkin Award during the Society of General Internal Medicine (SGIM) Annual Meeting, for his community-based, participatory research project looking at transitions in care for homeless persons at Columbus House in New Haven, Conn.
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Clinical Scholars In an op-ed published by the New York Times, alumnus Peter Bach, MD, MAPP, (’95) and his colleague, Robert Kocher, MD, propose making medical school free. They argue that “making medical school free would relieve doctors of the burden of student debt and gradually shift the workforce away from specialties and toward primary care.” Bach and Kocher believe that high medical school debt motivates doctors to pursue more highly paid specialties that are driving our rising health care costs. They estimate the cost of their plan to be $2.5 billion per year, about one-thousandth of what we spend on health care in the United States at present.
Six months after launching a national search, the board of Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science selected David M. Carlisle, MD, PhD, (’98) director of the Office of Statewide Health and Planning and Development in California, as University president. Carlisle was selected for his proven leadership as a physician, an educator and a model who serves the underserved. He will begin his new role on July 1, 2011.
Peggy Chen, M.D., M.Sc., (’07) a fellow in health policy and management at the Yale School of Public Health, was invited to present a podium presentation at the National Research Service Award (NRSA) Research Trainee Conference. She will present her work on “Satisfaction in Primary Care: A Comparison of International and U.S. Medical Graduates” on Saturday, June 11, 2011. This meeting is sponsored by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ).
On May 9, 2011, Patrick Conway, M.D., M.Sc., (’05) became the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) new chief medical officer and director of the agency’s Office of Clinical Standards and Quality. In his previous role as director of Hospital Medicine at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, Conway was responsible for improving the measurement and quality of care in a $1.5 billion health care system.
Glenn Geelhoed, M.D., (’73) a professor of surgery, international medical education, microbiology, immunology, and tropical medicine at George Washington University, authored Gifts from the Poor: What the World’s Patients Taught One Doctor about Healing, released on May 1, 2011. The book reflects on more than four decades of medical missions to the poorest parts of the globe to treat patients at no cost and train locals to dispense care. Drawn from memories, personal papers, and Geelhoed’s daily journals, Gifts from the Poor takes readers along on his journey. Geelhoed recently brokered a medical peace initiative in South Sudan between two warring tribes and subsequently led a team of medical specialists from Team Rubicon to deliver on his commitment to provide medical care.
Terry Jacobson, M.D., (’87) was named president of the the Southeast Lipid Association. Jacobson is currently the director of the Office of Health Promotion and Disease Prevention at Emory University in Atlanta, Ga. The National Lipid Association (NLA) is a multidisciplinary, nonprofit, membership association that serves health care professionals who manage patients with lipid disorders and cardiovascular disease. The NLA’s public health mission is to help reduce deaths related to high cholesterol.
Christoph Lee, M.D., (’10) a scholar at the program’s UCLA site, was awarded the 2011–2012 E. Stephen Amis, Jr., M.D., Fellowship in Quality and Safety by the American College of Radiology (ACR). The fellowship provides the opportunity for one radiology fellow to obtain direct exposure to the functions of the Department of Quality and Safety at the ACR. The department manages programs that accredit facilities in mammography, stereotactic breast biopsy, breast ultrasound, MRI, CT, nuclear medicine, PET, radiation oncology and ultrasound.
In the May 2, 2011, edition of his weekly Medical Insider column for Time Magazine, Zachary Meisel, M.D., M.P.H., (’08) discussed RWJF’s annual County Health Rankings, a within-state comparison of county health covering each county in every one of the United States. Meisel discusses how the Rankings help organize communities and policy-makers around improving health by also looking at the social and environmental factors that affect health. To read Meisel’s other columns, visit www.Time.com.
Raina Merchant, M.D., (’07) assistant professor at the University of Pennsylvania in the department of emergency medicine and senior fellow in the Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics, received media coverage for her work to develop a mobile-phone app that would provide oral instructions for CPR, including providing the right rhythm for chest compressions. Merchant, who tried to save the life of an airline passenger sitting next to her on a flight seven years ago, received news coverage in the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Sun Herald and the Bellville News-Democrat, among others.
Marcella Nuñez-Smith, M.D., M.H.S., (’04) won the 2011 American Medical Student Association (AMSA) Women Leaders in Medicine Award during the AMSA Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C. The award recognizes women physicians and educators who serve as role models, mentors, highly accomplished professionals, and sources of inspiration for current medical students. Nuñez and another colleague were nominated by Yale medical students. “I believe they represent, in addition to the many incredible faculty and staff that Yale boasts, the strength of our program in promoting the kind of inspiring and ethical leadership that will help drive advances in medical care and education,” commented Georgina I. Lucas, deputy director of the Yale Clinical Scholars program.
In a post on the Health Affairs Blog, Kavita Patel, M.D., (’03) a fellow and managing director of Delivery System Reform and Clinical Transformation at the Engelberg Center for Health Care Reform at the Brookings Institution, examines the health policy aspects of President Obama’s new framework for controlling spending and reforming entitlements.
Desmond Runyan, M.D., Dr.P.H., Clinical Scholars alumnus (’79) and national program director, has been named the new director of the Kempe Center for the Prevention and Treatment of Child Abuse and Neglect, a section of the University of Colorado School of Medicine’s Department of Pediatrics. He will also serve as the Jack and Viki Thompson Professor of Pediatrics. Runyan will remain in his role as Clinical Scholars program director from Colorado.
Charmaine Smith Wright, M.D., (’08) a Center for Public Health Initiatives Fellow at the University of Pennsylvania whose research is focused on parental health behaviors and child health outcomes, was featured in a WHYY news story about African American women and the health of their babies. The story is part of WHYY’s continuing series, “In the Gap: Voices from the Health Divide.” Wright argues that black women often connect with medical care later in their pregnancies than white women.
Community Health Leaders Under the leadership of Kris Volcheck, D.D.S., M.B.A., (’10) the CASS Children’s Dental Clinic at Murphy received support from the Bruce T. Halle Family Foundation for their efforts to provide dental care to schoolchildren in the Phoenix area. The foundation awarded the dental clinic a grant to buy three portable, folding dental treatment chairs, cases, transport trailer, supplies, a hand-held X-ray machine, laptops and technical support. The clinic—the only fully portable, on-site, free dental program in Arizona—provides dental care at no charge to all children in the Murphy Elementary School District. “The level of tooth decay we see in these children is profound. Nearly every child has at least one cavity and more than half have several,” Volcheck said. “With three new chairs and the additional equipment and supplies, we can treat even more children and put them on a lifetime path of good dental hygiene.”
Under the leadership of Ray Lopez, M.A., (’08) the asthma program at Little Sisters of the Assumption Family Health Services, Inc., (LSA) in New York City received a multiyear funding grant in collaboration with the New York Academy of Medicine from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) as part of its Asthma Interventions in Public and Assisted Multifamily Housing Grant Program. This grant program funds demonstration projects to improve asthma control among children and others living in public housing and private-owned housing subsidized by HUD. Lopez is the director of the environmental health program at LSA.
Wehnona Stabler (’07) was honored as the American Indian Woman of the Year by the Oklahoma Federation of Indian Women on April 29, 2011. Stabler currently works as the facility unit director of the Pawhuska Indian Health Service Health Center.
Gary Wiltz, M.D., (’96) appeared February 23, 2011, on C-SPAN to discuss the mission of community health centers and the impact of congressional spending cuts on access to health care. Wiltz is the chief executive officer of Teche Action Board Inc., a federally qualified health center in Franklin, La. Wiltz’s appearance on the national program came as Congress considered the fiscal year 2011 spending cuts that could have forced his health center to make severe cutbacks in care for uninsured families. Under the budget deal agreed to by Congress on April 14, 2011, the centers would see their funding slashed by $600 million for the remainder of 2011. There are mixed views on the impact of these cuts, given additional funding for community health centers from the health legislation passed last year.
Executive Nurse Fellows Margaret Flinter, M.S.N., A.P.R.N., (’02) vice president and clinical director of Community Health Center, Inc. in Middletown, Conn., testified before the House of Representatives Steering and Policy Committee hearing on March 29, 2011, about the economic impact of the Affordable Care Act.
Keela Herr, Ph.D., R.N., A.G.S.F., F.A.A.N., (’07) professor and chair of adult and gerontology nursing in the College of Nursing at the University of Iowa in Iowa City, received the John A. Hartford Foundation/Midwest Nursing Research Society (MNRS) Award for Leadership in Geriatric Nursing Research at the annual research conference in Columbus, Ohio, held in March. The award recognizes outstanding leadership in geriatric nursing science, and honors individuals who have impacted quality of care for older adults in the MNRS region through scholarship and mentorship. The recipient of this award must also have conducted research that has guided and improved geriatric nursing practice and/or promoted science-based education in geriatric nursing.
Karen S. Hill, R.N., M.S.N., C.N.A.A., B.C., (’00), vice president/nurse executive at Central Baptist Hospital in Lexington, Ky., was appointed the editor-in-chief of The Journal of Nursing Administration, effective May 1, 2011.
Through a collaboration made possible by connections in the program’s alumni network, Mary Hooshmand, R.N., Ph.D., (’04), regional nursing director of the Southeast Florida Children’s Medical Services (CMS), and Cheri Rinehart, R.N., B.S.N., N.H.A., (’04), president and CEO of the Pennsylvania Association of Community Health Centers, facilitated the adoption of orphaned twins, Christi and her brother Dwayne. Shortly after their adoption, Dwayne, who had chronic kidney disease, also received a new kidney. Read the full story on the Human Capital Blog.
Victoria Niederhauser, Dr.P.H., M.S.N., A.P.R.N., PNP-C, (’08) associate professor and associate dean for academics at the University of Hawaii School of Nursing and Dental Hygiene, was awarded “Nurse Researcher of the Year” by Sigma Theta Tau, Gamma Psi Chapter in April 2011.
Harold Amos Medical Faculty Development Program Fritz Francois, M.D, M.Sc., commented in an April 6, 2011 ABC News.com article on a study that suggests that eating strawberries can help slow the progression of esophageal cancer. Francois said that the research might or might not indicate a link between eating strawberries and preventing cancer. “It is therefore premature and in fact not possible to tell whether or not the observed effects were by chance alone and would have happened regardless of what the patients were given, such as sugar pills,” said Francois, an assistant professor of medicine at New York University Langone Medical Center in New York.
Health & Society Scholars Harvey V. Fineberg, M.D., M.P.P., Ph.D., chair of the Health & Society Scholars national advisory committee and president of the Institute of Medicine, will be awarded the highest prize in public health—the Frank A. Calderone Prize, Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health announced in a May 17 press release. The prize, overseen by the Mailman School, is presented to an individual who has made a transformational contribution in the field of public health. Fineberg was recognized for his outstanding work in the fields of health policy and medical decision-making during his long career at Harvard University and later at the Institute of Medicine. An expert on the impact and broad possibilities of medical innovation and change, he has brought a new awareness and perspective to such issues as how best to roll out new medical technology, how to decide—as individuals and as a society—which treatments to use in complex and risky situations, and how to cope with newly emerging illnesses and threatened epidemics. Fineberg will accept the Calderone Prize at the Mailman School gala on October 18, 2011. He will give a major address the following day at the Mailman School.
Wizdom Powell Hammond, Ph.D., M.P.H., M.S., (’05) is a 2011 White House Fellows finalist. Individuals chosen to be White House Fellows are placed in the offices of cabinet secretaries, senior White House staff, and other high-level executive branch offices. As part of their education program, White House Fellows regularly meet in roundtable discussions with renowned leaders from the private and public sector and travel domestically and internationally to study U.S. policy in action.
Health Policy Fellows On January 1, 2011, Pamela Bataillon, M.S.N., M.B.A., R.N., (’03) assumed the role of interim assistant vice chancellor of business and finance, budget and financial compliance at the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC). See the announcement.
Andrew Bindman, M.D., (’09) who is also an alumnus from the Clinical Scholars program (’87), is now chief medical officer for the Medicaid and CHIP Payment Advisory Committee (MACPAC). He was previously professor of medicine, health policy, epidemiology and biostatistics at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF); director of the California Medicaid Research Institute; chief of the division of general internal medicine at UCSF’s affiliated San Francisco General Hospital; and director of UCSF’s primary care research fellowship. On April 21, 2011, the New England Journal of Medicine published a Perspective piece by Bindman and Andreas G. Schneider, J.D., about implementing health reform in California. Bindman reflects that it has been “very cool to be able to transition my knowledge gained from working on the Hill and on the Affordable Care Act back to how it is being implemented in California.”
Guy Clifton, M.D., (’06) is now professor of surgery at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USUHS) and an advisor to the Department of Defense on TRICARE. He was previously professor of neurosurgery at the University of Texas Medical School at Houston.
After his fellowship, Gustavo Cruz, D.M.D., M.P.H., (’09) became chief of the Oral Health Branch in the Division of Medicine and Dentistry at the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Bureau of Health Professions (BHPr). He is working with Kathleen Klink, M.D., (’08) the director for the Division of Medicine and Dentistry at BHPr.
On April 7, 2011, during their annual meeting, the American College of Physicians (ACP) honored Kathy Hebert, M.D., (’05) with the Richard and Hinda Rosenthal Award #2 from The Rosenthal Family Foundation for the congestive heart failure disease management model she and her colleagues created and used in the United States and in the country of Georgia. The award is given to “that individual or organization whose recent original approach in the delivery of health care or in the design of facilities for its delivery will increase its clinical and/or economic effectiveness.”
After more than six years, Julianne Howell, Ph.D., (’02) left the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to join the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) as a senior advisor. Howell’s initial focus will be in the health information exchange (HIE) realm, helping to create alignment across state HIE, Beacon Communities and Regional Extension Center (REC) programs to support providers in achieving meaningful use of electronic health records.
After completing his fellowship, David Keller, M.D., (‘09) returned to the University of Massachusetts Medical School and joined Jay Himmelstein, M.D., M.P.H., (’91) as a senior analyst at the Center for Health Policy and Research within UMass Commonwealth Medicine. David was also recently appointed by Governor Lincoln Chafee to serve on Rhode Island’s newly convened Healthcare Reform Commission.
Richard Krugman, M.D., (’80) dean of the University of Colorado School of Medicine, vice chancellor for health affairs at the University of Colorado, Denver, and chair of the Clinical Scholars program national advisory committee, recently completed chairing the Institute of Medicine ad hoc consensus committee, An Oral Health Initiative. The report is scheduled for release this spring. Krugman was also appointed to the National Heath Care Workforce Commission. However, he reports that “without an appropriation, they are not likely to be meeting anytime soon.”
Marie Michnich, Dr. P.H., (’84) alumna and national program director, is the recipient of the 2011 American Pharmacists Association (APhA) Foundation’s Jacob W. Miller Award. She attended the APhA Foundation’s Annual Meeting in Seattle, Wash., on March 22 to receive the award for “her significant contributions to improving patient health through her work as national health policy strategist and active participation with the APhA Foundation.”
Margaret Moss, Ph.D., J.D., R.N., F.A.A.N., (’08) associate professor and director of nursing management, policy, and leadership specialty at the Yale University School of Nursing, was voted chair-elect of the American Academy of Nursing’s Expert Panel on Aging. Margaret was also invited by the president of the American Academy of Nursing to join its newly-formed Future of Nursing Task Force to review recommendations from the Institute of Medicine report and create a report in early summer for the board of directors for future initiatives.
Allen Nissenson, M.D., (’94) was honored with the 2011 American Association of Kidney Patients Medal of Excellence Award during the Renal Physicians Association Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C. Allen received this prestigious award for outstanding commitment to quality patient care and its ongoing improvement.
Mark Rasenick, Ph.D., (’99) the distinguished professor of physiology, biophysics and psychiatry at the University of Illinois, Chicago, College of Medicine was elected as a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science for his contributions in the field of neuroscience. Rasenick was also recently interviewed on the Conversation Network’s “BioTech Nation” concerning the discoveries of his research group and the possibility that they indicate a biomarker for therapeutic efficacy of antidepressants. Listen to the interview.
Eugene Rich, M.D., (’06) senior fellow at Mathematica Policy Research, is an editor and an author of two chapters for a forthcoming book, Health Policy Advocacy for Busy Clinicians, currently in press with Springer publishing and scheduled to be released this summer. Mark Schwartz, M.D., (’09) also contributed a chapter for the book. A taste of Rich’s introductory chapter can be previewed at the Creighton Center for Health Policy and Ethics Web site.
Barbara Tobias, M.D., (’09) was recently named medical director of the Health Improvement Collaborative of Greater Cincinnati, working with their RWJF Aligning Forces for Quality (AF4Q) and Beacon projects around patient-centered medical homes, public reporting, and IT initiatives.
Investigator Awards in Health Policy Research On April 12, 2011, Politico published “The Social Security Sacrifice,” an op-ed by Peter Arno, Ph.D. (’97), a professor of health policy and management at New York Medical College’s School of Health Sciences, and his colleague Deborah Viola, Ph.D., associate professor of health policy and management. The article points out that Social Security has helped alleviate the burden of poverty and has helped produce a longer, healthier lifespan for millions of elderly Americans. The authors urge policy-makers to consider these effects before making drastic cuts that might jeopardize the most important safety net ever created for America’s elderly.
The Los Angeles Times published, “The Case for Rationing Healthcare,” an op-ed by M. Gregg Bloche, M.D., J.D. (’96). Bloche, a physician and professor of law at Georgetown University, strongly believes that we need to find ways to control “rising costs without forcing doctors to break with Hippocratic ideals.” He proposes clear limit-setting to inhibit the widespread adoption of new technology before it has been proven effective and to reduce the provision of futile care near the end of life.
A Wall Street Journal Review and Outlook article on April 13, 2011, titled “Paul Ryan and His Critics,” cited research by Amy Finkelstein, Ph.D., M.Phil., (’03) which “suggests that Medicare’s 1965 creation led to marketwide changes that explain about half of the increase in real per capita health spending between 1950 and 1990.”
On April 7, 2011, the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation awarded a fellowship to Dalton Conley, Ph.D., M.P.P.A., (’99) senior vice provost, professor and dean for the social sciences at New York University. Conley is among 179 other scholars, artists, and scientists selected from among nearly 3,000 applicants for its eighty-seventh annual competition in the United States and Canada. Fellows are appointed on the basis of prior achievement and exceptional promise.
The work of Edward W. Maibach, Ph.D., M.P.H., (’08) done in partnership with Matthew C. Nisbet, Ph.D., (’08) and other colleagues on climate change communication was cited in an Earth Day article for LiveScience that was also published on Yahoo! News. In the article, Maibach notes that “many people do things that would be considered environmentally sound, even if they aren’t doing it for environmental reasons. Several groups are concerned, one is not. But all of them place a high value on conserving energy.”
In, “A Thinly Disguised Assault on Medicare,” an op-ed published in the Philadelphia Inquirer, Ted Marmor, Ph.D., (’00) and his colleague Jerry Mashaw, Ph.D., LL.B., discuss Medicare vouchers. Marmor and Mashaw contend that there is more behind the Republican proposal to transform Medicare into a voucher program than just a market-oriented solution to reducing government expenditures. Instead, vouchers are viewed as one element of a larger ideological thrust to reduce the role of government in protecting society’s most vulnerable.
In the cover story of the April 17, 2011, New York Times magazine, Gary Taubes, M.S.E., M.S., (’08) the author of Why We Get Fat And What to Do About It and a Specialist V at the University of California, Berkeley, School of Public Health, explores the question of whether sugar is toxic. In this extensive article, Taubes not only examines the evidence against and blame placed on sugar as a leading cause of obesity and diabetes, but also explores whether it could be a culprit in our rising rates of cancer. Taubes received extensive media coverage for the article, including an appearance on MSNBC and KPCC Los Angeles, and mentions in the Los Angeles Times and the Huffington Post.
Scholars in Health Policy Research Daniel Carpenter, Ph.D., (’99) and Investigator Awards in Health Policy Research recipient (’03), co-published a commentary entitled, “A Unique Researcher Identifier for the Physician Payments Sunshine Act” in the Journal of the American Medical Association. The commentary discusses the pros and cons of the Physician Payments Sunshine Act, part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, signed into law in 2009. Carpenter and his colleague examine all aspects of this act, contending that it will be beneficial in enhancing transparency of financial relationships between the medical products industry and those who influence medicinal practice or research.
Brendan Nyhan, Ph.D., (’09) wrote a CNN.com op-ed about the public’s resistance to unwelcome factual information, citing the false belief that President Barack Obama was not born in the United States and questions about whether the release of Obama’s long-form birth certificate would make any difference for those with this belief. Using the Obama example as an overarching theme, the op-ed discusses Nyhan’s research on the topic and suggests that the best hope for killing this myth, or any similar one, would be to create a bipartisan consensus that it is false.
On May 10, 2011, Hilary Levey Friedman, Ph.D., (’09) published a story in the Huffington Post about “American-style” child beauty pageants. The piece details the evolution of these beauty pageants and recounts their history, focusing at the end of the article on their transfer to foreign countries. Levey questions whether childhood contests focused on children’s appearances will be as successful in other parts of the world, and if a May 24 rally in Australia will affect the future of child beauty pageants in that country.
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