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Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania

Comparative Effectiveness Scholars

The Center for Health Care Improvement and Patient Safety at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine is pleased to announce its first KM1 in Comparative Effectiveness Research (CER) Awardees.

The two-year scholarship, funded by the NIH, aims to train CER research scientists at different career stages to assure an adequate pipeline of outstanding investigators in this area. Scholars supported through this program will complete mentored research projects focusing on the generation, translation, and dissemination of evidence in the area of comparative effectiveness, including medical interventions that address prognostic, preventive, diagnostic, therapeutic or palliative goals.   The 2011 awardees are:

Alison Buttenheim, PhD, MBA, Assistant Professor of Family & Community Health at the UPENN School of Nursing, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health & Society Program Scholar and Leonard Davis Institute Senior Fellow, will assess the effectiveness of vaccine messages, materials, and communication strategies developed by the CDC in its Provider Resources for Vaccine Conversations with Parents initiative and identify the parental sociodemographic and cognitive characteristics associated with effectiveness of these communication materials, methods and strategies.

David Casarett, MD, MA, Associate Professor of Medicine at UPENN, will create the national CHOICE network (Coalition of Hospices Organized to Investigate Comparative Effectiveness), which will use electronic health record (EHR) data to answer key CER questions. Initial analysis will identify caregiver- and patient-focused interventions associated with a decreased risk of unplanned hospitalizations. Dr. Casarett will link EHR data and Family Evaluation of Hospice Care survey results in preparation for future CER grant proposals that will connect processes, outcomes, and satisfaction with care.

Sara Keller, MD, MPH, a fellow in infectious diseases at the UPENN, will develop research protocols focusing on patient safety and infection control. She plans to examine and compare rates of healthcare acquired infections across the healthcare system and throughout the state. She is also interested in issues of quality of care for HIV positive patients.

Eileen Lake, PhD, RN, FAAN, Associate Professor in the UPENN Schools of Nursing and Arts and Sciences will assess the comparative effectiveness of hospital nursing resource configurations. Dr. Lake aims to identify the most common configurations of nursing resources, including staffing levels, education and experience, skill mix, and practice environment; to identify how hospital characteristics, market-area registered nurse supply, and financial constraints relate to particular configurations and which configurations achieve superior patient outcomes.

Benjamin Laskin, MD, Instructor of Pediatrics the Division of Nephrology at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, will evaluate the efficacy of more frequent pediatric hemodialysis (HD), specifically, three times v. five times weekly. The aim of the research is to determine whether more frequent pediatric HD impacts cardiovascular abnormalities, bone disease, anemia, quality of life, school performance, and overall healthcare costs in children with end stage renal disease.

Zachary Meisel, MD, MPH, Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine at UPENN, will evaluate the effectiveness of different print communication strategies to improve dissemination and uptake of evidence relating to recognition of symptoms and use of timely emergency care during stroke and AMI within a community where there is a high prevalence of cardiovascular disease and in which significant barriers to care are present.

Sage Myers, MD, MSCE,  Assistant Professor in Pediatrics at UPENN and attending physician in the Division of Emergency Medicine at CHOP, will compare mortality rates for injured children by the trauma level of the emergency department in which they receive care. She will evaluate differences in mortality rates for children cared for in free-standing children’s hospitals to mortality rates for children treated in general emergency departments with comparable pediatric trauma credentials. Dr. Myers will also evaluate differences in cost of treatment across hospital types.

Kelly Wiltse Nicely, PhD, CRNA, Assistant Professor of Nurse Anesthesia in the UPENN School of Nursing, will compare the effectiveness of conscious sedation (CS) and monitored anesthesia care (MAC), two common modalities used for patient sedation during colonoscopy to identify and remove polyps. Currently, there are no national guidelines in place for the sedation of patients during colonoscopy and the type of sedation used is both institution and provider specific.

Hanna Zafar, MD, MHS, Assistant Professor of Radiology at UPENN, will compare the clinical and economic outcomes associated with use of Computed Tomography Colonography (CTC) vs. Optical Colonoscopy (OC) for colorectal cancer screening among Medicare patients. Dr. Zafar will study the risks, predictors, and costs of receiving follow-up testing and procedures among patients who receive CTC compared to patients who receive Optical Colonoscopy (OC).

University of Penn Medical Campus