Welcome From The Chair
Rainu Kaushal, M.D., M.P.H. Professor and Chair
The Department of Healthcare Policy & Research, formerly Public Health, concentrates on studying and improving healthcare delivery to optimize the value of healthcare for patients in New York and across the country. It is chaired by Dr. Rainu Kaushal, an expert in healthcare quality, patient safety and information technology.
News & Highlights
Dr. Grinspan Awarded Grant to Study Epilepsy
Zachary Grinspan, M.D., M.S., has been awarded a grant from the Pediatric Epilepsy Research Foundation. His study, called "Comparative Effectiveness Research for Infantile Spasms," will study a devastating epilepsy of infancy that can cause permanent neurodevelopment disability. Dr. Grinspan’s project will compare the three recommended treatments — ACTH, oral steroids, and vigabatrin — for infantile spasms using several large datasets. The grant is a four-center collaboration with national leaders in pediatric epilepsy research, including Dr. Anup Patel (Nationwide Children’s Hospital, Dr. Kelly Knupp (Children's Hospital Colorado), and Dr. Ren&aecute;e Shellhaas (Mott's Children's Hospital).
Dr. Pesko Awarded $750k Grant from American Cancer Society
Michael Pesko, Ph.D., has been awarded a 4-year, $750,000 grant from the American Cancer Society to evaluate provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) that affect tobacco users. These provisions include expanding access to smoking cessation products and cancer screenings, permitting tobacco rating in the individual and small group health insurance marketplaces, and expanding Medicaid programs in select states. This four-year grant will evaluate the effects of these provisions on high-risk tobacco users’ insurance coverage, tobacco use, tobacco cessation product use, cancer screenings, professional consultations regarding tobacco use, and exposure to carcinogens.
Cigarette smoking is directly linked with cancer, and scientists say that it accounts for 30 percent of all cancer deaths. This grant from the American Cancer Society will help provide new, timely evidence on the impact of these provisions.
Dr. Pesko is an Assistant Professor of Healthcare Policy & Research at Weill Cornell Medicine. He uses health economics and econometrics frameworks to evaluate policies affecting healthcare delivery, health insurance, and substance use.
Dr. Johnson Named Chair of the Health Informatics Accreditation Council of CAHIIM
Stephen Johnson, Ph.D., was named chair of the Health Informatics Accreditation Council of the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM). CAHIIM strives to provide the public with effective and consistent quality monitoring of health informatics and health information management (HIM) programs through maintenance of accreditation processes.
New Faculty Recruited in Health Informatics
Fernando Martín-Sánchez, Ph.D., FACMI, has joined the Department of Healthcare Policy & Research's Division of Health Informatics. Dr. Martín-Sánchez comes to us as former chair and professor of Health Informatics at the University of Melbourne’s Medical School. He is a biomedical informatics scientist with a career developed across the United States, Spain, and Australia. His research focuses on informatics methods in eHealth, participatory health, precision medicine, and translational research.
Dr. Alvin Mushlin Selected to Receive the 2015 SMDM Career Achievement Award
Alvin Mushlin, M.D., Sc.M., the Nanette Laitman Distinguished Professor of Public Health in the Department of Healthcare Policy & Research and Professor of Medicine at Weill Cornell Medicine, has been selected to receive the 2015 Career Achievement Award from the Society for Medical Decision Making (SMDM).
Jyotishman Pathak, Ph.D., Named Chief of Health Informatics
Dr. Pathak plans to increase the size and scope of the Division of Health Informatics, which is dedicated to understanding how the explosion of biomedical big data affects healthcare delivery. He will lead efforts to expand the division's research and educational activities. Dr. Pathak also plans to foster and strengthen collaborations between health informatics researchers and clinician-investigators at Weill Cornell Medicine, Cornell University, Cornell Tech, and NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital.
Can big data help us close an epilepsy care gap?
Epilepsy has been termed an "ambulatory care sensitive condition," meaning that high-quality outpatient epilepsy care can reduce unnecessary emergency department (ED) visits and hospitalizations. Using this framework, high ED use is a marker of poor disease control or limited access to care. Do all people with epilepsy with poorly controlled disease or limited access frequent the ED? Are other factors at play? Read the article and accompanying editorial.
Dr. Jessica Ancker Discusses the Decline of Privacy Concerns as Patients Acclimate to Electronic Health Records
"Electronic health records, which were adopted really quickly and are now used in more than 96 percent of doctor's offices, have made a huge difference in the way that medical care is delivered. This study shows us that patients have noticed this change and have become more comfortable with the technology," said lead investigator Dr. Jessica Ancker, an associate professor of healthcare policy and research at Weill Cornell Medical College.
Dr. Zachary Grinspan Receives CDC Grant to Study Rare Epilepsies
Rare epilepsies are a devastating group of diseases that begin in childhood, and are often associated with profound neurologic, medical, and psychiatric disabilities. Zachary Grinspan, M.D., M.S., is leading a team that has been approved for a $900,000 grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Members of The Fountain House Are Less Likely to Need E.R., says Dr. Zachary Grinspan
Dr. Zachary Grinspan, M.D., M.S. completed a study showing how members at the Fountain House in New York City, a clubhouse dedicated to the recovery of individuals with mental illness, are less likely to be admitted to the emergency department than non-members.
Dr. Finkel Welcomes University of Havana's Dr. Alonso
Madelon Finkel, Ph.D., professor of healthcare policy and research and director of the Office of Global Health Education, welcomed Isel Pascual Alonso, Ph.D. from the University of Havana on Tuesday, September 8. Dr. Alonso's visit was a follow-up to Dr. Finkel's visit to Cuba in June. Discussion focused on having Weill Cornell students spend time in Havana working in Dr. Alonso's lab. Dr. Finkel previously set up a clinical elective for fourth-year students to spend six weeks at a major teaching hospital in Havana.
Dr. Finkel Teaches Course on Epidemiology and Biostatistics for Veterinary Residents
Madelon Finkel, Ph.D., professor of healthcare policy and research and director of the Office of Global Health Education, and Galina Hayes, BVSc, MRCVS, Ph.D., a faculty surgeon and epidemiologist at Cornell University's College of Veterinary Medicine, are jointly teaching a course in epidemiology and biostatistics for interested veterinary residents. The six-hour course presents the fundamentals of each discipline with the aim of preparing the residents to conduct high-quality research.
"You Get Reminded You're a Sick Person"
An article in the Journal of Medical Internet Research by Dr. Jessica Ancker and colleagues explores personal data tracking and patients with multiple chronic conditions.
Research on health effects of fracking faces multiple challenges
"For the most part, they're not allowed to talk about any ill effects to themselves, to their water, to their land, even to their animals," says Dr. Madelon Finkel, an epidemiologist at Weill Cornell, to Reuters Health. "That in a sense is hampering the ability to do good research.""
Center for Health Economics of Treatment for Substance Users Is Established at Weill Cornell Medical College
Sorting out the complex economics of treating substance use disorder is the goal of a new center funded by a $5.8 million grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Led by Bruce Schackman, Ph.D., professor of healthcare policy and research and the Saul P. Steinberg Distinguished Professor of Psychiatry and Public Health at Weill Cornell Medical College, the cross-institutional Center for Health Economics of Treatment Interventions for Substance Use Disorder, HCV, and HIV ("CHERISH") will serve as a national resource for substance use health economics research by developing and disseminating economic evidence that informs substance use treatment policy and hepatitis C and HIV care for substance users.
NYC-CDRN Approved for $8.5 Million in Phase II of PCORnet, a New National Clinical Research Network
The New York City Clinical Data Research Network (NYC-CDRN) has been approved for a three-year, $8.5 million funding award by the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) as part of the second phase of the development of the National Patient-Centered Clinical Research Network (PCORnet). Learn more about this funding award and the NYC-CDRN
Latest Therapies to Address the Historical Spread of Hepatitis C in the Middle East Discussed at WCMC-Q Grand Rounds
Laith Abu-Raddad, Ph.D., associate professor of public health at WCMC-Q, described the historical spread of hepatitis C in the Middle East and North Africa and discussed the latest therapies and public health efforts aimed at controlling the debilitating virus.
Department of Healthcare Policy & Research Names Dr. Karla Ballman Chief of Division of Biostatistics and Epidemiology
The Department of Healthcare Policy and Research is excited to announce that Dr. Karla Ballman will join the Department as chief of the Division of Biostatistics and Epidemiology. Dr. Ballman, who is currently a tenured professor of biostatistics at the Mayo Clinic, will join Weill Cornell Medical College on Wednesday, July 15.
"We are so pleased to have Dr. Ballman joining us. She is a talented biostatistician and effective leader," said Dr. Rainu Kaushal, chair of the Department of Healthcare Policy & Research and the Frances and John L. Loeb Professor of Medical Informatics at Weill Cornell, and healthcare policy and research physician-in-chief at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center. "In her new role, Dr. Ballman will serve as an integral part of our multidisciplinary department. She'll bring her expertise to bear on specific research projects as well as on recruitment of new biostatisticians, and we couldn’t be happier to have her on board."
Dr. Ashley Giambrone Promoted to Assistant Professor
Ashley Giambrone, Ph.d., M.S. has been promoted to Assistant Professor of Research in Healthcare Policy and Research. While Postdoctoral Associate in Biostatistics at Weill Cornell Medical College, Ms. Giambrone worked closely with the Department of Radiology to provide statistical consultation for various research efforts. She will continue these efforts in study design, diagnostic accuracy studies, phase 1 clinical trials, and more in her new role.
"We recognized the crucial need for new training programs after hearing from hospital CEOs about the scarcity of leaders with background in health-care policy, particularly given the explosion of data and evidence," says Dr. Kaushal. "The formula proposed here is basic: as health-care changes, so must medical and other professional health education.".
Healthcare Policy and Research Professor's Abstract Selected as Best in the Medicare Category
Dr. Hye-Young Jung's abstract, "Physician Participation in Meaningful Use and Rehospitalization of the Dually-Eligible," was selected as the best abstract in the Medicare category at the AcademyHealth Annual Research Meeting in Minneapolis, June 14-16. AcademyHealth selected less than 1% of the over 2,600 abstracts they received for best among 18 categories.
Dr. Laith Abu-Raddad Appointed Assistant Dean of Extramural Research Funding
Laith Abu-Raddad, Ph.D., associate professor of healthcare policy and research, has been appointed assistant dean of extramural research funding at Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar. In this new administrative appointment, which takes effect on July 1, Dr. Abu-Raddad will provide leadership and support by managing the relationship with the Qatar National Research Fund, reviewing policy and new programs, and providing internal implementation and oversight. Learn more about Dr. Abu-Raddad's appointment and current work.
Study of Physician Participation in Electronic Health Record Incentive Programs Signals Need for Further EHR Healthcare Policy Maintenance
"Those physicians who adopted the [Electronic Health Record incentive] program may provide higher quality care to their patients [than physicians who don't adopt the program]," said lead author Dr. Hye-Young Jung, an assistant professor of healthcare policy and research at Weill Cornell. "This difference may create a digital divide."
Dr. Zachary Grinspan Named Laitman Scholar
Zachary Grinspan, MD, MS, has been named the Nanette Laitman Clinical Scholar in Public Health/Community Health.
Dr. Paul Christos is Promoted to Associate Professor
Congratulations to Paul J. Christos, DrPH, MS, who has been promoted to Associate Research Professor of Healthcare Policy and Research.
Caprice Greenberg, M.D., M.P.H.
Professor, University of Wisconsin-Madison
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NYC-CDRN Receives Funding for Phase II Work
The NYC-CDRN has been approved for a three-year, $8.5 million funding award by the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) as part of the second phase of the development of the National Patient-Centered Clinical Research Network.
CHERISH is a multi-institutional Center of Excellence, funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse. The Center’s mission is to develop and disseminate health economic research on healthcare utilization, health outcomes, and health-related behaviors that informs substance use disorder treatment policy and HCV and HIV care of substance users. The Center is a collaboration among Weill Cornell Medicine, Boston Medical Center, the University of Pennsylvania, and the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine.
Master's Program in Health Informatics Featured in U.S. News and World Report
Special Programs & Services
Selected Recent Publications
Journal of Occupational and Envrionmental Medicine • 2015 • Kleinman, Eli J. MD, MPH; Christos, Paul J. PhD, MS; Gerber, Linda M. PhD; Reilly, John P. MD; Moran, William F. AD; Einstein, Andrew J. MD, PhD; Neugut, Alfred I. MD, PhD
NYPD Cancer Incidence Rates 1995–2014 Encompassing the Entire World Trade Center Cohort
Neurology • 2015 • Zachary M. Grinspan, MD, MS, Jason S. Shapiro, MD, MA, Erika L. Abramson, MD, MS, Giles Hooker, PhD, Rainu Kaushal, MD, MPH and Lisa M. Kern, MD, MPH
Predicting frequent ED use by people with epilepsy with health information exchange data
Menopause • 2015 • Gerber LM, Chiu YL, Verjee M, Ghomrawi H.
Health-related quality of life in midlife women in Qatar: relation to arthritis and symptoms of joint pain.
American Journal of Human Biology • 2015 • Gerber LM, Giambrone AE, Al-Ali HM, Verjee MA.
Validity of self-reported vitamin D deficiency among midlife Arab women living in Qatar.
JAMIA • 2015 • Jessica Ancker, Lisa Kern, Alison Edwards, Daniel Stein, Rainu Kaushal, et al
Associations between healthcare quality and use of electronic health record functions in ambulatory care
JAMA • 2015 • Lawrence Casalino
Pioneer Accountable Care Organizations: Traversing Rough Country
Med Care • 2015 • Lawrence Casalino, Michael Pesko, Andrew Ryan, Xuming Sun, Jayme Mendlsohn, et al
Physician Networks and Ambulatory Care-sensitive Admissions
Appl Clin Inform • 2015 • Rainu Kaushal, Alison Edwards, Lisa Kern, HITEC Investigators
Association between Electronic Health Records and Health Care Utilization
Am J Med Qual • 2015 • Joshua Richardson, Lisa Kern, Michael Silver, Hye-Young Jung, Rainu Kaushal, HITEC Investigators
Physician Satisfaction in Practices That Transformed Into Patient-Centered Medical Homes: A Statewide Study in New York
Praeger Press • 2015 • Madelon Finkel (Ed)
The Human and Environmental Impact of Fracking: How Fracturing Shale for Gas Affects Us and Our World
JAMIA • 2015 • Joshua Richardson, Joshua Vest, Lisa Kern, Rainu Kaushal, et al
A Needs Assessment of Health Information Technology for Improving Care Coordination in Three Leading Patient-Centered Medical Homes
PLoS Medicine • 2015 • Laith Abu-Raddad
Role of Acute HIV Infection in Driving HIV Transmission: Implications for HIV Treatment as Prevention
JAMIA • 2015 • Lisa Kern, Alison Edwards, Michelle Pichardo, Rainu Kaushal
Electronic health records and health care quality over time in a federally qualified health center
J Bone Joint Surg Am • 2015 • Hassan Ghomrawi, Ashley Eggman, Andrew Pearle
Effect of age on cost-effectiveness of unicompartmental knee arthroplasty compared with total knee arthroplasty in the U.S.
Sci Total Environ • 2015 • Jake Hays, Madelon Finkel, et al
Considerations for the development of shale gas in the United Kingdom
Am J Med Qual • 2015 • Lisa Kern, Alison Edwards, Rainu Kaushal, et al
The Meaningful Use of Electronic Health Records and Health Care Utilization
Med Care • 2015 • Bruce Schackman et al
The Lifetime Medical Cost Savings from Preventing HIV in the United States
JAMA Surg • 2015 • Jialin Mao, Xi Emily Zheng, Art Sedrakyan, et al
Population-Based Estimates of the Prevalence of Uterine Sarcoma Among Patients With Leiomyomata Undergoing Surgical Treatment
J Gen Intern Med • 2015 • Jessica Ancker
Capsule commentary on weeks et al, "Provider perceptions of the electronic health record incentive programs: a survey of eligible professionals who have and have not attested to meaningful use"
Hepatology • 2015 • Laith Abu-Raddad et al
Estimation of hepatitis C virus infections resulting from vertical transmission in Egypt
Am J Manag Care • 2015 • Erika Abramson, Alison Edwards, Michael Silver, Rainu Kaushal, et al
Trending Health Information Technology Adoption Among New York Nursing Homes
JAMA Psychiatry • 2015 • Yuhua Bao et al
Retaining Part D’s Comprehensive Coverage of Antidepressants
Am J Manag Care • 2015 • Joshua Vest, Rainu Kaushal, Michael Silver, Lisa Kern, et al
Health Information Exchange and the Frequency of Repeat Medical Imaging
Epilepsia • 2015 • Zachary Grinspan, Erika Abramson, Hye-Young Jung, Rainu Kaushal, Lisa Kern, et al
Hospital crossover increases utilization for people with epilepsy: A retrospective cohort study
Qatar Medical Journal • 2014 • Paul Christos, Laith Abu-Raddad, Alvin Mushlin et al
Prevention of type II diabetes mellitus in Qatar:
Who is at risk?