AcademyHealth honors leading health services researchers

June 13, 2011

SEATTLE (June 13, 2011) - AcademyHealth announced its 2011 award winners today, recognizing leading researchers in different stages of their careers for significant contributions for the fields of health services research and health policy.

"With these prestigious awards, AcademyHealth recognizes the impact that new and established researchers have made in health services research. Their research adds to the rich knowledge base that helps policymakers and practitioners improve health care," said Dr. Lisa Simpson, M.B., B.Ch., M.P.H., F.A.A.P., president and CEO of AcademyHealth.

The following awards will be presented at the 2011 Annual Research Meeting, June 12-14 in Seattle:


Vince Mor, Ph.D.

Dr. Mor is professor and chair of the Department of Community Health at the Alpert Medical School of Brown University and the Florence Pirce Grant University Professor of Community Health. Dr. Mor has been principal investigator of more than 25 NIH-funded grants focusing on the factors associated with variation in use of health services and the outcomes of the frail elderly and chronically ill experience. He has had multiple grants from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Pew Memorial Trust, the Retirement Research Foundation, and The Commonwealth Fund, as well as several federal contracts.

The Distinguished Investigator Award recognizes investigators who have made significant and lasting contributions to the field of health services research through scholarship, teaching, advancement of science and methods, and leadership.


Scott D. Halpern, M.D., Ph.D.

Dr. Halpern is assistant professor of medicine and epidemiology, and deputy director of the Center for Health Incentives at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. Dr. Halpern's research combines empirical approaches from the fields of health services research, epidemiology, and the decision-making sciences with conceptual work grounded in moral philosophy. He applies these approaches in two related fields.

The Alice S. Hersh New Investigator Award recognizes scholars early in their careers as health services researchers who show exceptional promise for future contributions to the field.


Jeffrey Silber, M.D., Ph.D., and Robert Kaestner, Ph.D.

Drs. Silber and Kaestner received this award for research in two related publications concerning the intensity of treatment within hospitals, as measured by Dartmouth end-of-life treatment indices. These papers examined how medical outcomes and financial costs are associated with the intensity, or aggressiveness, of treatment.

The first of the winning articles, "Aggressive Treatment Style and Surgical Outcomes," appeared in the December 2010 special issue of Health Services Research. Drs. Kaestner and Silber also published a related paper, "Evidence on the Efficacy of Inpatient Spending on Medicare Patients," in The Milbank Quarterly in December 2010.

The Article-of-the-Year Award recognizes the best scientific work that the fields of health services research and health policy have produced and published during the previous calendar year. The award-winning article provides new insights into the delivery of health care and advances the knowledge of the field.


Julia Adler-Milstein, Ph.D.

Dr. Adler-Milstein received this award for her dissertation, "The Use of Information Technology in U.S. Health Care Delivery," given as part of the management track of the Ph.D. program in health policy at Harvard University. Her work examines policy and management issues related to the use of information technology (IT) in health care delivery. The three empirical papers in her dissertation assess the progress of health IT adoption, the impact of such adoption on health care costs, and complementarities between organizational structure and health IT use. She will join the University of Michigan faculty in the fall as an assistant professor with appointments in the School of Information, School of Public Health, and Medical School.

The Outstanding Dissertation Award honors an outstanding scientific contribution from a doctoral thesis in health services research.
AcademyHealth represents a broad community of people with an interest in and commitment to using health services research to improve health care. We promote interaction across the health research and policy arenas by bringing together a broad spectrum of players to share their perspectives, learn from each other, and strengthen their working relationships.


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