David Altman ('92-'93) reports that he recieved a $1.63 million grant from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation for the development and implemetation of a nurse documentation system that can be used in a safety net hospital as part of the work for creating a full electronic health record.
Michael Ashburn ('95-'96) sends along an update on what he's been doing since his fellowship. He was an Associate Professor of Anesthesiology at the University of Utah when he did his fellowship. In 2002 he left academics to work four-and-a-half years with ZARS Pharma, a pain specialty pharmaceutical firm that he co-founded. During his time with ZARS he was responsible for clinical and regulatory affairs, and managed to get two drugs approved for marketing in the United States and one approved in Europe. Over time, he discovered that while he enjoyed industry, he really enjoyed direct patient care and teaching, and made the decision to return to academics. After 20 years in Utah, moving from Salt Lake City to Philadelphia was a bit of a culture shock. He and his wife Carolyn love their new home, and he loves his new job. He finds his experiences in industry and as an RWJ fellow, make academic life rich.
Virginia Trotter Betts ('87-'88) was named President of the National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors in January. You can read the full press release (PDF) for additional information.
Guy Clifton ('06-'07) has a new grandson, Henry "Danger" Clifton. Guy has a new position as a Senior (but vigorous) Scholar at the New America Foundation. Rutgers will publish Clifton's book, Flatlined: Resuscitating American Medicine, in the Fall of 2008. Watch for it in bookstores.
Linda Degutis ('96-'97) began her term as President of the American Public Health Association in November. You can read the press release by going to APHA's website.
Lou Diamond ('90-'91) recently became President of the American College of Medical Quality and Chair-Elect of the Quality Measurement, Research and Improvement Council at the National Quality Forum.
Chester Douglass ('75-'76) will be retiring as Chair of the Department of Oral Health Policy and Epidemiology at Harvard School of Dental Medicine and as Professor of Epidemiology at Harvard School of Public Health, positions he has held for 30 years since being an RWJF Health Policy Fellow in 1975-76. The Harvard search committee is looking for an endowed professorship and assistant professor (both funded by Delta Dental of Massachusetts on whose Board Chet has served for 25 years). Chet is also retiring as Chief of the Dental Service of the Cambridge Health Alliance, a one day a week community dentistry position he assumed 12 years ago when the Department had only one dentist. The Cambridge Health Alliance search committee is looking for a full time Chief of Dentistry who will now be responsible for administering three community dentistry clinics, a GPR program with 6 positions, 9 full and part time dentists, 12 allied dental care providers, and 11 front office staff, along with school-based and geriatric dentistry outreach programs. Two search committees are looking for 3 people to replace Chet at Harvard. Chet will continue as Professor Emeritus to write and teach health policy in the Dental School, Epidemiology in the Public Health School, and leadership in Minority Health Policy at Harvard Medical School.
Sarah England ('05-'06) sent an update on life in Iowa. This past year, she was appointed to the new leadership team at the University of Iowa that oversees the recently reorganized UI Health Care organization. In her new capacity, she advises Dr. Robillard, Vice President for Medical Affairs, on various health policy matters and makes recommendations regarding opportunities for pursuing strategic initiatives. Sarah also works with faculty to translate their academic interest into policy. She has a wonderful assistant, Kathryn Rarick, an economist who used to work at the Congressional Budget Office and Blue Cross Blue Shield. Her policy position is only 20% time since she still has her laboratory and is working towards full professorship. She will likely expand this when she reaches full professor. You can find additional information about the new structure here. Other than that, it has been very busy juggling the lab, the diversity program, the policy office, and working with the Clinton campaign when they were in Iowa.
In September Sue Gallagher ('03-'04) made a switch from the non profit world to academia. She accepted a position as Director of the Masters of Science Program in Health Communication in the Department of Public Health and Family Medicine at Tufts Medical School. The 14 year old practice-based program prepares graduates for jobs with hospitals, community health programs, the media, bio tech firms, medical journals, national organizations and state and federal government. Sue has always loved working with graduate students and there is the challenge of updating and expanding the program. Sue plans to develop a course on effective communication with policy makers and impart some of the knowledge and skills she received as an RWJ Fellow.
Karen Hein ('93-'94) is living in Vermont, doing what we can, as Gandhi said, “to be the change you wish to see in the world.” She is actively involved as a board member of 10 non-profits, with deep participation in phenomenal international NGO’s including IRC (International Rescue Committee Overseers), ChildFund International/CCF, RAND Health Advisory Board and domestically, helping shape Consumers Union’s health care reform major initiative as their Board leader for this priority issue for them, for us, and for the country.
David Michaels ('93-'94) notes that in May, Oxford University Press will be publishing his first book - Doubt is Their Product: How Industry's Assault on Science Threatens Your Health.
Rita Redberg ('03-'04) is currently working on the ACC ‘s Presidential Task Force on Health System Reform, and in California politics for Jackie Speier in her bid for Tom Lantos congressional seat. She recently published an article in the Archives of Internal Medicine titled Variations Between Clinical Trial Participants and Medicare Beneficiaries in Evidence Used for Medicare National Coverage Decisions.
Chip Rice ('91-'92) went to Afghanistan to evaluate the airevac system and enroute care; see first hand the front line care at hospitals and forward operating bases; and to meet with our alumni. He's fairly certain that he's the only health
sciences university president to meet with alumni in a combat zone! Dr. Rice's oldest son Aaron is in a post-doctoral fellowship at Cornell University in Ithaca, NY. His younger son, Patrick, is flying the F/ A18 E/F Super Hornet at NAS Oceana, VA, in VFA-106. Patrick was recently engaged to Lucy Kuykendal who will receive her MD from the University of Tennessee College of Medicine in May.
Gene Rich ('06-'07) recently participated in a special Health Affairs Blog series on Medicare physician compensation and the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR). You can go the Health Affairs website to read his blog entry. He is currently working at the National Institutes of Health.
Steffie Woolhandler ('90-'91) thought the alums might be interested in this op-ed on health care reform which she wrote for the New York Times. She says she's still churning out health policy research, teaching, supervising research fellows, and trying to get non-profit single-payer national health insurance for the U.S. Her family is all well. Gracie, who was three weeks old when she started her RWJ fellowship, just got accepted to college (Stanford). Kayty (a toddler during her fellowship year) is about to graduate from Yale. Maroje, her god-son who lived with her during the fellowship, is now the head of research for the central bank of Croatia, with a son of his own. Time flies!
If you have comments or questions about the newsletter or fellowship, please contact us.