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Leading health care quality expert is 2012 AcademyHealth Distinguished Investigator

(ORLANDO, Fla.) June 25, 2012 AcademyHealth announced today that Elizabeth McGlynn, Ph.D., is the 2012 recipient of its Distinguished Investigator Award.

One of the highest honors in the field of health services research and health policy, the Distinguished Investigator Award recognizes individuals who have made significant and lasting contributions to the field of health services research through scholarship and teaching, advancement of science and methods and leadership.

Dr. McGlynn, director of the Kaiser Permanente Center for Effectiveness & Safety Research, is an internationally known expert in the evaluation of health care quality and a leader in the field of health services research. Among her many contributions to our understanding of the level and appropriateness of U.S. health care is the landmark 2003 study "The Quality of Health Care Delivered to Adults in the United States," which found that, on average, American adults receive about half of recommended care. The study used a new method for evaluating quality that was developed under Dr. McGlynn's leadership and garnered significant media attention that contributed to a much broader understanding of the size and nature of the quality problem in the United States (McGlynn, E. et al, N Engl J Med 2003; 348:2635-2645, June 26, 2003). The research was recognized as the 2004 AcademyHealth Article-of-the-Year.

"Dr. McGlynn has dedicated her career to helping us understand, measure and evaluate health care quality," said AcademyHealth president and CEO Dr. Lisa Simpson, MD. "Her research, leadership and counsel have been critically important to our ability to identify evidence-based strategies to improve care quality and outcomes. She is truly deserving of this high honor from our field."

Dr. McGlynn is currently leading efforts to further leverage Kaiser Permanente's research infrastructure and integrated health care system to study the effectiveness and safety of new drugs, devices and therapeutic practices. The knowledge gained will enhance the ability of clinicians and patients to choose the diagnostic and therapeutic options that are best aligned with patient preferences. Dr. McGlynn is working to expand important collaborative partnerships between health care delivery system leaders and researchers, contributing to Kaiser Permanente's goal of functioning as a learning health care organization.

Dr. McGlynn also collaborates on research studies led by colleagues at institutions other than Kaiser Permanente, with a current emphasis on quality measures for children admitted to hospitals with one of five respiratory conditions. In addition, she is part of a team that is seeking to develop measures for the Children's Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act on care coordination for children with complex needs and for those with mental health problems.

"Dr. McGlynn's leadership and expertise as Director of our Center for Effectiveness and Safety Research have been central to advancing our vision of Kaiser Permanente as a learning health care organization," said Raymond J. Baxter, PhD, senior vice president, Kaiser Permanente Community Benefit, Research and Health Policy. "Given the profound impact that she has had in the field of health services research throughout her entire career, it comes as no surprise that she is this year's Distinguished Investigator. We are deeply proud and honored to have her as part of the Kaiser Permanente research team."

Dr. McGlynn is a member of the Institute of Medicine and serves on a variety of national advisory committees. She was a member of the Strategic Framework Board that provided a blueprint for the National Quality Forum on the development of a national quality measurement and reporting system and currently co-chairs NQF's Measurement Application Partnership Coordinating Committee. She serves as Secretary/Treasurer for the board of the American Board of Internal Medicine Foundation and is on the editorial boards of Health Services Research and The Milbank Quarterly. She formerly served as associate director of RAND Health and held the RAND Distinguished Chair in Health Care Quality. She is the immediate past-chair of AcademyHealth's board of directors.

The Distinguished Investigator Award is presented in conjunction with the 2012 AcademyHealth Annual Research Meeting. The annual meeting is the premier forum for health services research, with more than 2,000 researchers, policymakers and health care providers gathering to discuss new and innovative evidence to improve health care access, quality, value and outcomes.

Contact: Kristin Rosengren

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