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UofL geriatrician selected for new federal Innovation Advisors Program

LOUISVILLE, Ky. Christian Davis Furman, M.D., M.S.P.H., vice chair for geriatric medicine in the Department of Family and Geriatric Medicine at the University of Louisville, has been selected for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services' (CMS) Innovation Advisors Program. She is the only Kentuckian among the 73 individuals from 27 states and the District of Columbia selected to participate.

The initiative, launched by the CMS Innovation Center in October 2011, helps health professionals deepen skills that will drive improvements to patient care and reduce costs. The participants will support the CMS Innovation Center in testing new models of health care delivery, form partnerships with local organizations to drive health care delivery system reform, and improve their own health systems so their communities will have better health and better care at a lower cost. By attending in-person meetings as well as remote sessions to expand their skills and applying what they learn, the advisors will increase their knowledge in health care economics and finance, population health, systems analysis and operations research, said the program's director.

"We're looking to these Innovation Advisors to be our partnerswe want them to discover and generate new ideas that will work and help us bring them to every corner of the United States," said CMS Innovation Center Director Rick Gilfillan, M.D.

Participants were selected from 920 applicants through a competitive process, and include clinicians, allied health professionals, health administrators and others.

UofL Geriatrics will receive a stipend of up to $20,000 to support Furman's activities while she is with the program. Her initial appointment to the program will be for one year, but the Innovation Center may continue to seek support of the advisors beyond the one-year period. Funding for this initiative was made possible by the Affordable Care Act.

Furman joined the UofL faculty in 2000 and was named vice chair in 2005. She is board-certified in geriatric medicine and hospice and palliative medicine. Her focus is on research and education in palliative medicine in the nursing home setting. She also serves as medical director for UofL's outpatient geriatric medicine office and as a physician for UofL's Palliative Medicine Fellowship Program. She earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Miami in 1992, master's in public health from UofL's School of Public Health and Information Sciences in 2003 and M.D. degree from the UofL School of Medicine in 1996. She completed her residency in internal medicine at UofL in 1999 and a fellowship in geriatric medicine at UofL in 2000.

Contact: Jill Scoggins
University of Louisville

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