Office of the Vice President for Global Communications

Monday, February 6, 2012

New fellowship pairs U-M researchers with state policy makers

The Center for Healthcare Research & Transformation (CHRT) today announced the inaugural class of the CHRT Policy Fellowship at U-M, a new fellowship program focused on building connections between health services research and policy for more effective, evidence-based health policy decisions.

The fellowship, thought to be the first of its kind in the nation, will bring together five researchers from U-M and five Lansing policy makers to work on joint projects and learn from each other. The fellowship will include interactive seminars as well as hands-on experience.

“Researchers across the University of Michigan are engaged in significant work that can and should inform policy,” says CHRT Director Marianne Udow-Phillips. “Similarly, policy makers can help faculty understand how the policy process works so that research can be better targeted to have a meaningful impact. In order to accomplish those goals, researchers and policy makers need open channels of communication and a shared language. This fellowship is designed to build a common knowledge-base for researchers and policy makers and help them generate ideas for working more closely together.”

Fellows will meet in Ann Arbor twice per month for four months, beginning Friday, in day-long seminars on health policy topics relevant to researchers and policy makers alike. A broad range of health policy leaders and subject matter experts will lead interactive sessions, and the fellows will be paired to produce policy-relevant work on health issues of mutual interest.

“The CHRT Policy Fellowship at the University of Michigan presents a tremendous opportunity, not only for the distinguished inaugural class of fellows, but also the University of Michigan,” says Provost Phil Hanlon. “This is an exciting opportunity to reaffirm our commitment to supporting learning through teaching, research, and community engagement, while also making our resources more accessible to state policy makers.”

The fellowship is guided with support and leadership from the U-M Health System and the School of Public Health.

The inaugural class of U-M research fellows:

Barbara Brush, associate professor of nursing and co-coordinator of the Family Nurse Practitioner Program at the School of Nursing.

Dr. Vanessa Dalton, assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology, Medical School, and director of Program on Women's Health Care Effectiveness Research in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

Dr. Christopher Kim, assistant professor of internal medicine and assistant professor of pediatrics and communicable diseases, Medical School; associate chief of staff, Office of Clinical Affairs; and associate medical director, Faculty Group Practice.

Edward Norton, professor of economics, Department of Economics, and professor of professor of health management and policy, School of Public Health.

Dr. Joshua D. Stein, assistant professor of ophthalmology and visual sciences, Medical School; ophthalmologist and health services researcher in the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences.

The inaugural class of five policy fellows, including staff from the offices of Michigan’s senate and house majority and minority leaders and Department of Community Health:

Mark Burton, chief of staff, office of Sen. Gretchen Whitmer, Michigan Senate.

Katie Duggan, health policy analyst, House Democratic Policy Office, Michigan House of Representatives.

Elizabeth Hertel, senior policy analyst, House Republican Policy Office, Michigan House of Representatives.

Beth Nagel, health information technology manager, Michigan Department of Community Health.

Cheryl Pezon, policy analyst, Senate Republican Policy Office, Michigan Senate.

For detailed information about the fellows’ background and research/policy interests, and a list of fellowship faculty, see the CHRT fellowship page

In April CHRT will sponsor a symposium, Healthcare Policy & Research: Can We Speak the Same Language?, that will explore ways that researchers, policy makers and practice leaders can work together more effectively to influence real world change.