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May 3, 2010

SGIM Annual Meeting Awards Presented to Five VA HSR&D Investigators

Thad Abrams, MD Receives Milton W. Hamolsky Award

Thad Abrams, MD Thad Abrams, MD, Investigator at the Center for Research in the Implementation of Innovative Strategies in Practice (CRIISP) and the Veterans Rural Health Resource Center Central Region, has received the Society for General Internal Medicine's (SGIM) 2010 Milton W. Hamolsky Award.

The Hamolsky Award is presented to three junior faculty for outstanding scientific presentations at the SGIM Annual Meeting. Dr. Abrams presented during the plenary session of the SGIM annual meeting. His study, "Does Geographical Isolation Impact the Risk of Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease Related Mortality?" examined hospital outcomes in rural and urban veterans admitted for acute exacerbations of COPD and identified sources of variations in outcomes.

Dr. Abrams is a former VA Quality Scholar, HSR&D Fellow, and is dually trained in internal medicine and psychiatry. His VA research focuses on improving the lives of Veterans with mental and physical illness. He was awarded the certificate of recognition at the Health Services Research and Development 2008 National Meeting for highest scientific merit in the postdoctoral poster competition. Dr. Abrams has published in the Journal of the American Geriatric Society, the Journal of General Internal Medicine, and Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality & Outcomes.

David Asch, MD, MBA Receives John M. Eisenberg Award

David Asch, MD, MBADavid Asch, MD, MBA, Director of HSR&D's Center for Health Equity Research and Promotion (CHERP), has received the SGIM 2010 John M. Eisenberg Award for Career Achievement. This award recognizes a senior SGIM member whose innovative research has made significant changes to the manner in which patient care is delivered, research is conducted, or students are educated. The award also underscores the national impact of the recipient's lifetime research contributions. Dr. Asch has been the recipient of numerous awards, including the 2008 Veterans Administration Under Secretary's Award for Outstanding Achievement in Health Services Research. The focus of his research has been on clinician and patient decision-making, health policy, medical ethics, technology assessment, health care management, and physician executives. He is currently the principal investigator on several studies, including a Department of Defense-funded investigation into barriers to breast cancer screening among Latinas in the U.S.-Mexico border region, the major goal which is to improve mammography use in an underserved area. Dr. Asch has authored and contributed to over 175 published papers.

Said Ibrahim, MD, MPH, Receives Herbert W. Nickens Award

Said A. Ibrahim, MD, MPHSaid A. Ibrahim, MD, MPH, Core Investigator with HSR&D's Center for Health Equity Research and Promotion (CHERP), has received the Herbert W. Nickens Award. The award honors an individual or representative of an organization who has demonstrated exceptional commitment to cultural diversity in medicine or to improving minority health, and is named in honor of the late Dr. Nickens, former Director of the Office of Minority Health, Department of Health and Human Services.

Dr. Ibrahim has been the recipient of two HSR&D Career Development Awards, and has served as principal investigator of several investigator-initiated research awards that have helped him develop an innovative research program focusing on the impact of race/ethnicity, socioeconomic status, and culture on healthcare. His contributions to the field of health disparities research include more than 60 peer-reviewed papers in top-tier journals and consistent dedication toward advancing the careers of those he has mentored. In addition, Dr. Ibrahim has provided national leadership to the SGIM, and is a current member of its governing council. He is an Associate Editor of the American Journal of Public Health and a member of the National Advisory Board for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's national program on "Finding Answers: Health Disparities."

Kevin Volpp, MD, PhD Awarded Best Paper of the Year

Kevin Volpp, MD, PhDKevin Volpp, MD, PhD, Core Investigator with VA HSR&D Center for Health Equity, Research, and Promotion (CHERP) received the SGIM's award for Best Paper of the Year for his work on financial incentives in smoking cessation. Dr. Volpp's and his team published their work in numerous journals, including the Journal of the American Medical Association and The New England Journal of Medicine.

Dr. Volpp's research interests include quality impacts of natural experiments in health policy reform, risk behavior and non-use of beneficial preventive services.

Rachel Werner, MD, PhD Awarded Outstanding Junior Investigator

Rachel Werner, MD, PhDRachel Werner, MD, PhD, Core Investigator with the VA HSR&D Center for Health Equity, Research, and Promotion (CHERP) received the SGIM's Outstanding Junior Investigator Award for her early career achievement and overall body of work which has made a national impact on generalist research.

Dr. Werner's research focuses on how quality improvement initiatives—such as pay for performance and public reporting—change health care delivery, health care organization and finances, racial disparities, and overall quality of care. Her work was among the first to recognize that public reporting of quality information may in some cases, worsen racial disparities in care. Dr. Werner was also the recipient of the 2009 AcademyHealth Alice Hersh New Investigator Award, which recognizes individuals early in their careers as health services researchers who show exceptional promise for future contributions.

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