Acting Under Secretary for Health Michael J. Kussman, MD, MS, MACP, and Douglas Owens, MD, MS
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Douglas Owens, MD, MS is the recipient of the 2007 Under Secretary's Award for Outstanding Achievement in Health Services Research. This award recognizes a VA researcher whose work has led to major improvements in the quality of veterans' health care, has made key contributions to the future of health services research through excellence in training and mentorship, and has enhanced the visibility and reputation of VA research through national leadership. Dr. Owens is an influential health services researcher and an exceptional mentor and leader, thus exemplifying the qualities the Award represents.
Much of Dr. Owens' research has focused on HIV and sudden cardiac death, and he was the recipient of two HSR&D Career Development Awards in these areas. Dr. Owens' research helped determine that routine HIV screening in health care settings is cost-effective, even in relatively low-prevalence populations. Results of this research were published in The New England Journal of Medicine (February 2005) and played an important role in a revision of HIV screening recommendations by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). His research on strategies to prevent sudden cardiac death determined that the use of an implantable cardioverter defibrillator was a cost-effective treatment for some patients and also identified those patients most likely to benefit from the use of this device. In addition, Dr. Owens has made fundamental contributions to the methodology of guideline development and has shown that guidelines are more effective if patients' preferences about health-related quality of life are incorporated. Dr. Owens also conducts research in the area of biodefense, evaluating the usefulness of information and syndromic surveillance systems, and the importance of the supply chain in managing the response to bioterrorism.
Dr. Owens has trained a generation of health services researchers. He has mentored more than 45 trainees, with several receiving HSR&D Career Development Awards. He has served as a consultant for national and international healthcare agencies, including the CDC, the National Institutes of Health, and the World Health Organization. With a dedicated commitment to research, he has been a principal or co-principal investigator on more than 35 grants/research projects, and has nearly 130 publications that include journal articles, books, and book chapters. Dr. Owens' research has been presented more than 100 times at professional and scientific meetings. In addition to his outstanding contributions to health services research, Dr. Owens has been a staff physician with the Ambulatory Care Department of the VA Medical Center in Palo Alto, CA for more than 20 years.
Throughout his distinguished career, Dr. Owens has worked to improve the health of veterans and has made a significant impact on the quality of their care. It is with great pleasure that VA presents Dr. Douglas Owens with the prestigious Under Secretary's Award for Outstanding Achievement in Health Services Research.