AHRQ Grantee Profiles
These profiles highlight AHRQ research training grantees whose work has led to significant changes in health care policy and notably influenced research and practice. AHRQ supports a range of research training and career development grant programs that help emerging health services researchers better understand, improve, and share knowledge about how health care is delivered in the United States.
Identifying Strategies to Improve Medication Safety at Home
Yan Xiao, Ph.D.
Professor of Nursing and Engineering
College of Nursing and Health Innovation
University of Texas at Arlington
“AHRQ is unique in its support of collaboration among researchers of varying and diverse disciplines, which is key to innovation and sustained improvement.” More >>
Focusing on Patients to Reduce Healthcare-Associated Infections During Transitions to Home Care
Sara Keller, M.D., M.P.H.
Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD
“AHRQ really took a chance on me, allowing me to look into an under-researched area.” More >>
Reducing Patient Falls with Evidence-based Tools
Patricia Dykes, Ph.D., R.N.
Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA
“Patient falls can result in traumatic and costly outcomes. With AHRQ funding, I’ve been able to provide hospitals and primary care practices with falls prevention tools that can be incorporated into routine care.” More >>
Applying Human Factors to Make it Easier for Clinicians to Do Their Jobs
Kristen E. Miller, Dr.P.H., M.S.P.H., M.S.L.
Senior Scientific Director
National Center for Human Factors in Healthcare
MedStar Health, Washington, D.C.
“The majority of my research portfolio are implementation-related projects, which nicely aligns with AHRQ’s mission of practical, applied research. It’s not research for research’s sake. We’re improving patient safety and quality at the point of care.” More >>
Enhancing Healthcare Quality for Hospitalized Children
Sunitha Kaiser, M.D., M.Sc.
Associate Professor of Pediatrics, Epidemiology and Biostatistics
University of California, San Francisco (UCSF)
“I cannot overstate the tremendous impact that AHRQ funding has had on my career. It has allowed me to address important research questions, receive valuable mentorship, and strengthen my knowledge in the pediatric healthcare field.” More >>
Designing Innovative Health Information Technology to Reduce Healthcare Disparities
Rupa Valdez, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Biomedical Informatics
Department of Public Health Sciences
University of Virginia
“AHRQ funding has allowed me to create a strong foundation for the inclusive design of consumer health information technologies. I’ve been able to focus on needs assessments that are essential for creating inclusive and appropriate systems for ethnic and racial minorities and people with disabilities who have chronic conditions.” More >>
Improving Primary Care Delivery for Women and Rural Communities
Barbara Yawn, M.D., M.Sc.
Adjunct Professor, Department of Family and Community Health
University of Minnesota
“With AHRQ funding, I was able to conduct primary care research on chronic conditions affecting women and residents of rural communities—the types of patients I saw every day but who were not covered in research studies.” More >>
Researching Strategies for High-Quality, High-Value Care to Improve Patient Outcomes
Xiao Xu, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences
Yale School of Medicine
“I was trained in health economics and outcomes research, and have always been interested in improving quality and outcomes of care while balancing the cost implications. AHRQ funding has helped to elevate the quality of my research and the breadth of my projects.” More >>
Using Patient Input to Improve Diagnostic Safety
Sigall K Bell, M.D.
Associate Professor of Medicine
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center,
Harvard Medical School
“AHRQ is helping to pioneer a novel 360-degree approach to diagnostic error prevention by bringing patients and families directly into the discussion, so we can more effectively recognize their unique knowledge, and better detect, track, and address the kinds of diagnostic breakdowns they’re experiencing.” More >>
Improving Medication Safety for Older Adults
Michelle Chui, Pharm.D., Ph.D.
Professor, and Director of Sonderegger Research Center for Improved Medication Use
University of Wisconsin – Madison
“With funding from AHRQ, I have been able to look at medication safety from a systems perspective and develop tools that community pharmacists can use to reduce patient harm.” More >>
Assessing the Impact of Value-Based Purchasing Programs
Teresa M. Waters, Ph.D.
Professor and Chair, Department of Health Management and Policy
University of Kentucky School of Public Health
“AHRQ’s value cannot be overstated. We know a lot of what works in basic and clinical sciences, but we don’t focus on what actually happens when we translate that knowledge into the bigger world. AHRQ is absolutely focused on what happens in the bigger world.” More >>
Implementing Catheter Guidance to Improve Appropriate Use and Patient Outcomes
Vineet Chopra, M.D., M.Sc.
Chair, Department of Medicine
University of Colorado School of Medicine
“As a hospitalist, I saw a gap in knowledge related to vascular access devices, especially peripherally inserted central catheters. AHRQ support is helping me to fill this gap, improving patient safety.” More >>
Improving Quality of Care and Patient Safety with Evidence-based Management Practices
Ann Scheck McAlearney, Sc.D., M.S.
Associate Dean for Health Services Research
Distinguished Professor in the Department of Family and Community Medicine
Ohio State University College of Medicine
“With AHRQ funding, I have been able to look at how we can use management practices, rather than just clinical practice improvements, to address performance and patient safety issues, and then widely disseminate this information so that it can be applied.” More >>
Crafting Measures to Improve Accuracy of Stroke Diagnosis
David Newman-Toker, M.D., Ph.D.
Professor of Neurology, Ophthalmology and Otolaryngology
Johns Hopkins University
“I think that 10 years from now, we will look back and say that AHRQ funded a study which made a huge difference to the entire field of diagnostic safety, quality, and excellence.” More >>
Using Simulation to Enhance Electronic Health Records' Usability and Outcomes
Jeffrey A. Gold, M.D.
Vice Chair of Quality and Safety
Professor of Medicine
“The EHR is the only medical device used by every provider within a healthcare organization. AHRQ funding enabled me to create a simulation environment that can objectively measure EHR usage and assess the impact of provider training.” More >>
Using Health IT to Spot—and Stop—Wrong-Patient Errors
Jason Adelman, M.D., M.S.
Chief Patient Safety Officer and Vice Chair for Quality and Patient Safety
Columbia University Irving Medical Center/New York-Presbyterian Hospital
“I'm on the verge of making a set of new patient safety measures to address the five rights of medication safety. And we’ll finally have rigorous evidence about using patients’ photos to reduce wrong-patient errors. None of that would have been possible without funding and support from AHRQ.” More >>
Using Health IT to Enhance the Care of Patients With Multiple Chronic Conditions
James Ralston, M.D., M.P.H.
Internal Medicine Physician and Senior Investigator
Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute
“AHRQ funding helped me to build an extensive body of knowledge by using health IT to identify new ways to enhance the communication between patients with multiple chronic conditions and their providers.” More >>
Improving Obstetrical Healthcare Quality and Outcomes
Kimberly Gregory, M.D., M.P.H.
Professor and Vice Chair
Women’s Healthcare Quality and Performance Improvement
Cedars-Sinai Medical Center
“AHRQ funding set the stage for my career and enabled me to participate in regional and national quality improvement activities and be part of advocacy and policy work in women’s and obstetrics health services research.” More >>
Improving Diagnostic Process Safety
Ronilda Lacson, M.D., Ph.D.
Brigham and Women’s Hospital
Harvard Medical School
“AHRQ funding has enabled me to apply my background in informatics and information technology to enhance and address problems with the diagnostic process, improving patient safety.” More >>
Understanding Disparities in the Search for Equity
George Rust, M.D., M.P.H.
Professor of Behavioral Sciences and Social Medicine
Florida State University College of Medicine
“AHRQ has always excelled at applying rigorous scientific methodologies to the complexities of the real world.” More >>
Improving Outcomes for Patients by Optimizing Surgical Performance
Justin Dimick, M.D., M.P.H.
Professor of Surgery and Health Management and Policy
University of Michigan
“My research career has focused on developing the science behind quality measurement and improvement in surgery. Without funding from AHRQ, I never would have gotten this work off the ground.” More >>
Creating Partnerships to Reduce Infections and Improve Cardiac Care
Donald Likosky, Ph.D.
Department of Cardiac Surgery, University of Michigan
“It’s so rewarding when experts from a number of different specialties come together to solve our health system’s most complex problems.” More >>
Improving Primary Care with Team-Based Strategies
Michael Parchman, M.D., M.P.H.
University of Washington Schools of Medicine and Public Health
"Highly functioning clinical teams can really make a difference in managing patients with chronic conditions. With funding from AHRQ, I have been able to develop evidence about improving the management of chronic disease and translate this knowledge to primary care." More >>
Using Health Information Technology to Improve Pediatric Vaccination Rates
Melissa Stockwell, M.D., M.P.H.
Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons/Mailman School of Public Health
"AHRQ’s funding of practice-based research projects helped us gain knowledge and create technological solutions that have immediate impact in the health outcomes of patients from underrepresented populations." More >>
Advancing Health Information Technology To Improve Care for Underserved Populations
Urmimala Sarkar, M.D., M.P.H.
University of California, San Francisco (UCSF)
"With support from AHRQ, I have leveraged innovative health information technology approaches to advance the study of health equity. This research is helping to improve healthcare delivery and health outcomes for low-income and underserved patients." More >>
Improving Patient Safety by Reducing Drug Name Confusion
Bruce Lambert, Ph.D.
Northwestern University, Chicago
"All of our AHRQ-funded work aims to make care safer and more effective for patients by redesigning systems to improve communication and coordination." More >>
Improving Medication Safety During Care Transitions
Jeffrey Schnipper, M.D., M.P.H.
Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School
"With support from AHRQ, I have identified high-tech solutions that optimize care delivery during transitions. Hospitals can implement these best practices, including medication safety interventions, to achieve measurable improvements in patient safety." More >>
Using Research to Enhance Knowledge of Nursing Home Quality and Safety
Nicholas G. Castle, Ph.D., M.H.A.
West Virginia University, Morgantown
"AHRQ’s funding opened doors and allowed me to take a comprehensive approach when analyzing quality of care in the nursing home setting. The research has benefited facilities and supported policy makers with empirical evidence about the importance of quality and safety in nursing homes." More >>
Advancing the Field of Pediatric Health Services Research
Aaron Carroll, M.D., M.S.
"With AHRQ funding, I have been able to build critical tools and infrastructure to facilitate research into improving the ways that clinicians deliver care to children." More >>
Sharing State-Level Knowledge to Improve Care for Nursing Home Residents
Greg Arling, Ph.D.
"AHRQ fulfills a really important mission in the research world. They place priority not only on rigorous research, but also on application of research findings." More >>
Understanding Where, Why, and How Diagnostic Errors Occur
Eric J. Thomas, M.D., M.P.H.
University of Texas Health Science Center, Houston
"AHRQ has probably been the most important influence on my research career. It has been central in generating new knowledge about the scope of errors and how to prevent them and make care safer." More >>
Improving Quality and Outcomes in Home Health Care
Penny Feldman, Ph.D.
Visiting Nurse Service of New York
"The impact of AHRQ funding on health services research cannot be overstated! Support from AHRQ has been essential in promoting high quality care for home health care patients." More >>
Developing Tailored Infection-Control Practices and More Accurate HAI Outcome Measures
Anthony Harris, M.D., M.P.H.
University of Maryland, Baltimore
"AHRQ has funded work that would never have been funded by other agencies. We think it’s important work that has moved the field ahead and that would not have been possible without AHRQ filling that void." More >>
Making Pediatric Care Safer and Higher Quality
Michael Rinke, M.D., Ph.D.
Children’s Hospital at Montefiore
"AHRQ funding has enabled me to contribute knowledge to the field of pediatric medicine, helping to improve patient safety for children." More >>
Streamlining Health IT Systems to Reduce Medical Errors
Raj Ratwani, Ph.D.
MedStar Institute for Innovation
"With AHRQ funding, we have been able to develop machine learning algorithms to identify health IT-related usability and safety issues from patient safety event reports." More >>
Making Healthcare Safer for Older, Vulnerable Patients
Jerry H. Gurwitz, M.D.
University of Massachusetts Medical School
"I can’t put into words what AHRQ funding has meant to me and to others I’ve worked with doing this type of health services research...." More >>
Engaging Patients in Their Care Decisions To Promote Better Health and Well-Being
Alex H. Krist, M.D., M.P.H.
Virginia Commonwealth University
"AHRQ plays a very important role in primary care research by getting at the core principles of primary care and how we can make it better...." More >>
Using a Systems Approach to Making Care Safer
Leora Horwitz, M.D.
New York University (NYU) Langone Health
"Healthcare is delivered through a complex set of interwoven systems, and there are many factors that can affect a patient’s outcome...." More >>
Using a Human Factors and Systems Engineering Framework to Build Safer Patient Care Processes
Pascale Carayon, Ph.D.
University of Wisconsin-Madison
"I’m grateful that AHRQ was a leader in recognizing the value of human factors and systems engineering as a method to understand and reduce patient safety risks...." More >>
Protecting Pediatric Patients from Healthcare-Associated Infections in the Hospital and at Home
Aaron M. Milstone, M.D., M.H.S.
Associate Hospital Epidemiologist, The Johns Hopkins Hospital
"The insights my team and I are gaining from our AHRQ-funded research is helping us identify how infections develop among infants and children who are already very sick..." More >>
Decreasing Inappropriate Antibiotic Prescribing to Improve Patient Safety and Care
Jeffrey A. Linder, M.D., M.P.H.
Chief of the Division of General Internal Medicine and Geriatrics, Northwestern University
"Thanks to funding from AHRQ, we’re able to better understand clinician prescribing and develop interventions that improve antibiotic use." More >>
Simulating the Health Care Environment to Improve Patient and Caregiver Safety
Anjali Joseph, Ph.D., EDAC
Director of the Center for Health Facilities Design and Testing, Clemson University
"Thanks to funding from AHRQ, my team is developing the research base and tools that are needed to design and build health care facilities that support safer patient care." More >>
Using Simulation To Improve Patient Care
Matthew B. Weinger, M.D., M.S.,
Vanderbilt University Medical Center
"AHRQ's investment in health care simulation has helped our team to advance the science and application of human factors to improve our understanding of, and ability to improve, the care of patients during care transitions and life-threatening events." More >>
Improving Treatment and Care Processes for Patients with Sickle Cell Disease
Paula Tanabe, Ph.D., R.N.
Duke University School of Nursing
“Helping providers and emergency departments understand the unique clinical needs of patients with sickle cell disease is my passion.” More >>
Creating Standards for Communication and Resolution When Things Go Wrong
Thomas H. Gallagher, M.D.
University of Washington
“Providers needed a better understanding of how to communicate with patients when something goes wrong and ensure appropriate resolution.” More >>
Identifying Underlying Barriers to Infection Prevention on the Front Lines of Patient Care
Elaine L. Larson, Ph.D., R.N.
Professor of Nursing Research and Epidemiology at Columbia School of Nursing
“AHRQ’s support of my work helps clinicians understand the benefit of systematic feedback and the need to follow HAI prevention practices in a supportive environment.” More >>
Studying HAI Prevention Efforts to Inform Better Clinical Care and Policy
Grace M. Lee, M. D., M.P.H.
Associate Chief Medical Officer for Practice Innovation at Stanford Children’s Health
“Throughout my career, AHRQ funding has helped me pursue multiple avenues of research to improve patient outcomes and inform better decisions.” More >>
Improving Patient Safety through Research and Implementation
Gregory Maynard, M.D.
Hospitalist and Chief Quality Officer at the University of California Davis Medical Center
“Improving the quality, safety, and efficiency of patient care is a passion that I gladly share with AHRQ. Our commitment to rigorous, innovative research is the only way to provide the best possible patient-safety resources to healthcare teams across the country.” More >>
Gaining Clinician Support for Health IT to Improve Patient Safety
Tejal Gandhi, M.D., M.P.H.
Chief Clinical and Safety Officer, Institute for Healthcare Improvement
Associate Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School
“AHRQ funding helped us understand not only how health IT could reduce medication errors, but also the steps we needed to take to get clinicians’ support.” More >>
Customizing Health IT to Support Physician Workflow and Reduce Burden
Thomas H. Payne, M.D.
Attending Physician, University of Washington Medical Center and Harborview Medical Center
“Documentation is one of the most time-consuming parts of a doctor's day, particularly in primary care. It's an area ripe for improvement." More >>
Combatting Recurrent C diff and Other HAIs Through Research, Best Practices, and Clinical Innovation
Nasia Safdar, M.D., Ph.D.
University of Wisconsin-Madison
“The research that we’re doing, thanks to AHRQ’s support, is making it easier for clinicians to apply best practices and improve care for patients who suffer from dangerous infections.” More >>
Advancing Academic and Practical Knowledge To Prevent Infections From Hospital to Home
Susan Huang, M.D., M.P.H.
Medical Director of Epidemiology and Infection Prevention
Professor, Infectious Diseases, School of Medicine, University of California, Irvine Medical Center
"Understanding how to prevent infections in all settings of care is critical to keeping patients safe." More >>
Advancing the Use of Health Information Technology to Reduce Medication Errors and Improve Patient Safety
David W. Bates, M.D., M.Sc.
Senior Vice President and Chief Innovation Officer
Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School More >>
Improving Working Conditions Reduces Physician Burnout
Mark Linzer, M.D.
Director of the Office of Professional Work Life at Hennepin County Medical Center
Professor of Medicine at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis
"I am truly indebted to AHRQ for the support that allowed us to identify the connections between work conditions, clinician reactions (including satisfaction and burnout), and patient outcomes..." More >>
Improving the Safety and Quality of Medications and Diagnosis
Gordon D. Schiff, M.D.
Associate Director of Brigham and Women’s Center for Patient Safety Research and Practice and Associate Professor
Harvard Medical School
"We can reduce medication errors by including a key piece of information..." More >>
Reducing Avoidable Return Trips to the Hospital
Brian Jack, M.D.
Professor and Chair, Department of Family Medicine, Boston University School of Medicine
"I am truly grateful to AHRQ for our collaboration that led to RED, the toolkit, and dissemination of these ideas..." More >>
Laying the Groundwork to Improve Diagnosis in Health Care
Mark L. Graber, M.D., Senior Fellow
"The Agency’s continued support helped to sustain an annual conference series..." More >>
Leading the Way on Research To Combat Preventable Medical Errors
Lucian Leape, M.D.
Adjunct Professor of Health Policy
"AHRQ funding allowed me to conduct research on adverse events related to use of medications..." More >>
Making Health Care Safer for Patients
Peter Pronovost, M.D., Ph.D.
Clinical Chief Transformation Officer
"If you want a [return] on our basic and clinical investments at NIH, you need AHRQ...'" More >>
Improving Health Outcomes
Karen B. DeSalvo, M.D., M.P.H., M.Sc.
Acting Assistant Secretary for Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
"The AHRQ award allowed me to develop the expertise I needed to serve the New Orleans community...'" More >>
Improving Diagnostic Safety
Hardeep Singh, M.D., M.P.H.
Professor of Medicine – Health Services Research, Houston VA & Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas
"Many senior researchers used to caution me saying, 'Are you sure you want to study this?..'" More >>
Video Conferencing for Telementoring and Collaborative Care
Sanjeev Arora, M.D.
Director of Project ECHO, University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center
"AHRQ funding allowed us to create technology-supported networks of continual learning..." More >>
Effects of Sleep Loss and Night Work on Patient Safety
Christopher P. Landrigan, M.D., M.P.H.
Associate Professor of Pediatrics and Medicine
Boston Children's Hospital and Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School
"The primary focus of my research is patient safety..." More >>
Health Plan Choice: Implications for Consumers and Purchasers
M. Kate Bundorf, Ph.D., M.B.A., M.P.H.
Associate Professor of Health Research and Policy, Stanford University School of Medicine
"I'm very interested in how people make decisions…" More >>
Does Parental Health Insurance Loss Affect Children's Access to Care?
Jennifer E. DeVoe, M.D., D.Phil.
Professor of Family Medicine, Oregon Health & Sciences University
"As a family physician, I’ve seen many patients…" More >>