WASHINGTON, Oct. 26 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Board of Directors of AcademyHealth today named Lisa Simpson, M.B., B.Ch., M.P.H. as the new president and CEO of the professional society and its advocacy arm, the Coalition for Health Services Research, effective January 17, 2011.
Dr. Simpson's unique blend of training and experience in academic research, clinical practice, and federal and state policymaking position her to effectively lead AcademyHealth's efforts to improve health and health care. AcademyHealth is a membership organization whose programs support health services research and researchers, and translate that work into action through dissemination, technical assistance, and policy analysis.
"AcademyHealth is the place where health services researchers, policymakers and practitioners come together to confront questions of healthcare cost, quality, and access and identify effective solutions," said Elizabeth McGlynn, Ph.D., Associate Director, RAND Health and Chair of AcademyHealth's board of directors. "As our nation's policymakers undertake the important work of implementing the Affordable Care Act, Dr. Simpson has the vision and experience necessary to lead AcademyHealth's members in responding to their needs and to leverage new opportunities to develop this field."
Dr. Simpson is currently the director of the Child Policy Research Center at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center and a professor of pediatrics in the Division of Health Policy and Clinical Effectiveness, Department of Pediatrics, University of Cincinnati.
"I have spent my career at the intersection of research and policy and am honored to have this opportunity to lead AcademyHealth during this critical period in health policy," said Dr. Simpson. "As federal and state policymakers grapple with health reform and make concerted efforts to improve the performance of the health care system, AcademyHealth is perfectly positioned to deliver the relevant, timely, evidence-based information they so desperately need."
A nationally recognized health policy researcher and board-certified pediatrician, Dr. Simpson has served as a National Policy Advisor for the National Initiative for Children's Healthcare Quality, on a national advisory committee to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality recommending a core quality measure set for use by state Medicaid and CHIP programs, and on the Institute of Medicine's Committee on Comparative Effectiveness Research Priorities, as well as numerous other state and national committees. A former Deputy Director of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (1996-2002), she has also served as an elected member of AcademyHealth's Board of Directors and that of the Coalition for Health Services Research.
Dr. Simpson's research focuses on improving the performance of the health care system and includes studies of the quality and safety of care, the role of health information technology in improving the quality of care, health and health care disparities and the health policy and system response to childhood obesity. She is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Excellence in Public Service Award from the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Senior Executive Service Meritorious Presidential Rank Award, the Department of Health and Human Services Secretary's Distinguished Service Award, the 2007 Health Policy Researcher of the Year award from the Health Policy Institute of Ohio, and most recently the 2010 Public Policy and Advocacy award from the Academic Pediatrics Association.
Outgoing AcademyHealth President and CEO W. David Helms, Ph.D., who spearheaded the formation of AcademyHealth through the merger of the former Association for Health Services Research and the Alpha Center, announced his intent to pursue new opportunities earlier this year.
"David did an excellent job of blending the best aspects of the Alpha Center and AHSR to create a vibrant, mission-focused organization that is well positioned for a smooth transition and long term success," said McGlynn. "The board gratefully acknowledges his longstanding commitment to the organization and the field."
AcademyHealth represents a broad community of people with an interest in and commitment to using health services research to improve health care. We promote interaction across the health research and policy arenas by bringing together a broad spectrum of players to share their perspectives, learn from each other, and strengthen their working relationships. Learn more at www.academyhealth.org.