ANN ARBOR — The Center for Healthcare Research & Transformation Monday announced the inaugural class of the CHRT Policy Fellowship at the University of Michigan, 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 the University of Michigan 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,” said 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 February 10, 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 University of Michigan 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 University of Michigan Health System and the University of Michigan School of Public Health.

The inaugural class of University of Michigan research fellows:

*Barbara L. Brush, associate professor of nursing and co-coordinator of the Family Nurse Practitioner Program at the University of Michigan School of Nursing.
* Vanessa Dalton, M.D., assistant professor in the department of obstetrics and gynecology and director of the department’s Program on Women’s Health Care Effectiveness Research.
* Christopher Kim, M.D., assistant professor in the departments of internal medicine and pediatrics; associate chief of staff, Office of Clinical Affairs; associate medical director, Faculty Group Practice at the University of Michigan.
* Edward C. Norton, professor in the University of Michigan Department of Economics and the UM School of Public Health Department of Health Management and Policy.
* Joshua D. Stein, M.D., ophthalmologist and health services researcher in the University of Michigan 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 state Sen. Gretchen Whitmer.
* 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 IT manager, Michigan Department of Community Health.
* Cheryl Pezon, policy analyst, Senate Republican Policy Office, Michigan Senate.

See the CHRT fellowship page on the CHRT Web site for detailed information about the fellows’ background and research/policy interests, and a list of fellowship faculty.

In April 2012, CHRT will sponsor a symposium, “Healthcare Policy & Research: Can We Speak the Same Language?”, that will also explore ways that researchers, policy makers, and practice leaders can work together more effectively to influence real world change.

The Center for Healthcare Research & Transformation illuminates best practices and opportunities for improving health policy and practice. Based at the University of Michigan, CHRT is a non-profit partnership between UM and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan designed to promote evidence-based care delivery, improve population health, and expand access to care.

Visit us at and follow us on Twitter @chrtumich


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