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Dr. Rainu Kaushal Named Chair of New Department of Healthcare Policy and Research at Weill Cornell Medical College

Joint Appointment as Physician-in-Chief of Healthcare Policy and Research at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center

NEW YORK (December 19, 2013) — Dr. Rainu Kaushal, an expert in health care quality, patient safety and information technology, has been named chair of the Department of Healthcare Policy and Research at Weill Cornell Medical College and physician-in-chief of healthcare policy and research at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center. Formerly known as the Department of Public Health, the refocused Department of Healthcare Policy and Research will analyze health care delivery and find innovative ways to optimize the value and quality of health care for patients in New York and across the country.

Dr. Rainu Kaushal
Photo credit: John Abbott

Dr. Kaushal, whose appointment is effective Jan. 1, 2014, is currently executive director of the Center for Healthcare Informatics and Policy, chief of the Division of Quality and Medical Informatics in the Departments of Pediatrics and Public Health, the Frances and John L. Loeb Professor of Medical Informatics and professor of pediatrics, medicine and public health at Weill Cornell Medical College. She also serves as director of pediatric quality and safety and is an attending pediatrician at the Komansky Center for Children's Health at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center. Dr. Kaushal also founded and is executive director of the Health Information Technology Evaluation Collaborative, a unique, multi-institutional academic initiative for New York State.

"As our health care system continues to evolve, it is vital to evaluate our delivery systems to ensure that we continue to provide the best quality and value to our patients," says Dr. Laurie H. Glimcher, the Stephen and Suzanne Weiss Dean of Weill Cornell Medical College. "I can think of no better person than Dr. Kaushal to lead the Department of Healthcare Policy and Research and spearhead Weill Cornell's efforts to drive national discussion and innovation in this crucial area."

"Health care policy experts like Dr. Kaushal are key to finding innovative solutions for some of the nation's most significant health care challenges," says Dr. Steven J. Corwin, CEO of NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital. "In her new role, Dr. Kaushal will be integral to advancing the academic medical center contribution to delivering value by improving the quality and efficiency of patient care."

The reinvented Department of Healthcare Policy and Research answers the urgent need to address challenges in 21st century U.S. health care — among them, unsustainably rising costs and spending, uneven access, variable quality and socioeconomic disparities. Faculty will continue to seek solutions that provide the highest quality of health care at the lowest cost to the most people. The department builds upon existing faculty and research strengths in health care policy and economics, data analytics and informatics, as well as comparative effectiveness and health outcomes research. These strengths will allow the new department to further develop depth and breadth in knowledge, practice and policy — a cornerstone of health care reform. The ultimate goal of the department is to drive national dialogue on these topics.

"This is such a tremendously exciting opportunity, and I am really honored to be able to lead efforts to help improve the value of health care as chair of the Department of Healthcare Policy and Research at Weill Cornell and healthcare policy and research physician-in-chief at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell," Dr. Kaushal says. "Both Weill Cornell and NewYork-Presbyterian are wonderful institutions with outstanding leadership, and I'm thrilled to be able to support and grow this department to help address some of the most important policy issues facing our country today."

A collaborative and interdisciplinary hub for health services research, the department and its researchers, working in partnership with NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, will use data-driven approaches and predictive modeling to evaluate how effective and economical various health care interventions and delivery models are, and how they compare against each other. The department will also develop and evaluate new technologies designed to improve health care.

Finally, the department will plan to establish doctoral and master's degree programs in health care policy and research to train the next generation of leaders who will help advance the field. These programs will build off of the existing opportunities offered by Weill Cornell's multidisciplinary Center for Healthcare Informatics and Policy, which include a certificate program in health information technology, a Master of Science program in health informatics, and a fellowship program in health care quality and medical informatics.

About Dr. Rainu Kaushal

Dr. Kaushal is an international expert in the clinical effectiveness, cost-effectiveness and comparative effectiveness of health care. She has already held several leadership positions. In 2007, she was the founding chief of a new Division of Quality and Medical Informatics in the Departments of Pediatrics and Public Health at Weill Cornell, focused on the analyzing the use of health IT to improve clinical quality and patient safety. In 2011, she was named the founding director of the Center for Healthcare Informatics and Policy, a multi-departmental entity consisting of more than 60 faculty members focused on research, service, education and innovation at the intersection of health care policy and informatics. As director of pediatric quality and safety at the Komansky Center, Dr. Kaushal translates research into operational improvements.

Dr. Kaushal also founded and became executive director of the Health Information Technology Evaluation Collaborative in 2005. The collaboration is a consortium of four universities in New York State that evaluates initiatives by HEAL NY, the New York State Department of Health's investment in health information technology to support health care delivery.

Dr. Kaushal has published more than 115 scholarly publications and is a frequent invited speaker. She has served on numerous national and international advisory committees focused on health information technology and patient safety, and has consulted with other researchers on methodological issues and policymakers on state and federal issues. In addition, Dr. Kaushal has served on editorial boards for health care journals and on several study sections for the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

Dr. Kaushal received her undergraduate degree from the University of Vermont, her medical degree from Harvard Medical School and a Master of Public Health from the Harvard School of Public Health. She completed her residency at Brigham and Women's Hospital and Children's Hospital in Boston, attaining double board certification in internal medicine and pediatrics. After completing the Harvard Clinical Effectiveness Fellowship, Dr. Kaushal joined Harvard Medical School's faculty until she came to Weill Cornell Medical College in 2006.

NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center

NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center, located in New York City, is one of the leading academic medical centers in the world, comprising the teaching hospital NewYork-Presbyterian and Weill Cornell Medical College, the medical school of Cornell University. NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell provides state-of-the-art inpatient, ambulatory and preventive care in all areas of medicine, and is committed to excellence in patient care, education, research and community service. Weill Cornell physician-scientists have been responsible for many medical advances — including the development of the Pap test for cervical cancer; the synthesis of penicillin; the first successful embryo-biopsy pregnancy and birth in the U.S.; the first clinical trial for gene therapy for Parkinson's disease; the first indication of bone marrow's critical role in tumor growth; and, most recently, the world's first successful use of deep brain stimulation to treat a minimally conscious brain-injured patient. NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital also comprises NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center, NewYork-Presbyterian/Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital, NewYork-Presbyterian/Westchester Division, NewYork-Presbyterian/The Allen Hospital, and NewYork-Presbyterian/Lower Manhattan Hospital. NewYork-Presbyterian is the #1 hospital in the New York metropolitan area and is consistently ranked among the best academic medical institutions in the nation, according to U.S.News & World Report. Weill Cornell Medical College is the first U.S. medical college to offer a medical degree overseas and maintains a strong global presence in Austria, Brazil, Haiti, Tanzania, Turkey and Qatar. For more information, visit www.nyp.org and weill.cornell.edu.

Weill Cornell Medical College

Weill Cornell Medical College, Cornell University's medical school located in New York City, is committed to excellence in research, teaching, patient care and the advancement of the art and science of medicine, locally, nationally and globally. Physicians and scientists of Weill Cornell Medical College are engaged in cutting-edge research from bench to bedside, aimed at unlocking mysteries of the human body in health and sickness and toward developing new treatments and prevention strategies. In its commitment to global health and education, Weill Cornell has a strong presence in places such as Qatar, Tanzania, Haiti, Brazil, Austria and Turkey. Through the historic Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar, the Medical College is the first in the U.S. to offer its M.D. degree overseas. Weill Cornell is the birthplace of many medical advances — including the development of the Pap test for cervical cancer, the synthesis of penicillin, the first successful embryo-biopsy pregnancy and birth in the U.S., the first clinical trial of gene therapy for Parkinson's disease, and most recently, the world's first successful use of deep brain stimulation to treat a minimally conscious brain-injured patient. Weill Cornell Medical College is affiliated with NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, where its faculty provides comprehensive patient care at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center. The Medical College is also affiliated with Houston Methodist. For more information, visit weill.cornell.edu.

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