Dr. Rainu Kaushal and Dr. Deborah Estrin Elected to the National Academy of Medicine

Dr. Rainu Kaushal

Dr. Rainu Kaushal, chair of the Department of Healthcare Policy and Research at Weill Cornell Medicine and physician-in-chief of healthcare policy and research at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center, and Dr. Deborah Estrin, a professor of healthcare policy and research at Weill Cornell Medicine and associate dean for impact at Cornell Tech, have been elected to the National Academy of Medicine (NAM).

NAM members are elected by their peers for outstanding achievements in their fields and exceptional service, and membership is one of the highest possible honors in health and medicine. Drs. Kaushal and Estrin are among 100 new members announced Oct. 21 at the NAM annual meeting in Washington, D.C.

Dr. Kaushal was recognized for her outstanding achievements and exceptional service in medical sciences, healthcare and public health. 

“I’m incredibly honored to have been elected to the National Academy of Medicine, which is such an important institution for improving health and informing healthcare policy,” said Dr. Kaushal, who is also the Nanette Laitman Distinguished Professor of Healthcare Policy and Research and a professor of medicine and of pediatrics at Weill Cornell Medicine.

Dr. Deborah Estrin. Photo credit A. Kinlock

Dr. Deborah Estrin. Photo credit A. Kinlock

Dr. Estrin was recognized for her research leveraging mobile devices and patient-generated data.

“I take this as validation of the growing importance of patient-centric digital health,” said Dr. Estrin, who is also the Robert V. Tishman ’37 Professor of Computer Science at Cornell Tech. “I am deeply grateful to all of my clinical collaborators over the years, and particularly to my colleagues at Weill Cornell Medicine.”

For over 25 years, Dr. Kaushal has made significant contributions to pediatric patient safety, health information technology, and value-based healthcare delivery. An information scientist and health services researcher, Dr. Kaushal’s work has influenced healthcare policies and the clinical research landscape in the United States.

Dr. Kaushal’s research has established the importance of targeted measures in improving patient safety and the intricacies of health information exchange. Her seminal investigation illuminated that children are three times more likely than adults to be harmed by medication errors. She then led several key studies on interoperable health information technology, an important method of improving patient safety, that informed the national Meaningful Use Program at Health and Human Services.

Dr. Kaushal has also created large-scale urban data liquidity by integrating trillions of health, biological, social and healthcare data points through the creation of a clinical data research network. Most recently, she has conducted pioneering research on value-based healthcare delivery, particularly focused on the role of social complexity.

Dr. Kaushal earned her medical degree from Harvard Medical School, and completed her clinical residency as an inaugural resident at a combined program at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Children’s Hospital in Boston, becoming board-certified in both internal medicine and pediatrics. She received a master’s degree in public health from the Harvard School of Public Health during her research fellowship. Dr. Kaushal joined Harvard Medical School’s faculty until she came to Weill Cornell Medicine and NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell in 2006. She has held several leadership positions at Weill Cornell Medicine, most recently as the chair of the Department of Healthcare Policy and Research. A committed educator, she has established four master’s programs, a doctoral program, and a research fellowship with 200 students matriculating annually.

An author of over 200 papers in various scientific publications, Dr. Kaushal is a frequently invited speaker at national and international meetings as an expert on patient safety, healthcare information technology and value-based care. She also serves on boards and advisory committees, including most recently for the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute, the National Institutes of Health and the National Academy of Medicine. Her many awards and recognitions include selection in the Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine program and being named one of the Crain’s Notable Women in Healthcare in New York City in 2018.

Dr. Estrin’s work focuses on accelerating data-driven driven personal health management by applying internet architecture and mobile sensing concepts. She is also at the forefront of creating a comprehensive, multi-disciplinary mobile health research community.

Dr. Estrin is founder of the Jacobs Institute’s Health Tech Hub and directs the Small Data Lab at Cornell Tech, which develops new personal interfaces and applications for individuals to harvest the small data traces they generate daily. She also co-founded the nonprofit startup, Open mHealth, which builds open standard, open source tools and a community to bring greater access to mobile health data. She has served on several scientific advisory boards for early stage mobile health startups, and in 2018 was awarded a MacArthur Foundation fellowship. She is also a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering.

Before joining Cornell University in 2013, Dr. Estrin was on the UCLA faculty, where she was founding director of the National Science Foundation Center for Embedded Networked Sensing (CENS), pioneering the development of mobile and wireless systems to collect and analyze real time data about the physical world. She has a bachelor’s degree from the University of California at Berkeley and a master’s degree and doctorate from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. 

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