Several VA Health Services Research and Development Service (HSR&D) investigators were honored at the Society of General Internal Medicine (SGIM) Annual Meeting, held from April 24-27, 2013 in Denver, CO.
SGIM's John M. Eisenberg National Award for Career Achievement in Research recognizes a senior member of the organization whose innovative research has changed patient care, the way research is conducted, or how students are educated. This year's award was presented to Rodney Hayward, M.D., part of HSR&D's Center for Clinical Management Research (CCMR), Ann Arbor, MI. Dr. Hayward and colleagues of the Diabetes Quality Enhancement and Research Initiative (QUERI) have worked to decrease visual loss due to diabetic retinopathy, decrease high amputation rates among those with diabetes, and reduce rates of morbidity and mortality by facilitating the aggressive treatment of hypertension. An overarching theme of Dr. Hayward's work focuses on encouraging improvements in healthcare quality and efficiency through a more complete understanding of treatment effect heterogeneity and more sophisticated performance measures and market incentives.
SGIM's Mid-Career Research Mentorship Award is presented to a general medicine investigator who is actively engaged in research and the mentorship of junior investigators. This year's recipient is Louise Walter, M.D., former HSR&D Career Development Awardee and former Director of HSR&D's Program to Improve Care for Veterans with Complex Comorbid Conditions, San Francisco, CA. Dr. Walter's body of work in the area of cancer screening was first supported by her HSR&D Career Development Award and began with her landmark 2001 JAMA publication," Cancer Screening in Elder Patients: A Framework for Individualized Decision-Making ," which developed a novel method of juxtaposing the lag-time-to-benefit of preventive services and life expectancy to help clinicians make better screening decisions. This approach is now reflected in most national cancer screening guidelines (American Cancer Society, U.S. Preventive Services Task Force) and also has been applied to the management of diabetes in elders.
Among other awards, Donna Zulman, M.D., M.S., HSR&D investigator and part of the VA Palo Alto Health Care System, won Best Abstract for "Multi-morbidity and Health Care Utilization among High-Cost Patients: Implications for Care Coordination." In addition, Jeff Kullgren, M.D., M.P.H., M.S., part of HSR&D Center for Clinical Management Research (CCMR), received SGIM's Milton W. Hamolsky Award for his abstract "Trends in and Correlates of Awareness of a Pre-Diabetes Diagnosis among U.S. Adults." This award is given for an abstract judged to be the most outstanding among those submitted by SGIM Junior Faculty members (in their first two years of a faculty appointment).
SGIM is a national medical society of 3,000 physicians; its mission is to promote excellence, change, and innovation in clinical care, education, and research in general internal medicine.