July 9, 2009

VA HSR&D Researcher Alexander Sox-Harris, PhD to Receive Prestigious PECASE Award

Alexander Sox-Harris, PhD, has been awarded the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE). Dr. Sox-Harris is an investigator with the HSR&D Center for Health Care Evaluation at the Palo Alto VA Healthcare System.

Dr. Sox-Harris is responsible for groundbreaking work regarding the development and validation of quality measures for mental health services in VHA. Dr. Sox-Harris has also conducted validation studies of the most influential measures of substance use disorder treatment quality—The Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set (HEDIS) Initiation and Engagement measures, and the VHA Continuity of Care measure. Dr. Sox-Harris' work on these measures found little evidence that facility performance is associated with aggregate patient improvement, a finding that generated wide interest and debate in the healthcare field, and resulted in a special section of the Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment. In addition, Dr. Sox-Harris already has authored 34 peer-reviewed articles, and currently has seven manuscripts under review.

Established in 1996, PECASE is the highest honor bestowed by the United States government to outstanding scientists and engineers beginning their independent careers. The award is given annually by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy; it recognizes preeminent young scientists and engineers for their innovative research and their "exceptional potential to shape the future through intellectual and inspired leadership."

Dr. Sox-Harris will receive the award in a White House ceremony later this year.

See also White House Blog and White House Press Release.