Dr. A. Rani Elwy, PhD is a health psychologist, health services researcher and implementation scientist who examines Veterans’ access to mental health care and communication between patients, families and providers. Dr. Elwy is also an Investigator at the Center for Healthcare Organization and Implementation Research (CHOIR), a VA Health Services Research and Development Center of Innovation, based at the Boston and Bedford VA Medical Centers. At CHOIR, she directs the Health Communications Research focus area, and within the VA Healthcare System, she has spearheaded the "Disclosure Technical Assistance and Support Program", a communication program developed from health services research evidence and implementation science strategies. Now funded by VA Clinical Operations, Dr. Elwy and her colleagues provide verbal and written communication expertise to facilities needing to disclose information about healthcare to patients, families, employees and the public. Specific projects as Principal Investigator include examining surgeons’ communication with patients and families about unanticipated surgical events and the impact on this on surgeons’ well-being and patients’ trust in VA; investigating and improving large-scale adverse event disclosures in the VA; predicting Veterans’ treatment seeking for a new episode of depression from their illness perceptions; and establishing an evidence-base for complementary and alternative medicine as first-line treatments for Veterans with depression and posttraumatic stress disorder. In 2012-2014, Dr. Elwy was a fellow with the NIMH- and VA- funded Implementation Research Institute, under the direction of Professor Enola Proctor. A new avenue of research resulting from this fellowship involves examining social networks of providers to better understand where and how provider behavior change may occur in an organization. From 2015-2017, Dr. Elwy served as the Director of the MPH Certificate in Program Management. Dr. Elwy also teaches a MPH course called Healthcare Delivery Systems: Issues and Innovations (PM755) and a PhD/DrPH/MS course on Research Theory and Design (PH842). She advises many MPH, MS and PhD students in the Health Law, Policy and Management department and the Health Services Research program.

Involvement with AcademyHealth:

  • Committee Member: 2017 D&I Conference