For Immediate Release:
June 6, 2017
Lauren Adams
202.292.6707
[email protected]

Washington D.C. (June 06, 2017)—Today, AcademyHealth announced its 2017 Interest Group Award winners. The awards recognize individuals who have made significant contributions in the health care workforce, gender-based research, and mentorship in health care and health policy. AcademyHealth will honor these recipients at the 2017 Annual Interest Group Meetings on June 25 in New Orleans.


Interdisciplinary Research Group on Nursing (IRGNI) Mentorship Award

Matthew D. McHugh, Ph.D., J.D., M.P.H., RN, FAAN
Matthew D. McHugh, Ph.D., J.D., M.P.H., RN, FAAN, is the Rosemarie Greco Term Endowed Associate Professor in Advocacy at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing. Dr. McHugh is the associate director of the Center for Health Outcomes and Policy Research at the University of Pennsylvania where he conducts health outcomes and policy research. His work focuses on how law, policy, and health system reform affect nursing practice and patient outcomes. His work has been consistently funded by various extramural funders including the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, National Institute of Nursing Research, National Institutes on Aging, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. He is a 2011 Robert Wood Johnson Foundation nurse faculty scholar, a fellow in the American Academy of Nursing, and a senior fellow at the Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics.  He received his Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania, a master of public health degree from the Harvard School of Public Health, and a J.D. from the Northeastern University School of Law. Dr. McHugh was a Fulbright Scholar with the World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Office for Europe in Denmark. He completed a 2-year post-doctoral fellowship in health outcomes and policy research at the University of Pennsylvania.

Patricia Stone, Ph.D., RN, FAAN
Dr. Pat Stone is the Centennial Professor in Health Policy at Columbia University School of Nursing and the Director of the Center for Health Policy.  Her interdisciplinary research has focused on the impact of organizational factors such as staffing, clinician adherence to evidence-based practices and policy interventions on patient-centered safety outcomes, namely healthcare-associated infections, and system outcomes, such as costs and efficiency. She has been the principle investigator on many different studies funded under the R01 mechanism and multiple foundation funded projects examining these relationships in acute care settings, nursing homes and home health care. Many of these studies have utilized multiple methods including analyzing existing data sources as well as primary data collection (e.g., surveys and qualitative data). She has disseminated her results in over 200 publications in high-impact journals and her work has informed institutional, state, and national policies. She is also the  principle investigator of a training grant aimed at educating nurses in comparative and cost-effectiveness research methods. While Dr. Stone maintains an active program of research, her passion is to develop the next generation of nurse scientists so they may develop the skillset to lead scientific investigations to inform the practice of nursing and health policy with the ultimate goal of improving the health and well-being of high-risk, underserved populations, and improve the efficiency of healthcare systems.


IRGNI New Investigator Award

Ragnhildur (Raga) I. Bjarnadottir, M.P.H., Ph.D., RN
Raga Bjarnadottir is a postdoctoral associate at the College of Nursing. Her research focuses on improving health care for underserved populations by leveraging methods of data mining in nurse-generated data. She currently works as part of a research team focused on validating and improving fall risk prediction algorithms. Her current work aims to identify novel information related to patients’ fall risk from nursing progress notes, using innovative text mining methods.


Nemours Child Health Services Research Award

Stephen Patrick, M.D., M.P.H., M.S.

Stephen W. Patrick, M.D., M.P.H., M.S., is an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics and Health Policy at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine and an attending neonatologist at Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt. He is a graduate of the University of Florida, Florida State University College of Medicine and Harvard School of Public Health. Dr. Patrick completed his training in pediatrics, neonatology and health services research as a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholar at the University of Michigan.

Dr. Patrick joined the faculty of Vanderbilt University in 2013. His National Institute on Drug Abuse-funded research focuses on improving outcomes for opioid-exposed infants and women with substance-use disorder and evaluating state and federal drug control policies. He previously served as senior science policy advisor to the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy and has testified before Congress on the rising numbers of newborns being diagnosed with opioid withdrawal after birth. He served as an expert consultant for the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s development of a guide to the management of opioid-dependent pregnant and parenting women and their children as a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Substance Use and Prevention and as a board member on the U.S. Office of Personnel Management’s multi-state plan program advisory board. Dr. Patrick’s awards include the American Medical Association Foundation Excellence in Medicine Leadership Award, the Academic Pediatric Association Fellow Research Award and the Tennessee chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Early Career Physician of the Year Award. His research has been published in leading scientific journals including the New England Journal of Medicine, the Journal of the American Medical Association, Pediatrics, and Health Affairs.


The Carol Weisman and Gary Chase Gender Based Research Award

Xiao Xu, Ph.D.
Dr. Xiao Xu is an assistant professor in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences at Yale School of Medicine, and a faculty member of the Yale Center for Outcomes Research & Evaluation and Yale Cancer Outcomes, Public Policy and Effectiveness Research Center. As a health economist and health services researcher, her work has focused on identifying factors that influence the delivery of high-quality and high-value care for women and older adults. Her recent studies have examined hospital and geographic variation in care utilization, costs, and patient outcomes; comparative effectiveness and cost effectiveness of alternative treatment strategies; the impact of medical legal pressure on obstetric practice; and gender and socioeconomic differences in health and health care. Dr. Xu has served as a principal investigator or co-investigator on multiple research grants funded by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, National Institutes of Health, and various foundations.

Catherine Chanfreau-Coffinier, Ph.D.
Catherine Chanfreau-Coffinier, Ph.D., is a postdoctoral fellow in health services research at the Veterans Affairs Greater Los Angeles Health Care System. She has transitioned her research career from the study of molecular mechanisms in embryogenesis and disease to health services research and personalized medicine with a focus on patient-provider interaction. Her current work at Veterans Affairs examines patient experience and communication with their providers among women Veterans as part of the Women’s Health CREATE Initiative. She is also a co-investigator in the EMPOWER QUERI program to increase women Veterans engagement and retention in evidence-based care. Her long-term research plans include examining the outcomes of personalized medicine, including quality of life and satisfaction with care, and analyzing decision-making between patients and providers to facilitate shared decisions. Dr. Chanfreau received her Ph.D. in molecular biology of the cell from the Université Paris 11, France, and her Ph.D. in Health Policy and Management from the University of California, Los Angeles.


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