Washington, D.C. Nov. 30, 2016—AcademyHealth announced today the four individuals selected for the 2016 AcademyHealth Delivery System Science Fellowship (DSSF) and their respective placements. Drs. Jordan Albritton, Jill Nault Connors, Nicolae Done, and Jiang Li recently began their year-long paid, postdoctoral fellowship at four of the nation’s leading health systems this fall. 

Now in its sixth year, the DSSF is a professional development opportunity for highly qualified, doctorallyprepared individuals who are interested in enhancing and applying their analytic skills to relevant and timely research topics in a delivery system setting. The ultimate goal of the Fellowship is to increase the capacity of the health services research workforce by providing experiential-learning opportunities in delivery system settings.   

“A robust and diverse workforce is integral to addressing today’s most persistent challenges in transforming health care,” said AcademyHealth Vice President of Evidence Generation and Translation Dr. Margo Edmunds. “This unique Fellowship connects talented health services researchers with the nations’ leading delivery systems, which helps to better use evidence to improve quality of care.”

Individuals from across the broad field of health services research in addition to delivery system science, and public and population health fields are encouraged to apply.  

The 2016 Fellows were selected through a competitive process that included evaluation by a national expert peer review panel and host site preceptors. Brief biographies of each Fellow are as follows: 

Jordan Albritton, Ph.D., M.P.H.
Host Site: Intermountain Healthcare

Dr. Albritton has a Ph.D. in health policy and management from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where his studies focused on organizational behavior and implementation science. Jordan’s dissertation was part of a program evaluation of Project Fives Alive, a nationwide effort to reduce the mortality rate of children under five in Ghana, focused on the impact of team-level factors on the performance of hospital-based quality improvement teams. He has also collaborated on research efforts to evaluate the meaningful use of electronic health records and to assess primary care practices' capacity for quality improvement. Jordan is looking forward to the opportunity to work on projects evaluating the implementation of clinical process innovations and other system-wide interventions as a fellow at Intermountain Healthcare.

Jill Nault Connors, Ph.D., M.S.S.W. 
Host Site: Geisinger Health System 

Dr. Jill Nault Connors received her Ph.D. in health outcomes & policy research from the University of Tennessee Health Science Center. Her dissertation research focused on the impact of “super-utilization” on geographic variation in population-based rates of readmission and per capita readmission expenditures among local healthcare delivery systems. She has participated in several national and federally-funded research and quality improvement projects and served as a care transitions consultant for Tennessee’s Medicare Quality Improvement Organization. The DSS Fellowship will allow her to increase focus on the integrated delivery of health services in rural areas, the collection of social risk factors within medical records, and patient-centered approaches to care driven by patient experience.

Nicolae Done, Ph.D.
Host Site: Boston University (in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs)

Dr. Nicolae Done completed his Ph.D. in health economics and policy at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Dr. Done’s research focuses on the effects of payment incentives on health care quality, access, and cost. He has evaluated the impact of global budget programs in Maryland on the utilization of hospital services and the quality of outpatient care. Dr. Done has also been involved in international projects involving comparative health care financing and health system reform. As a DSSF fellow, Dr. Done plans to examine the impact of new innovative initiatives in the Veterans Affairs (VA) health system on veterans’ access to health care, service quality, and provider productivity. He also plans to use the VA data to conduct comparative effectiveness analyses of prescription medications using real world evidence.

Jiang Li, Ph.D., M.P.H
Host Site: Palo Alto Medical Foundation Research Institute

Dr. Li’s graduated with a Ph.D. in health behavior from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her dissertation focused on understanding how worksite-based multilevel interventions influence employee’s weight. Throughout her graduate study at UNC, she worked on multiple National Cancer Institute (NCI), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and National Institutes for Health-funded studies. In addition, Dr. Li was a postdoctoral fellow in the Los Angeles Area Health Services Research Training Program. As a DSSF fellow, she is currently working on a study to investigate the underlying causes of disparities in cardiovascular disease among Asian and Pacific Islander residents in Hawaii and northern California.