Nora Becker, Morgan Sellers Win LDI Student Research Awards

Nora Becker, Morgan Sellers Win LDI Student Research Awards

PHILADELPHIA -- Penn graduate students Nora Becker and Morgan Sellers have been named winners of the Leonard Davis Institute's William L. Kissick Health Policy Research Award. The annual honor goes to students who have done meritorious research in the field of health economics.

Nora Becker
The award is named for William Kissick, a Professor Emeritus of both Medicine at Penn's Medical School and Health Care Management at The Wharton School. An early guru in the field of health management studies, he was instrumental in establishing the University's Health Policy Program within LDI.

Scoring systems
Becker, a MD/PhD student at Penn and Wharton, took the honor for her work as co-author of the paper, "The Impact of Two Incentive-Based Health Interventions on Stages of Change and Patient Activation Measure Scores." The research analyzed the relationship between two commonly-used scoring systems and the success of patients in weight loss and diabetes control programs.

Sellers, a Penn MD student, was selected for her work on "Validation of New Readmission Data in the American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program." Her research focused on how well hospital readmissions are captured in the National Surgical Quality Improvement Program registry compared with administrative data. The paper was published in March in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons.

Both students receive $250 with their awards.

Worked at White House
Becker received her BA in Public Policy at Pomona College in Claremont, Calif., and prior to beginning graduate studies at Penn, worked as a staffer for the 2008 Obama Campaign and served as Assistant to the Director of the White House Photo Office. Her primary interests are in in health care costs and utilization, health insurance design, Medicare and Medicaid policy, and the implementation of the Affordable Care Act.

Sellers received her BA in Cultural Anthropology at Columbia University in New York, after which she spent a year at Johns Hopkins complete pre-medical coursework, and a year doing research at the National Institutes of Health. She starts her residency in general surgery at the Mt. Sinai hospital in New York City this July and plans to continue research in health care quality improvement and education.