LDI's Presence at the 2018 AcademyHealth Annual Research Meeting
|Photos: Hoag Levins|
Held at a time of extraordinary change and challenge across the American health care system, the 35th AcademyHealth Annual Research Meeting logged the largest number of attendees in its history. More than 2,800 research professionals showed up at the Washington State Convention Center in Seattle for the three-day gathering. As always, the University of Pennsylvania's Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics (LDI), which played a significant role in the creation of the health services research organization 38 years ago, was a major presence at the event. It's Senior, Associate and Adjunct Fellows were panelists in 30 of the presentation sessions and were members of 60 of the research teams that exhibited posters. LDI fellows along with affiliated Wharton School Health Care Management PhD students, LDI Summer Undergraduate Minority Research (SUMR) Scholars and Penn Medicine Summer Scholars Program for Students Underrepresented in Medicine were engaged attendees.
|In her opening address to a packed plenary, AcademyHealth CEO Lisa Simpson (above, right) focused on disparities both within the field of health services research and beyond it in the communities of health care professionals and patients its work ultimately serves. She noted that a just-completed member survey found that 57% of respondents reported experiencing bias based on their personal characteristics. "How can you work more often and more effectively with colleagues who don't look like you, don't think like you or enjoy the privileges you do?," she asked the audience. "Are you ready to settle into the initial discomfort of 'different' and open yourself to the creative power of being challenged? How will you promote and celebrate diversity and at the same time challenge disparities in our field, in our institutions and in our communities?"|
|Manning the LDI booth (above, left) in the AcademyHealth expo hall was LDI Associate Fellow and Wharton Health Care Management PhD student Benjamin Chartock. Auspiciously located just yards from the main expo entrance, the booth enjoyed a steady stream of inquiring visitors throughout the event. Elsewhere in the expo hall (above, right) discussing their organizations' common interests were Penn Wharton School Research Data Services (WRDS) Executive Director for Business Development Steven Sheehan, WRDS IT Senior Director Matthew Cohen and Wharton Professor and LDI Executive Director Daniel Polsky, whose institute provides a broad range of data services to its research fellows.|
|Getting an early seat at a plenary session (above, left) is Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania (HUP) Assistant Professor of Anesthesiology and Critical Care and LDI Senior Fellow Meghan Lane-Fall, MD, who also serves as a mentor in the LDI-Wharton Summer Undergraduate Minority Research (SUMR) program. Behind her is LDI Associate Fellow Shazia Siddique, MD, a Gastroenterology Fellow at Penn's Perelman School of Medicine. Above, right, attending their first AcademyHealth ARM are (l to r) Mariam Olujide, a Penn medical student and HSR Summer Scholar in the Penn Medicine Health Services Research Summer Scholars Program for Students Underrepresented in Medicine (HSRSSPSUM); Christine Olagun-Samuel, a Health & Societies student in the Penn School of Arts & Sciences and a current SUMR Scholar; Chidinma Wilson, a student at Oakwood University and a SUMR Scholar; and Ayomide Ojebuoboh of Boston University, a SUMR Scholar.|
|Each ARM is also a time of homecoming for many former fellows and other alumni of LDI and the Wharton Health Care Management programs. Above, left, LDI Co-Director of Health Policy, Janet Weiner, PhD, MPH, greets Charlene Wong, MD, now an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Duke University School of Medicine and former LDI Senior Fellow and University of Pennsylvania RWJF Clinical Scholar. Above, right, LDI Adjunct Senior Fellow Austin Frakt, PhD, arrives in from Boston University where he is an Associate Professor of Health Policy & Management and one of the field's most famed bloggers. His "Incidental Economist" site is a "must read" for health economists coast to coast.|
|Ingrid Nembhard, PhD, MS (above, left), a Wharton School Associate Professor of Health Care Management and LDI Senior Fellow chats with Samantha Larson, MPH, a HSR Management and Policy PhD student at the University of Florida who presented a poster about the impact of Accountable Care Organizations on Non-Medicare Populations. Above, right, getting in full gear at the LDI ARM event they had been planning for months are Rebecka Rosenquist, MSc, LDI Associate Director for Health Policy; Gaëlle Beltran-Gremaud, MBA, LDI Managing Director; and Joanne Levy, MBA, MCP, LDI Deputy Director, Founding Director of the LDI SUMR Program and Associate Director of the Wharton School Health Care Management PhD Program.|
|Wharton Professor and LDI Senior Fellow Mark Pauly, PhD (above, left), was a panelist on the special ARM session honoring Uwe Reinhardt, PhD, who died in November after a distinguished career as a Princeton University Economics Professor. The session was moderated by Reinhardt's widow, Princeton Health Policy Research Analyst Tsung-Mei Cheng, LLB, MA. Both Pauly and Reinhardt began their careers fifty years ago and played major roles in pioneering the then-emerging new field of health economics. Long-time friends, Pauly recalled the countless AMTRAK train trips they took together to economics events in Washington, New York, Princeton and Philadelphia. "Uwe was so personally gracious, friendly, teasing and funny that many may have missed the serious contributions he made to economics," Pauly said. "I miss him when we need him the most because our health system is under attack by Trumpinistas and Sandersinistas and we need somebody to bring facts as opposed to opinions to bear on the issues, as he did so well." Above, right, presenting in a session on the Effects of National and Local Policy on Health Care Delivery and Quality was Jordan Harrison, PhD, RN, a postdoctoral fellow at the Penn School of Nursing Center for Health Outcomes and Policy Research and an LDI Associate Fellow. She was responding to an audience question about her study on nursing and neurologic outcomes following in-hospital cardiac arrest.|
|In a panel session on "Payment Reform and the Physician Nexus," newly minted Wharton Health Care Management PhD and Associate LDI Fellow Amelia Bond (above, left), discussed the findings of a study on the effect of various changes in physicians' payment for performance contacts. It used data from a large insurer in Hawaii and, among other things, found that marginal bonus amounts had little impact on physicians' efforts, except for those who were already high performers. Above, right, speaking at an ARM panel session entitled "Stabilizing Insurance Markets in the Trump Era," Wharton Professor and LDI Executive Director Daniel Polsky, PhD, discussed the papers presented and summarized how recent policy changes have affected the stability and long-term viability of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) insurance exchange marketplaces.|
|For the two dozen LDI SUMR Scholars who were part of the Penn and Wharton contingent at the Annual Research Meeting, the expo and poster halls provided a unique chance to directly connect with representatives from the country's leading health services research institutions. Above, left, SUMR Scholar Mohamed Abdirisak of Indiana University engages Deborah Whitney, Executive Director of the Harvard University Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. Above, right, SUMR Scholar Janiece Strange of Morgan State University chats with Lindsay Overhage, a Health Policy Research Assistant at Massachusetts General Hospital whose poster details a study about medication adherence among seriously ill mental patients.|
|Elsewhere in the poster hall (above, left), SUMR Scholar Khalida Saalim of Georgetown University joins in the discussion with Alicia Arbaje, MD, MPH, PhD, Associate Professor and Director of Transitional Care at Johns Hopkins University. Arbaje's poster was about a study of readmission risk in Medicare populations. Above, right, enjoying their first AcademyHealth plenary experience are LDI SUMR Scholars Sergio Chairez, Nahsan Guseh, Grace Nie, Khalida Saalim and Christine Olagun-Samuel.|
|The 35th AcademyHealth Annual Research Meeting occurred in Seattle's Washington State Convention Center (above, left). Six stories high with lushly landscaped outdoor patios, it features glass ceilings in some sections, like this one (above, right) that was the AcademyHealth registration area and gateway to the expo hall.|
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Hoag Levins is the Editor of Digital Publications at the University of Pennsylvania's Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics (LDI), and a former staff reporter and editor at newspapers and magazines in Philadelphia, New York and Washington, D.C.