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Department of Medicine Launches Health Services Research Program

Khadijah Breathett, MD will receive the first grant under a new Department of Medicine program supporting the development of leaders in health services research.

The Department of Medicine has selected the first recipient of its new Health Services Research Development Grant program, which provides support to fellows or junior faculty members who want to develop expertise in health services research.

Health services research is a field focused on understanding how patients access care, how care is delivered, and what outcomes patients experience. "We’ve been aware of growing interest among fellows in the Department of Medicine in the field of health services research," said Michael Ho, MD, PhD. "This program provides a mechanism to support fellows in their research projects and help propel them into successful academic careers." Dr. Ho, who led the development of this new program, is a professor in the Department of Medicine (Division of Cardiology) and a member of the Colorado Cardiovascular Outcomes Research group.

breathett.jpgThe Department of Medicine opened applications for the program in late 2015, and selected Khadijah Breathett, MD, to receive the first grant. Dr. Breathett is a cardiology and obesity research fellow in the Department of Medicine (Division of Cardiology) and is also studying for her Master of Science in Clinical Science at CU. After completing her internal medicine residency at Duke University, and fellowships in cardiology and advanced heart failure/transplant at the Ohio State University, she came to the CU School of Medicine to further develop a foundation in health services research.

Dr. Breathett’s focus is on reducing racial/gender disparities in access to (and outcomes with) advanced therapies for heart failure, as well as preventing disease progression. Using her Department of Medicine grant, she will complete a project aimed at gender- and ethnicity-based differences in the impact of the Affordable Care Act on listing for heart transplantation. Her mentors in this project are experts in the field of outcomes and health services research, and include Pamela Peterson, MD, MSPH, Larry Allen, MD, MHS, and Richard Lindrooth, PhD. 

"This new program does two things that are very important," said Marc Moss, MD, who serves as the Department of Medicine Vice Chair for Clinical Research and helped to develop the program. "First, it helps fund projects like Dr. Breathett’s work, which are likely to have an impact on health policy regarding access to health care and health disparities. Second, it helps the university build a pipeline of researchers and emerge as a leader in this highly significant field."

The DOM Health Services Research Development Grant program expects to fund up to 2 recipients per year, at $20,000/year for up to two years. The funding is used to support research activities including analyst time, data acquisition, data management and administrative support, but cannot be used to support salaries for the applicant or their mentors.

Applications for this program are accepted each year in October.