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Researchers

Meet Our Researchers


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 Rebecca Boxer,
 MD, MS

Dr. Boxer is an Associate Professor of Medicine and geriatrician committed to improving care for older adults in skilled nursing facilities and long-term care through research. Dr. Boxer’s research focuses on learning how to improve care and outcomes for patients with heart disease in the nursing home setting. An additional focus is fostering a community of nursing homes committed to research which will ultimately improve care and quality of life for patients and residents. You can read more about Dr. Boxer’s research interests and background here.


 Robert Burke, 
 MD, MS

Dr. Burke is the Assistant Chief of Hospital Medicine at the Denver VA and an Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of Colorado. His research interests lie in transitions of care, particularly from hospital to post-acute care facilities (such as skilled nursing and rehabilitation facilities). His VA Career Development Award seeks to understand what processes of care influence outcomes of these transitions, and he is using NIH funding to understand provider and patient attitudes about post-acute care (PAC) in order to better anticipate the benefits and harms of PAC for individual patients at the time of hospital discharge. He also holds VA Office of Rural Health funding for a nurse-led intervention to improve care transitions of rural Veterans, and is active in quality improvement work, serving as the primary mentor for the Chief Resident in Quality Improvement and Patient Safety at the Denver VA. You can read more about Dr. Burke’s background and research interests here.


 R. Mark Gritz,
 PhD​

R. Mark Gritz, PhD, is an Associate Professor and Vice-Division Head of the Division of Health Care Policy and Research and the Director of Operations for the Adult and Child Consortium for Outcomes Research and Delivery Science (ACCORDS). His earlier research focused on the effectiveness of education and employment programs, welfare and nutrition assistance programs, and improving the earnings and well-being of low-income parents and youth. After years providing product development support services to biotechnology industries, Gritz directed a team conducting studies in support of the Military Health System and the Department of Veterans Affairs. At the University of Colorado, his research focuses on improving the health and well-being of economically-disadvantaged and other vulnerable populations, including Medicaid and Child Health Insurance Program beneficiaries. You can read more about Dr. Gritz’ background and interests here.​


 Christine Jones, 
 MD, MS

Dr. Jones is an Assistant Professor of Medicine in the Department of Medicine, Hospital Medicine Division at the University of Colorado. Her research aims to (1) improve care transitions for older adults discharged from the hospital with home health care services and (2) improve care coordination between clinicians caring for patients in different clinical settings, including post-acute care. She is interested in identifying and studying innovative ways to connect clinicians across care settings to improve patient outcomes. You can read more about Dr. Jones’ background and research interests here.


 Cari Levy,
 MD, PhD

Dr. Levy is a Professor of Medicine in the Division of Health Care Research and Policy at the University of Colorado, Denver and Denver Veterans Affairs (VA) Medical Center. Her clinical work as a geriatrician and Director of Palliative Care at the Denver VA Medical Center informs her research which focuses on quality of life at the end-of-life in nursing homes, disparities in care among persons living in institutional care settings, and quality of care in non-institutional care settings such as the VA Home Based Primary Care Program and Medical Foster Home Program. You can read more about Dr. Levy here.

 Hillary Lum,
 MD, PhD

Dr. Lum is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Medicine, Division of Geriatric Medicine at the University of Colorado School of Medicine and Eastern Colorado VA Geriatric Research Education and Clinical Center (GRECC). She conducts patient-centered outcomes research to improve advance care planning for older adults and individuals with serious illnesses. She is testing and implementing novel advance care planning interventions, such as ENACT, and multi-pronged interventions to integrate advance care planning into health care systems and inform associated policies. Her research uses implementation science to implement evidence-based models into real-world clinical settings. You can read more about Dr. Lum’s background and work here.

 Mustafa Ozkaynak,

 MD, PhD

Mustafa Ozkaynak, PhD is an Assistant Professor in the University of Colorado Denver College of Nursing. He completed his PhD in industrial and systems engineering with emphasis on health informatics. His research focus is on social and organizational consequences of health information technologies and he develops novel workflow approaches for various clinical and non-clinical health care settings. He was part of the UTIDecide team who developed a workflow-informed decision support system for nursing homes. You can read more about Dr. Ozkayanak’s research interests here.

 Marcelo Coca
 Perraillon, 
PhD

Marcelo Coca Perraillon, PhD, is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Health, Systems, Management & Policy in the University of Colorado School of Public Health. Broadly, his research interest lies in program and economic evaluations of health interventions and applied statistical methods. His current research relates to the nursing home sector, particularly in studying the effects of public reporting of quality on consumer and provider behavior and cancer care in nursing homes. His research also involves economic evaluations and mixture models for the prediction of health utilities in cost-effectiveness. You can read more about Dr. Perraillon’s background and research interests here


 Blaine Reeder,
 PhD

Blaine Reeder, PhD, is an Assistant Professor at the University of Colorado College of Nursing. Reeder conducts informatics research to connect the contexts of personal health and public health with a focus on three areas: aging in place, organizational information systems and research tools. His aims are to improve information interactions at individual levels; communication and coordination at group levels; and health outcomes at population levels. He has collaborated with nurses, physicians, epidemiologists, computer scientists, gerontologists, public health administrators and other informaticians in pursuit of his interprofessional research goals. You can read more about Dr. Reeder’s background and research interests here.


 Jennifer Stevens-
 Lapsley, PT, PhD

Jennifer Stevens-Lapsley, PT, PhD, is a Professor and Director of the Rehabilitation Science PhD Program in the Physical Therapy Program at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Center. She is focused on identifying, integrating and advancing innovative evidence-based medicine solutions for older adult rehabilitation through highly effective research methods and partnerships. She has almost 20 years of clinical research experience in patients with osteoarthritis planning joint arthroplasty, and more recently, medically complex patient populations. Her research ranges from understanding the mechanisms of skeletal muscle dysfunction to studies of implementation of best rehabilitation practices in post-acute care settings. You can read more about Dr. Stevens-Lapsley’s research interests here.

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 Heidi Wald,
 MD, MSPH​

Dr. Wald is a practicing geriatrician and the Vice President for Clinical Performance at SCL Health. As a researcher, Dr. Wald focuses on improving safety and quality of care for older patients in hospitals and nursing homes. She’s spent 15 years researching conditions older people acquire in the health care setting, including catheter-associated urinary tract infection (CAUTI) and antimicrobial stewardship (the proper use of antibiotics). Dr. Wald worked with patients and care providers to develop research agenda for the Society of Hospital Medicine. She co-leads a School of Medicine initiative called Engagement Core of the Data to Value. Dr. Wald is an academic partner of the Colorado Long Term Care Research Partnership.​​ You can read more about Dr. Wald’s background and research interests here.​