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D2V News


D2V Investigators Receive PhRMA Foundation Award

The University of Colorado Center for Pharmaceutical Value (PValue) has been established with a Value Assessment Center of Excellence Award from the PhRMA Foundation.

The foundation grant of $500,000 was awarded to Jonathan Campbell, PhD, R. Brett McQueen, PhD, and Melanie Whittington, PhD, who have primary faculty appointments in the field of Pharmaceutical Outcomes Research with the Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences on the Anschutz Medical Campus.

PValue will be a center of excellence within D2V. D2V will support PValue through a matching award of $500,000. Additional D2V support will include peer review, shared professional research assistance, project management expertise, and institutional accountability.  The total award will be allocated over three years to establish PValue initiatives.

Read the full press release​ at CU Anschutz Today.


One of D2V's pilot projects from the 2017 application cycle, "Big Data to Nursing Value," was featured in the latest CU Anschutz Today. The project is led by primary investigator John Welton, PhD, RN, FAAN and co-investigators Marcelo Coca Perraillon, PhD and Peggy Jenkins, PhD, RN.

"Interprofessional collaboration of data scientists, informaticians, nurse scientists, nurse leaders, academia, clinical practice sites, and industry is necessary to construct data warehouses," [Jenkins] said.

Welton adds, “We are at the start of our journey to better understand the inner workings of health care by examining the care of each provider. We know a lot about physician care, but we are just beginning to collect data at the individual nurse-patient unit of analysis. This is the largest database of its kind to date detailing the overall care delivered by individual nurses.​

D2V Student Intern Featured in Chalkbeat

This summer, D2V partnered with Denver Public Schools (DPS) CareerLaunch program to hire student intern Kendall Reed for a six-week internship. Ms. Reed, who is entering her junior year at George Washington High School, was recently interviewed about her experience as an intern by educational news organization Chalkbeat. 

CareerLaunch is a work-based learning program which places student interns in local businesses, government agencies and non-profit organizations. Students are placed in STEM and other industries where they learn practical applications of their STEM coursework, explore potential career paths, and make meaningful contributions to their host organizations. This year, more than 300 students completed internships with over 100 employers, including United Airlines, Denver Health, and the Colorado Department of Education. 

During the course of her time with D2V, Ms. Reed completed Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI) Program training. This certification is valid for three years and allows her to access and analyze patient data. She also gained a basic understanding of the computer programming language R. “As someone with little prior experience working with data and technology, I expected learning an entirely new computer language in the span of only six weeks to be impossible. However, I found learning R to be not only completely doable, but also fun and satisfying. Even after learning only the basic functions, I have been able to explore and analyze amounts of patient data that would otherwise be impossible,” she said.

“Kendall has demonstrated great interest in learning about analyzing patient data to provide insights and support data-driven decisions to improve outcomes in healthcare,” said Dr. Andrey Soares, D2V Research Fellow. “She was always curious and ready for any challenges we presented to her.”

“D2V was honored to host Kendall as an intern this summer,” said D2V Program Manager Kelley Burns. “Her excitement for research was contagious and it was extremely rewarding to watch her work out relatively complex data problems. We hope to partner with the DPS CareerLaunch program again next year.”

Asked to identify the most important things she learned during her internship with D2V, Ms. Reed cited the importance of data management and collaboration. “It is safe to say that what I’ve learned at CU Anschutz will be applicable to [my] future careers,” she said.

D2V Investigators Receive AHA Career Development Awards

Two D2V investigators recently received 2018 American Heart Association (AHA) Career Development Awards. Each award is in the amount of $221,000 over three years. These awards support highly promising healthcare and academic professionals, in the early years of their first professional appointment, to explore innovative questions or pilot studies that will provide preliminary data and training necessary to assure the applicant’s future success as a research scientist in the field of cardiovascular and stroke research. 

Vinay Kini, MD, MSPH received the award for his proposal entitled, “Optimizing the Value of Diagnostic Cardiac Testing.” This research aims to understand how healthcare providers can better use diagnostic cardiovascular tests to improve patient outcomes. Some patients do not receive necessary diagnostic testing when they should (i.e., “underuse of testing”), which can lead to failure to initiate beneficial therapies. Conversely, some patients receive testing in situations where there is no benefit (i.e., “overuse of testing”), which can lead to unnecessary subsequent invasive procedures and high healthcare costs. In this study, patient factors, clinician factors, and payer factors that are associated with underuse and overuse of testing will be identified. Subsequently identified will be “high performing” hospitals that consistently provide the right testing at the right time (i.e., minimize both underuse and overuse of testing). Through interviews of staff and patients at high performing hospitals, the goal is to ascertain strategies that may lead to high-value use of testing and should be implemented more broadly. Dr. Kini is also the principal investigator on a D2V pilot project entitled, “Strategies to Improve Value in Noninvasive Cardiovascular Testing.”

“I’m very happy to be supported by the AHA to help identify ‘best practices’ to ensure that patients get the right cardiovascular tests at the right time,” Dr. Kini said. “It’s our hope that this work will lead to improved health outcomes and more efficient use of healthcare resources.”

D2V affiliate faculty Christopher Knoepke, PhD, MSW received the award for his proposal entitled, “Supporting Patients’ Fateful Decisions About Cardiovascular Therapies: Improved Models of Personal Values Clarification.” Being “patient-centered,” particularly in supporting patients making decisions about whether to pursue advanced cardiovascular treatments, is politically popular. Methods by which to do so, however, remain elusive. The goal of this project is to address key gaps in developing psychometrically-validated quantitative measures assessing decision-specific values (whether to have an LVAD placed), assessing the clinical utility of values clarification methods (regarding whether to accept TAVR), and implementing the best measures into practice (with a new decision support tool for patients with high/inoperable surgical risk considering TAVR). 

“It’s an honor to be supported by the American Heart Association as we work to define better ways of supporting patients facing truly fateful decisions about their care,” Dr. Knoepke said.

D2V Hiring Data Wrangler

This position will reside within the Informatics core of D2V. The mission of the Informatics core is to create and sustain access to high-value data assets that are discoverable, accessible, and reliable, by providing informatics expertise and tools to facilitate research in data sciences and discovery. The core will leverage the substantial existing institutional investments in Health Data Compass’ HIPAA-compliant data center, common resources, data-sharing policies, procedures and regulatory framework. Unlike HDC, D2V will implement novel data architectures and informatics methods to remain on the “bleeding edge” of Big Data management. 

The Data Wrangler will be expected to work independently and in collaboration with other members of D2V. They will provide professional and scientifically rigorous data wrangling expertise to D2V initiatives, Informatics core initiatives, and D2V scientific projects. This may include data acquisition, processing workflows, tool development, data management and curation, data discovery, data integration and person level linkages, federated data sharing technologies, and data/metadata repositories. The Data Wrangler will also be expected to develop solutions to challenges that arise for D2V cores and projects and disseminate results to a variety of audiences with varying levels of data informatics expertise.

For more information and to submit your application, please visit CU Careers​.

D2V Research Featured in Consultant360

Heather Hoch presented findings from the D2V pilot study, "Exploring and Improving CHORDS for Asthma Research​" (PIs: Hoch, Art Davidson, Stan Szefler) at the Pediatric Academic Societies conference in Toronto, Ontario. Consultant360 provided a brief summary of the presentation in their May 11 newsletter​.

2018-19 Pilot Projects Announced

D2V will fund five new pilot projects in the 2018-19 fiscal year:

• “Data-Informed Management of Intracranial Aneurysms” (PIs: Christopher Roark and Laura Wiley)
• “Collection of Patients' Disability Status Data to Inform Patient-Centered Care” (PI: Megan Morris)
• “Data-Driven Innovations to Improve Discharge for the Medically Complex Hospitalized Patient” (PI: Marisha Burden)
• “A Virtual Gluten-Free Diet Education Program for Pediatric Patients with Celiac Disease” (PI: Pooja Mehta)
• “Developing Processes to Use Actionable Data to Improve Care for Medically Complex Patients with Type 2 Diabetes​” (PI: Amy Huebschmann)

For more details on each project, please visit our Research​ page.

D2V Awarded SigKDD Impact Grant

D2V has recently been awarded a grant from the Association for Computing Machinery’s Special Interest Group on Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining (SigKDD) Impact Program. The call for proposals for the KDD Impact Program was for projects "that promote data science, increase its impact on society, and help the data science community." This aligns closely with D2V and its missions of multi-stakeholder engagement, big data, and education.

"We're privileged to be collaborating with 2040 Partners for Health​ to design layperson-focused materials on big data and big data methods for engaged citizens and community leaders," said D2V Co-Director Lisa Schilling, MD, MSPH.


D2V Announces New Round of Pilot Project Funding

D2V is opening a second round of pilot project funding with a specific focus on medically complex patients. As this funding proposal is open to multiple schools and disciplines on the AMC campus, we expect that the interpretation of “medically complex patient” will reflect this diversity. 

In July 2018, we will fund up to six one-year pilot projects that are focused on medically complex patients.  ​

Click here​ for more details.

D2V to Serve as Host Site for AcademyHealth Delivery System Science Fellowship

Now in its eighth year, the DSSF is a professional development opportunity for highly qualified, doctorally prepared 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 (HSR) workforce by providing experiential-learning opportunities in delivery system settings for highly qualified researchers with a background in HSR or related fields.

“We are thrilled to serve as a host site for AcademyHealth's Delivery System Science Fellowship,” said D2V Co-Director Lisa Schilling, MD, MSPH “AcademyHealth is the preeminent organization for health services research with the goal of generating evidence to inform practice and policy.” 

Click here​ for more details. 

2017-18 Pilot Projects Announced

D2V will fund six new pilot projects in the 2017-18 fiscal year:

• “Strategies to Improve Value in Noninvasive Cardiovascular Testing” (PI: Vinay Kini)
• “Linking Research Prioritization with Health Outcomes: A Value-based Approach” (PIs: Jonathan Campbell and Brett McQueen)
• “Developing Causal Inference Methods for Nested (or Clustered) Data with Application to Common Pediatric Surgical Conditions” (PI: Debashis Ghosh)
• “Big Data to Nursing Value” (PI: John Welton)
• “Methods for Assessing Sustainability of Health Care Delivery Innovations: Application to Palliative Care for Neurologic Disorders” (PI: Brett McQueen)
• “The Feasibility, Safety, and Value of a Virtual Cardiac Implantable Electronic Device Wound Check” (PI: Lucas Marzec)

For more details on each project, please visit our Research​ page.

D2V Awards First Fellowship

The inaugural fellow in the D2V Scholars Program will be Dr. Andrey Soares. Dr. Soares is currently completing a postdoctoral fellowship with the Computational Bioscience and Informatics Training (CBIT) program here at the Anschutz Medical Campus. During his time with CBIT, his primary research has focused on applying data analytics to health and clinical informatics with the goal of translating discoveries into practice, and developing solutions for healthcare providers to offer quality personalized services to patients at the point of care. As a D2V scholar, Dr. Soares proposes to investigate the use of natural language processing and machine learning methods to analyze and extract relevant data from electronic medical records and chart notes that can support data-driven decisions to improve outcomes and the quality of care with patient-centered value based approaches.

Previously, Dr. Soares was an Associate Professor in the School of Information Systems and Applied Technologies at Southern Illinois University. He has also worked in a variety of roles in the computer science industry and holds a Ph.D. in Information Sciences and Technology from Pennsylvania State University.

Check out our interview with Dr. Soares for D2V Spotlight​.


Michael Davidson of CU Anschutz Today spoke with Dr. Jean Kutner, D2V co-lead, about the D2V initiative, its goals, and how she envisions the project impacting the future of doctor-patient relations.

“Our work could revolutionize how we think about how health care is provided, the patient experience, and how we make decisions,” Kutner said. “Our goal is to make CU Anschutz a leader in the intersection between data and value and the application of cutting-edge data science to the value equation.”​

“We have unique expertise here. We have outstanding data scientists. We have people who do world-leading work in care decision making and understanding stakeholder perspectives. We need to connect them behind a common goal.”
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