Clinical Scholars program

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National Meeting 2011 - Michigan

2012 Clinical Scholars National Meeting – San Diego, CA

Program Description:

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholars program at the University of Michigan enables physicians with a wide range of interests to learn how to improve health and health care. Clinical Scholars participate in an integrated, intensive year-long curriculum designed to meet their specific educational needs and to move them efficiently toward research projects in their area of interest. At the conclusion of the first year Scholars receive a master’s degree in health and health services research.

Throughout their fellowship Scholars are guided by a mentorship committee of experienced faculty selected specifically for each Scholar. Scholars can select their research projects to take advantage of close, long-standing linkages with nearby ongoing community-based research in settings such as the Prevention Research Center, the Detroit Community-Academic Urban Research Center, or many other potential community sites.

A culture of collaboration encourages Scholars to use the full range of university resources to design policy-relevant multidisciplinary research projects. Scholars work with faculty in the many strong units located within easy walking distance of the Medical School, such as the School of Public Health, the Institute for Social Research, the VA’s Health Services Research Center and the College of Literature, Science and the Arts, as well as other schools and departments.


Rodney A. Hayward, M.D.
Director of the Michigan Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholars program

Rodney A. Hayward, M.D. is the Director of the VA Center for Practice Management & Outcomes Research and a Professor of Medicine & Public Health at the University of Michigan, as well as Director of the Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars program.  He received his training in health services research as a Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholar at UCLA.  Dr. Hayward's current and past work includes studies examining measurement of inpatient quality, access to medical care, environmental and educational factors affecting physician practice patterns, and quality improvement. His current work is focused on quality measurement and provider practice patterns, and the organization of care for chronic illnesses (e.g., diabetes).

Michele Heisler

Michele Heisler, M.D., M.P.H. VA Liaison
Michigan Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholars Program

Michele Heisler, M.D., MPA is a Professor of Medicine in the Medical School and of Health Behavior and Health Education in the School of Public Health. She is also a Research Scientist at the Ann Arbor VA Center for Clinical Management Research. She came to medicine after working on Human Rights and Poverty programs as a Program Officer at the Ford Foundation and developing and evaluating community health programs as a Project Analyst at Catholic Relief Services. Her main research focus is using CBPR approaches to work with partners to develop, evaluate, and implement innovative programs to improve chronic disease self-managemenet and outcomes among adults in vulnerable populations and underserved communities. She currently is leading several multisite federally funded trials to test different approaches involving peer mentors and interactive web-based tailored tools to inform chronic disease self-management support from community health workers, health coaches, and peers. She is also initiating a large-scale implementation study to evaluate the implementation of a reciprocal peer support program found in her earlier effectiveness RCT to significantly improve diabetes control compared to nurse care management. In her role as a Board member and investigator for Physicians for Human Rights, an organization that won the 1997 Nobel Peace Prize, and as a consultant to the World Health Organization, she continues to apply her research expertise to human rights investigations and advocacy to promote health and human rights.

Matthew M. Davis

Matthew M. Davis, M.D., M.A.P.P.
Michigan Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholars Program

Matthew M. Davis, M.D., M.A.P.P., is Professor of Pediatrics and Professor of Internal Medicine at the University of Michigan Medical School and Professor of Public Policy at the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, University of Michigan. Dr. Davis is also Chief Medical Executive for the State of Michigan, in the Department of Community Health. He is the founding Director of the C.S. Mott Children's Hospital National Poll on Children's Health. Dr. Davis's research interests include measurement of public preferences and attitudes to inform policymaking, the financing and delivery of preventative services (particulary vaccines) for children and families, and health care reform efforts in the United States. Dr. Davis is also the recipient of the 2012 Distinguished Mentor Award for MICHR.

Theodore “Jack” Iwashyna, MD, PhD 

Theodore “Jack” Iwashyna, MD, PhD 
Michigan Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholars Program

Jack has recently been promoted to Associate Professor of Internal Medicine in Pulmonary and Critical Care, effective September 1.  He also serves as a Research Scientist at the Ann Arbor VA's Center for Clinical Management Research , and is a Faculty Associate of The U-M Institute for Social Research's Survey Research Center. He has been actively engaged in the Clinical Scholars and our MSc program since his arrival several years ago and has been greatly lauded by our fellows for his many teaching and mentorship contributions. His research and teaching have both been recognized by the Department of Medicine, more generally.  He is the only person to have won both the H. Marvin Pollard for Outstanding Teaching of Residents (2011) and the Jerome W. Conn Award for Excellence in Research (2013).
Jack's primary research interests are in the organization and outcomes of critical illness.  The twin questions that drive his research are: "How does critical illness disrupt the trajectory of patients' lives?" and "How can we organize care for the critically ill to improve its effectiveness and efficiency?"  In doing so, he tries to draw tight connections to fundamental social science, including demography, network science and sociology.  Much of his work involves secondary data analysis with complex statistical modeling -- including Medicare claims, VA clinical data, the Health and Retirement Study, but also original data collection when indicated for the question.  This work has been supported by grants from the NIH, VA HSR&D, the American Thoracic Society and the Society of Critical Care Medicine.

Matthew M. Davis

Brittany Weatherwax
Program Coordinator

Brittany Weatherwax is the Program Coordinator for the RWJF Clinical Scholars program at the University of Michigan. She previously was working with the University of Michigan Medical School Human Resources office before joining the RWJF in the fall of 2001.

Matthew M. Davis

Molly Martin
Program Coordinator

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholars program
University of Michigan Medical School
North Campus Research Complex
2800 Plymouth Road, Bldg. 10, Rm. G016
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2800

(734) 647-4844


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