Introducing Our Inaugural Population Health Sciences Chair
Apr 8, 2016 10:36 AM
When we created the University of Utah School of Medicine’s Department of Population Health Sciences, we knew we needed a chair that not only shared our vision for the future but had the energy and expertise to make it a reality.
We found both qualities in Angela (Angie) Fagerlin, Ph.D., who joined the University in January as the inaugural chair of Population Health Sciences. She replaced Tom Greene, Ph.D., to whom I am grateful for serving as interim chair as our search for Dr. Fagerlin was underway.
Dr. Fagerlin is internationally known for her work in population health and ranked among the top one percent of most-cited researchers in her field between 2002 and 2012. Her research is broadly based in the area of provider-patient communication, but much of her work has focused on developing and testing tools that help health care providers more effectively communicate the risks of potential treatments. At the Veterans Affairs Ann Arbor’s Center for Clinical Management Research, for example, she developed a plain language decision aid for veterans diagnosed with prostate cancer that was tested against a high-literacy model. She has also developed and tested decision aids for breast cancer patients, and examined the role of doctor-patient communication in pain-related racial disparities.
Dr. Fagerlin comes to Utah by way of the University of Michigan, where she was a professor of internal medicine and co-director of the Center for Bioethics and Social Studies. She is at the forefront of a broader discourse on population health as president-elect of the Society for Medical Decision Making, an international group that connects and educates researchers, providers, policymakers and the public to improve health outcomes through proactive, systematic approaches to clinical decision making and policy formation.
In her new role as chair, Dr. Fagerlin’s intellect, passion, and ethics will serve to develop the department as a hub for education, investigation, and expertise in health services, cost, quality, outcomes and health delivery systems research. As we work to strengthen bridges between basic science researchers, clinicians, and the community to advance health, her passion for team-based scholarship and cross-disciplinary collaboration is the perfect glue for our population health efforts. Her department will also help us train the next generation of population health scientists and clinicians more effectively—yet she won’t be educating future generations alone.
Dr. Fagerlin’s husband, Tony Tsai, MBA, joins the School of Medicine as director of education strategy. Tony brings a unique perspective from his diverse background in the military, finance, and higher education. Tony also joins us from the University of Michigan, where he helped develop a new curriculum for medical school undergraduates as part of the American Medical Association’s Accelerating Change in Medicine Education Consortium. The University of Utah was recently selected to join this important group, and Tony’s expertise will be invaluable as we work to design a high-value educational experience that is both impactful and engaging.
I am deeply impressed with Angie Fagerlin and Tony Tsai both professionally and personally and ask you to help me make them feel welcome as they and their sons explore what the U and our state has to offer. So far, they’ve checked hiking, skiing, and enjoying some great restaurants. Now we’ll just have to work on getting some red into their formerly blue closets.comments powered by Disqus