Economists Honored For New Model to Translate Medical Research Into Better Care

October 15, 2008
provided by Research!America

WASHINGTON—October 14, 2008—The 2008 Eugene Garfield Economic Impact of Medical and Health Research Award was presented today to Amitabh Chandra, PhD, Harvard Kennedy School of Government, and Douglas Staiger, PhD, Dartmouth College. Since 2002 Research!America has presented this award, which is supported by the Eugene Garfield Foundation and, this year for the first time, the University of Chicago Medical Center, one of the nation's leading academic medical centers and research enterprises.

The 2008 Garfield Award recognizes a study by Chandra and Staiger, published in the Journal of Political Economy, which shows why new treatments that work in clinical trials do not always produce better outcomes for patients. Addressing what the authors call a productivity spillover-where specializing in a new procedure can lead to existing treatments being used less effectively-could improve how research is translated into patient care.

"It is an honor to receive this kind of recognition for our work, and we hope to continue our pursuit of solutions that can lead to more efficient application of discoveries in medical research to improve health care quality," said Dr. Chandra and Dr. Staiger.

"We are privileged to present the Garfield Award to these two exemplary economic scientists," said Mary Woolley, president and CEO of Research!America. "Drs. Chandra and Staiger represent the best of what this country has to offer in demonstrating the economic advantages of health and medical research."

The Garfield Award was presented at a luncheon at the Newseum in Washington, DC. David Leonhardt, "Economic Scene" columnist for The New York Times, was the keynote speaker. The event followed a discussion, moderated by Leonhardt, between representatives from the McCain and Obama presidential campaigns about health, research and the economy. At the luncheon, it was also announced that beginning next year, the University of Chicago Medical Center will be the exclusive Sponsoring Partner of the award. UCMC, consistently named to the prestigious U.S. News & World Report "Honor Roll" list of America's best medical centers, is ranked fifth in the country in terms of research funding per faculty member from the National Institutes of Health.

About the 2008 Recipients

Douglas Staiger, PhD, is the John French Professor in Economics at Dartmouth College and a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research. His current research includes the determinants of quality of care in hospitals and the economics of nurse labor markets and is funded by the National Institutes of Health, among others. He was previously a faculty member at Stanford and Harvard.

Amitabh Chandra, PhD, is an assistant professor of public policy at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government and a visiting professor at Dartmouth. He is a faculty research fellow at the IZA Institute in Bonn, Germany, and at the National Bureau of Economic Research. His current research includes the role of medical malpractice litigation on health care delivery and the economics of neonatal health and cardiovascular care.

About Research!America

Research!America is the nation's largest not-for-profit public education and advocacy alliance working to make research to improve health a higher national priority. Founded in 1989, it is supported by more than 500 member organizations, which represent more than 125 million Americans. For more information, visit www.researchamerica.org.

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