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Press Releases: National

January 18, 2011

Elizabeth A. McGlynn Named Director of Kaiser Permanente Center for Effectiveness & Safety Research

Former RAND Health Associate Director to Oversee New Research Center

OAKLAND, Calif. — Kaiser Permanente announced today that Elizabeth A. McGlynn, PhD, former associate director of RAND Health, has been named director of the Kaiser Permanente Center for Effectiveness and Safety Research.

Elizabeth A. McGlynn, PhD
Elizabeth A. McGlynn, PhD, director of the Kaiser Permanente Center for Effectiveness and Safety Research.

The Center draws on over 400 Kaiser Permanente researchers and clinicians, Kaiser Permanente’s 8.6 million members and their electronic health records to conduct patient-centered effectiveness and safety research on a national scale. Kaiser Permanente conducts more than 3,500 studies and its research has led to more than 600 professional publications in 2010; it is one of the largest research institutions in the United States.

The Center for Effectiveness and Safety Research is a network of investigators, data managers and analysts in Kaiser Permanente’s regional research centers experienced in effectiveness and safety research. CESR will conduct in-depth studies of the safety and comparative effectiveness of drugs, devices, biologics and care delivery strategies. It will also address critical research questions posed by Kaiser Permanente clinical and operations leaders.

McGlynn is an internationally known expert on evaluating health care delivery. Most recently she held the RAND Distinguished Chair in Health Care Quality. Her leadership in developing a comprehensive method for evaluating the technical quality of care delivered to adults and children in the United States produced a seminal national study that demonstrated the magnitude of the quality problem in the United States for everyone.

Kaiser Permanente’s eight research centers nationwide are currently conducting millions of dollars of effectiveness and safety research studies that are funded by the National Institutes of Health, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, and the Food and Drug Administration. These studies are examining treatments for heart disease, diabetes, cancer, among others areas, and evaluating medical product safety.

Kaiser Permanente Center for  Effectiveness and Safety Research

“Our researchers work with rich longitudinal clinical data on millions of individuals to do effectiveness and safety studies at a scale that virtually no other organization can approach. We are committed to translating that research into practice and sharing it with the world,” said Raymond J. Baxter, PhD, senior vice president, Kaiser Permanente Community Benefit, Research and Health Policy “We are thrilled that Beth McGlynn has joined Kaiser Permanente. Her knowledge and expertise will aide us in making that vision a reality.”

As the largest, private, not-for-profit, integrated system in the United States, Kaiser Permanente has a long history of generating important clinical research findings that contribute to the advancement of the prevention and treatment of a variety of health concerns, both acting alone and in collaboration with other research enterprises. Kaiser Permanente’s research has contributed to the development of standards for systematic reviews of evidence and the design of comparative effectiveness research methodologies for developing trustworthy, clinical practice guidelines.

“Kaiser Permanente has a unique and unparalleled data asset that not only makes Kaiser Permanente a leader in identifying how health care can be delivered safely and effectively, but can also inform the discussion of how to improve the nation’s care delivery system to ensure patients get the best available care,” said McGlynn, who will be located at Kaiser Permanente in Pasadena, Calif. “What’s exciting for me is to be at the heart of a learning organization where research can be translated directly into best practices that are taken up rapidly in the care delivery system.”

At RAND McGlynn led a team of investigators that developed a comprehensive method for evaluating health policy proposals and a model to estimate the effects of coverage expansion policies on the number of newly insured, the cost to the government, the effects on premiums in the private sector, and the financial impact on households. She has conducted research on efficiency and effectiveness of care measures. Her recently published results inform methodological and policy issues for implementing these measures at the individual physician level for payment and public reporting.

“We are excited to have Dr. McGlynn join us as director of the Kaiser Permanente Center for Effectiveness and Safety Research. Her leadership in bringing together both researchers and information infrastructure from across the Kaiser Permanente regions will fulfill our vision of improving how we practice medicine and deliver health care tomorrow,” said Steven Jacobsen, MD, PhD, director of the Kaiser Permanente Southern California Department of Research & Evaluation in Pasadena, Calif., and chair of Kaiser Permanente’s National Research Council. “Kaiser Permanente’s regional research directors are collaborating to create this new center, which will maximize our ability to draw on the organization's rich research assets.”

Kaiser Permanente’s comparative effectiveness and safety research capabilities were tapped by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration last year, along with other members of the HMO Research Network, to be among the institutions partnering on the FDA’s Sentinel System to use automated health care data to bolster FDA monitoring and evaluating medical product safety.

Dr. McGlynn is a member of the Institute of Medicine and serves on a variety of national advisory committees. She was a member of the Strategic Framework Board, which provided a blueprint for the National Quality Forum on the development of a national quality measurement and reporting system. She chairs the board of AcademyHealth, serves on the board of the American Board of Internal Medicine Foundation, and has served on the Board of Providence-Little Company of Mary Hospital Service Area in Southern California. She serves on the editorial boards for Health Services Research and The Milbank Quarterly and is a regular reviewer for many leading journals.

Dr. McGlynn received her bachelor’s degree in in international political economy from Colorado College in Colorado Springs, her master’s degree in public policy from the University of Michigan’s Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, and her PhD in public policy from the Pardee RAND Graduate School.

About the Kaiser Permanente Center for Effectiveness & Safety Research
The Center for Effectiveness and Safety Research (CESR), established in 2009, is a national Kaiser Permanente research center supported by Kaiser Permanente’s eight regional research centers and other Kaiser Permanente functions. CESR is grounded in a trans-regional network of Kaiser Permanente investigators, data managers, and analysts who are experienced in effectiveness and safety research and committed to addressing the research requirements of a national research community and to enhancing databases and other research resources unique to an integrated health care delivery system with a diverse membership of 8.6 million people nationwide.

About Kaiser Permanente
Kaiser Permanente is committed to helping shape the future of health care. We are recognized as one of America’s leading health care providers and not-for-profit health plans. Founded in 1945, our mission is to provide high-quality, affordable health care services and to improve the health of our members and the communities we serve. We currently serve 8.6 million members in nine states and the District of Columbia. Care for members and patients is focused on their total health and guided by their personal physicians, specialists and team of caregivers. Our expert and caring medical teams are empowered and supported by industry-leading technology advances and tools for health promotion, disease prevention, state-of-the art care delivery and world-class chronic disease management. Kaiser Permanente is dedicated to care innovations, clinical research, health education and the support of community health. For more information, go to: www.kp.org/newscenter.