PCORI Evaluation Group (PEG)

External Advisors

Bringis_Claire_PEGMeeting_PhilipLeeInstitute_125x125_121313Claire Brindis, DrPH, is a Professor of Pediatrics and Health Policy and the Director of the Philip R. Lee Institute for Health Policy Studies at the University of California, San Francisco. Incorporating a variety of qualitative and quantitative methodologies ranging from community participatory research to cost-benefit analyses, Dr. Brindis focuses on program evaluation and the translation of research into policy, particularly in the areas of children and adolescent health, and women’s reproductive health. She has special expertise on Latino/a diverse populations, global reproductive health, and migration and health. Dr. Brindis’ research interests also include consumer engagement in healthcare system redesign, the intersection of precision and prioritized medicine, tracking the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, and strategies for closing the gap between the emergence of evidence-based innovations and their application to policy and programs.

Flower_Floyd_PEGMeeting_CenterforSurveyResearch_106x125_121313Floyd Jackson Fowler, Jr, PhD, has been a Senior Research Fellow at the Center for Survey Research since 1971. He co-founded the Center and served as Director for 14 years. Dr. Fowler has also worked extensively with the Informed Medical Decisions Foundation, a nonprofit organization devoted to informing and amplifying the voice of patients faced with medical decisions.  He served as the President of the Foundation from 2002 until 2009 and thereafter continued to contribute to itsresearch agenda as an advisor.  On April 1, 2014, the Foundation merged with HealthWise, a nonprofit organization that has developed information for patients for more than 40 years. He will continue to provide research advice to the new organization.  Dr. Fowler is the author (or co-author) of four textbooks on survey methods as well as numerous articles and chapters on survey methodology. Much of his substantive research has related to health and medical issues. He has had a particular interest in the design and evaluation of survey questions. His recent research has included how best to measure the outcomes of medical treatments, the experiences patients have when getting medical treatment, and the quality of medical decisions. His doctorate is in Social Psychology from the University of Michigan in 1966. He also has a BA in English from Wesleyan University.

Parsons_Beverly_PEGMeeting_InSites_125x125_121313Beverly A. Parsons, PhD, is Executive Director of InSites (a Colorado-based nonprofit research, evaluation, and planning organization). She works especially with multiyear, multisite initiatives focused on systems change in education, social services, health, and natural resources systems. She has worked with organizations such as the W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF), the Danforth Foundation, the University of British Columbia’s faculty of medicine, networks of school-university partnerships, the National Science Foundation, and the Center for the Study of Social Policy. She was the primary author of the WKKF’s guide, Designing Initiative Evaluation, which addresses application of complex adaptive systems theory to evaluation of large-scale initiatives.

Dr. Parsons has consulted on and/or conducted evaluations in China, Japan, Europe, Brazil, and South Africa. Earlier in her career she worked at the Education Commission of the States, a national interstate compact that works with governors, legislators, and state education leaders on education policy and leadership. Parsons holds a MA and PhD in Educational Research and Evaluation and a BS in Medical Technology. She is President-elect of the American Evaluation Association (AEA) and serves on the AEA Board.

Board of Governors Members

Gail HuntGail Hunt is the President and CEO of the National Alliance for Caregiving (NAC), a nonprofit coalition dedicated to conducting research and developing national programs for family caregivers and the professionals who serve them. Prior to heading NAC, as president of her own aging services consulting firm for 14 years, she conducted corporate eldercare research for the National Institute on Aging and the Social Security Administration, developed training for caregivers with AARP and the American Occupational Therapy Association, and designed a corporate eldercare program for the Employee Assistance Professional Association. Prior to having her own firm, she was a Senior Manager in charge of human services for the Washington, DC, office of KPMG Peat Marwick. As a member of the PCORI Board of Governors she serves on the following committees: Communications, Outreach, and Engagement Committee; Program Development Committee.

Robert Jesse, MD, PhD, is the Principal DepRobert Jesse, MD, PhDuty Under Secretary for Health, Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) in Washington, DC. He leads clinical policies and programs for VA, the nation’s largest integrated healthcare system. He is Professor of Internal Medicine and Cardiology at Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine. He has extensive experience in comparative effectiveness, cardiology, cancer, and biochemical research. Previously, he was Chief Consultant for Medical Surgical Services in VA’s Office of Patient Care Services where he was instrumental in implementing broad reforms in the delivery of specialty, subspecialty and emergency care. Dr. Jesse received his BS in Biochemistry from the University of New Hampshire and a PhD in Biophysics and MD at the Medical College of Virginia. As a member of the PCORI Board of Governors he serves on the following committee: Communications, Outreach, and Engagement Committee.

Robert Zwolak, MD, PhDRobert Zwolak, MD, PhD, is a vascular surgeon at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, New Hampshire and Professor of Surgery at the Dartmouth Medical School. He is also Chief of Surgery at the Veterans Administration Medical Center in White River Junction, Vermont, and Director of the Non-invasive Vascular Laboratory. He has a special interest in healthcare policy issues and clinical outcomes science as they relate to vascular disease. He was instrumental in creating the Society for Vascular Surgery clinical outcomes data registry, formation of the professional society’s comparative effectiveness committee, and, most recently, introduction of a formal Patient Safety Organization. Currently serving as President of the Society for Vascular Surgery, he has held other positions of leadership including Governor of the American College of Surgeons, Chair of the ACS Socioeconomic Issues Committee, President of the New England Society for Vascular Surgery, and member of the SVS Board of Directors. He served on the AMA/Specialty Society Relative Value Update Committee and on the CMS Ambulatory Payment Category Panel. He received a BS from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, a PhD in Molecular Biology and Pathology and an MD from Albany Medical College. As a member of the PCORI Board of Governors he serves on the following committee: Finance, Administration, and Audit Committee.

Methodology Committee Members

Naomi Aronson, PhD headshotNaomi Aronson, PhD, is Executive Director of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association Technology Evaluation Center, a nationally recognized technology assessment program and an Evidence-based Practice Center of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. Dr. Aronson has directed over 300 technology assessments and 14 evidence reports. She is a member of the Institute of Medicine Genomics Roundtable, the Chicago-Area DEcIDE (Developing Evidence to Inform Decisions about Effectiveness) Research Center’s Steering Committee, the National Business Group on Health Committee on Evidence-Based Benefit Design, and the Health Technology Assessment International Policy Forum. Dr. Aronson received a BA from Harpur College at State University of New York at Binghamton and a PhD in sociology from Brandeis University. Previously, Dr. Aronson was a member of Northwestern University faculty, specializing in sociology of science and medicine. She was also a Post-Doctoral Fellow in the Science, Technology and Society Program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Michael S. Lauer, MDMichael S. Lauer, MD, has served as Director of the Division of Cardiovascular Sciences at the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute since October 14, 2009. Dr. Lauer is a cardiologist and clinical epidemiologist noted for his work on diagnostic testing, clinical manifestations of autonomic nervous system dysfunction, and clinical comparative effectiveness. Dr. Lauer received a BS in biology from the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and an MD from Albany Medical College; he also participated in the Program in Clinical Effectiveness at the Harvard School of Public. He received post-graduate training at Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston’s Beth Israel Hospital, and the Framingham Heart Study. Prior to coming to NIH, Dr. Lauer was a Professor of Medicine, Epidemiology, and Biostatistics at the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine of Case Western Reserve University and a Contributing Editor for JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association). He is an elected member of the American Society of Clinical Investigation and won the Ancel Keys Award of the American Heart Association in 2008. In 2010 he won the NIH Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Award of the Year.

Robin NewhouseRobin Newhouse, PhD, RN, Chair of the Methodology Committee, is Professor and Chair, Organizational Systems and Adult Health, University of Maryland School of Nursing. She conducts research ranging from randomized controlled trials to systematic reviews focusing on quality of care, evidence-based practice among clinicians and outcomes research in healthcare delivery systems. She is a member of the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Research Council, Advisory Council for Evidence Based Behavioral Practice, and is the Chair of the Research and Scholarship Advisory Council of Sigma Theta Tau International, Honor Society of Nursing. Dr. Newhouse received her MGA in healthcare administration from University of Maryland University College and her BS, MS, and PhD in nursing from University of Maryland School of Nursing.


Bailey_Kimberly_PEGMeeting_FamiliesUSA_125x125_121313Kimberly Bailey, MS, is Research Director and Director of Health System Reform at Families USA, a national nonprofit advocacy organization committed to securing quality, affordable health care and coverage for all Americans. She leads Families USA’s work on payment reform, delivery reform, and quality improvement, and provides quantitative and policy analysis on a range of healthcare issues.

In addition, she is on the steering committee of the Cochrane Collaboration’s Consumers United for Evidence-Based Health Care. She holds a BA in Planning, Public Policy, and Management from the University of Oregon and an MS in Health Policy, Planning, and Financing from the London School of Economics and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

Laura ForsytheLaura Forsythe, PhD, MPH, is a Program Officer at the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI). She is responsible for evaluating PCORI’s activities. Dr. Forsythe is experienced in conducting research on facilitating adjustment to chronic illness. Her work has examined how psychological factors, the social context, and interventions affect pain, mood, and functioning among chronic pain populations. Most recently, Dr. Forsythe was a Cancer Prevention Fellow at the National Cancer Institute. Dr. Forsythe received her PhD in Clinical Health Psychology from the University of Alabama and completed her clinical residency at the VA Maryland Healthcare System/University of Maryland School of Medicine Internship Consortium. She also obtained her Masters of Public Health with a concentration in Epidemiology and Biostatistics from Johns Hopkins University and her Bachelor’s Degree in Biology and Psychology from the University of North Carolina.

Lori Frank headshotLori Frank, PhD, is Program Director of the Research Integration and Evaluation program at the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI). Her current research focus is on bringing the patient perspective to comparative effectiveness research to enhance the meaningfulness of outcomes and to improve decision making by healthcare consumers and providers. Prior to joining PCORI, Dr. Frank worked as a Director in Health Outcomes and Pharmacoeconomics at MedImmune, LLC, with a focus on oncology, and prior to that she spent 13 years with MEDTAP International/ United BioSource Corporation, where she was Senior Research Leader and Executive Director of the Center for Health Outcomes Research. Her research on patient-based health outcomes assessment centers on psychiatric disorders. Dr. Frank serves on the Memory Screening Advisory Board of the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America, bringing the patient perspective to this work to maximize patient autonomy and optimize patient and caregiver care decision making.

Michele J. OrzaMichele Orza, ScD, serves as Senior Advisor to the Executive Director. Prior to joining Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute, she was a Principal Policy Analyst at the National Health Policy Forum, focused on evidence-based health practice and policy, public health infrastructure and systems, global health, and health science and technology. Previously, Dr. Orza was a scholar at the Institute of Medicine with the Board on Global Health, where she served as Study Director for the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief Evaluation. Prior to that, she had served as Assistant Director of the Health Care Team at the Government Accountability Office, where she was responsible for managing study teams evaluating a wide range of federal programs. Currently, Dr. Orza also serves as the Consumer Representative on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Advisory Committee for Reproductive Health Drugs. She received both her Master’s Degree in Health Policy and Management and her Doctorate in Program Evaluation from the Harvard School of Public Health.

Suzanne Schrandt headshotSuzanne Schrandt, JD, is the Deputy Director of Patient Engagement at the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI). She is responsible for supporting the Director of Patient Engagement in creating networks and engaging patients across the nation to provide broad-based input on the development and execution of PCORI’s research. Ms. Schrandt has been involved in patient education and advocacy since being diagnosed with a form of rheumatoid arthritis as a teenager. For more than 15 years, she has advocated on behalf of children and adults with arthritis and has been engaged in numerous patient and provider education initiatives aimed at increasing early diagnosis and appropriate, patient-centered management of chronic disease. Ms. Schrandt most recently served as the Health Reform Strategy Team Leader for the Kansas Health Institute, where she educated Kansas policy makers, providers, and consumers on the implications of the Affordable Care Act. Ms. Schrandt is a member of the Kansas Bar and the American Health Lawyers Association.