Nationally Recognized Evidence-Based Medicine and Policy Expert Joins PCORI Leadership Team
For Immediate Release
Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute
WASHINGTON, D.C. (Sept. 21, 2015) – The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) today named Evelyn P. Whitlock, MD, MPH, a nationally recognized expert in evidence-based medicine and health policy at Kaiser Permanente Northwest in Portland, Ore., as its new Chief Science Officer (CSO).
Dr. Whitlock, who is Senior Investigator and Senior Director, Evidence-Based Medicine Research, at the Center for Health Research at Kaiser Permanente Northwest, succeeds Bryan Luce, PhD, MBA, as PCORI’s CSO. Luce announced last September that he planned to step down this year. As CSO, Whitlock will be responsible for leading the ongoing development and management of PCORI’s patient-centered comparative clinical effectiveness research (CER) portfolio. She is expected to take up her new duties in January 2016.
“We are thrilled to have someone of Dr. Whitlock’s stature and experience join us as our new Chief Science Officer,” said PCORI Executive Director Joe Selby, MD, MPH. “She is an accomplished researcher whose leadership and expertise in evidence-based medicine are widely recognized and will be invaluable assets as we pursue our mission to fund patient-centered CER. Above all, she has a deep appreciation for our commitment to engage patients, caregivers, and other stakeholders in the research we fund to help patients and those who care for them make better-informed health and healthcare decisions.”
“Dr. Whitlock will advance the work of PCORI’s science programs begun under Dr. Luce’s tenure,” Selby added. “We greatly benefited from Bryan’s leadership in developing and implementing PCORI’s research agenda and thank him for his many contributions.”
“It is a tremendous honor to join PCORI as its second Chief Science Officer,” Whitlock said. “The PCORI research agenda is critical for improving health and health care in the United States, and I am excited to begin working with the stellar group of professionals that PCORI has already attracted to help carry out its vitally important mission.”
Whitlock, a board-certified preventive medicine physician, is the founding Director of the Kaiser Permanente Research Affiliates Evidence-based Practice Center, or EPC, one of 13 officially designated EPCs in the nation. It operates under a multi-year contract to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) to produce evidence syntheses based on systematic reviews, lead methodological development for systematic reviews, and support the increased application of systematic reviews and other evidence-based products into policy and practice. Whitlock sits on the Methods Steering Committee, among other leadership activities for AHRQ’s EPC program.
Whitlock also serves as the principal investigator for multiple contracts for the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) to provide systematic reviews for USPSTF, which are used to make evidence-based recommendations for clinical preventive services across all ages and health conditions. She has provided evidence synthesis services to the USPSTF for more than 15 years, as well as to other federal agencies, including the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Cancer Institute. In addition, she has helped lead scientific resource centers that provide scientific, methodological, and technical support for large national programs such as AHRQ’s Effective Healthcare Program and the USPSTF.
She was a member of the senior faculty of the Oregon Clinical and Translational Research Institute, one of the first 12 NIH-funded centers for clinical and translational sciences, and helped develop and implement its Translation of Research into Policy and Practice Program.
In addition to her position at Kaiser Permanente, Whitlock serves as a clinical associate professor in the Department of Public Health and Preventive Medicine at Oregon Health Sciences University (OHSU), where she directed its Residency Program from 1993-1997. She also is an adjunct associate professor in OHSU’s Department of Medical Informatics and Clinical Epidemiology.
Whitlock earned her bachelor’s degree in biological sciences from Indiana University in Bloomington, Ind., her medical degree from Indiana University School of Medicine in Indianapolis, and her MPH from Loma Linda University in Loma Linda, Calif.
The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) is an independent, non-profit organization authorized by Congress in 2010. Its mission is to fund research that will provide patients, their caregivers and clinicians with the evidence-based information needed to make better-informed healthcare decisions. PCORI is committed to continuously seeking input from a broad range of stakeholders to guide its work.