UCSF Professor and Clinician Takes Seat Vacated by UCLA’s Eugene Washington, MD, MSc
Washington, D.C. (February 4, 2014) – The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) today welcomed Alicia Fernandez, MD, as the newest member of its Board of Governors.
Fernandez, a professor of clinical medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, and attending physician at San Francisco General Hospital, was named by the U.S. Comptroller General to fill one of the seven Board slots representing healthcare providers. The 21 members of the Board represent a wide range of health and healthcare stakeholders, including patients and healthcare consumers, per PCORI’s authorizing legislation.
In addition to maintaining an active clinical practice, Fernandez conducts research on immigrant and Latino health with an emphasis on chronic disease, particularly diabetes. She also studies the role of language and cultural barriers in health disparities. She has received several honors and awards, including the Arnold P. Gold Foundation Professorship for Humanism in Medicine.
Fernandez has served as an adviser on disparities projects for many organizations, including the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, National Quality Forum, American Medical Association, and American Board of Internal Medicine. She contributed her expert insights on Latinas’ unique health needs and their perspectives on engaging in research at PCORI’s Latina Roundtable held in April 2013.
“We’re very pleased that Dr. Fernandez will bring a wealth of clinical experience and knowledge about health disparities to our Board,” said Executive Director Joe Selby, MD, MPH. “Addressing disparities is one of our national research priorities because millions of people face extra obstacles, such as language barriers, to getting the usable information they need to make healthcare decisions. Dr. Fernandez’s insights in this area will be a tremendous asset to the Board.”
“PCORI’s Board is strengthened by its members’ diverse expertise, and Dr. Fernandez’s background in medicine as well as clinical research will expand the breadth of our perspectives,” said Board Chair Grayson Norquist, MD, MSPH, Professor and Chair of the Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior at the University of Mississippi Medical Center. “She brings valuable insights from her experiences as a clinician who regularly works with patients and their families to understand what outcomes matter most to them. We look forward to working with Dr. Fernandez as we advance PCORI’s mission to support strong comparative clinical effectiveness research focused on answering patients’ questions.”
The Comptroller General, who is responsible for appointing Board members, selected Fernandez to replace outgoing member and former chair Eugene Washington, MD, MSc, Vice Chancellor of UCLA Health Sciences and Dean of the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California Los Angeles. Washington announced his decision to leave the Board last year and GAO appointed Norquist as the new chair in September 2013.
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.