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WASHINGTON, DC — The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) Board of Governors today approved proposed slates with a total of 32 people to serve on PCORI’s five multi-stakeholder advisory panels for three-year terms. Panelists were chosen from more than 200 candidates who either nominated themselves or were nominated by others. In addition, the Board approved the appointments of current advisory panel members to serve as chairs and co-chairs for four advisory panels.

PCORI’s advisory panels provide recommendations to PCORI’s Board, Methodology Committee and staff to help plan, develop, implement, improve and refine the organization’s research and engagement efforts. They are vital to PCORI’s ongoing work to ensure that patients and stakeholders provide substantive input into PCORI’s research portfolio and other activities.

“We are grateful for the robust interest from a wide range of members of the health and healthcare community in serving on PCORI’s advisory panels,” said PCORI Executive Director Nakela L. Cook, M.D., MPH. “Following a careful selection process to promote a balance of perspectives on our panels, we are delighted to welcome our newest members. Their knowledge, expertise and unique viewpoints will help ensure PCORI’s work continues to be scientifically rigorous and centered on what matters most to patients and healthcare decision makers.”

“We greatly appreciate the service of advisory panel members who have completed their terms,” Cook added. “It has been our privilege to have their involvement with PCORI, and we hope to continue collaborating through other avenues in the future.”

The new panelists bring a rich and varied range of perspectives and experience to their role with PCORI. They include patients, patient advocates, caregivers, researchers, clinicians and representatives of health insurers, health systems, industry and academic institutions.

“Diverse stakeholder voices and points of view are invaluable to PCORI’s work,” said Harv Feldman, M.D., MSCE, PCORI’s Deputy Executive Director for Patient-Centered Research Programs. “We are delighted to have a distinguished new class of advisory panelists join our conversations and help guide PCORI’s work.”

Selecting panelists involved a detailed evaluation of candidates’ expertise, experience, and qualifications related to their panel of interest and their ability to contribute to the panel’s tasks and responsibilities. More information about the selection process is available on PCORI’s website.

The panelists approved yesterday, and the stakeholder groups they represent, are as follows:

Advisory Panel on Patient Engagement

  • Agatha Onyinyechukwu Adigwe, CHES, MPH, Multicultural AIDS Coalition (Patients, Caregivers, and Patient Advocates)
  • Ramona Burress, Pharm.D., Takeda (Industry)
  • Gwen Cooper, MPA, CFRE, Accessia Health (Patients, Caregivers, and Patient Advocates)
  • Heidi Dohse, Tour de Heart (Patients, Caregivers, and Patient Advocates)
  • David Hwang, M.D., University of North Carolina (Clinicians)  
  • Isabelle Lousada, M.A., Amyloidosis Research Consortium (Patients, Caregivers, and Patient Advocates)
  • Aracely Rosales, Health Literacy Innovations (Patients, Caregivers, and Patient Advocates)

Chair & Co-Chair Appointments

  • Chair: Karen Fortuna, Ph.D., MSW, Dartmouth College (Researchers)
  • Co-Chair: Jen Brown, MPH, Alliance for Research in Chicagoland Communities, Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University (Patients, Caregivers, and Patient Advocates)

Advisory Panel on Healthcare Delivery and Disparities Research

  • Cmdr. Billy Collins, D.HSc, PA-C, National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (Clinicians)
  • Mark Friedberg, M.D., MPP, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts (Payers)
  • Venus Ginés, M.A., CHW-I, Día de la Mujer Latina, Inc. (Patients, Caregivers, and Patient Advocates)
  • Heather Himelhoch, Ph.D., MPH, The University of Chicago Medicine (Hospital/Health Systems)
  • Aasim Ilyas Padela, M.D., M.S., Medical College of Wisconsin (Researchers)
  • Dipti Itchhaporia, M.D., University of California, Irvine (Clinicians)
  • Feylyn Lewis, Ph.D., M.A., Vanderbilt University (Researchers)
  • Betty Scull, M.A, MPA, Retired (Patients, Caregivers, and Patient Advocates)
  • Katherine Sanchez, Ph.D., LCSW, Baylor Scott and White Research Institute (Hospital/Health Systems)
  • Jeffrey Tom, M.D., M.S., Hawaii Medical Service Association (Payers)
  • Rosemary Veniegas, Ph.D., California Community Foundation (Patients, Caregivers, and Patient Advocates)
  • Aileen Wong, Au.D., CCC-A, Arizona Board of Regents, University of Arizona (Clinicians)

Chair & Co-Chair Appointments

  • Chair: Varleisha Gibbs, Ph.D., OTD, OTR/L, American Occupational Therapy Association, Inc (Researchers)
  • Co-Chair: Brandi Ring, M.D., FACOG, FAWM, The Center for Children and Women (Clinicians)

Advisory Panel on Clinical Effectiveness and Decision Science

  • Michael Fischer, M.D., M.S., Boston Medical Center/Boston University School of Medicine (Researchers)
  • Thomas (Tom) James, III, M.D., Passport Health Plan by Molina Healthcare (Payers)
  • Barry Liden, J.D., USC Schaeffer Center for Health Policy and Economics (Policy Makers)
  • Yaara Zisman-Ilani, Ph.D., M.A., Temple University College of Public Health (Researchers)

Chair & Co-Chair Appointments

  • Chair: Julie Eller, Student, Harvard School of Public Health (Patients, Caregivers, and Patient Advocates)
  • Co-Chair: Michael Hoerger, Ph.D., MSCR, Tulane University (Clinicians)

Advisory Panel on Clinical Trials

  • M. Khair ElZarrad, Ph.D., MPH, Food and Drug Administration Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (Policymakers)
  • Alexander Fiks, M.D., M.S., Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (Researchers)
  • Kelley Kidwell, Ph.D., University of Michigan (Researchers)
  • Greg Merritt, Ph.D., Patient is Partner (Patients, Caregivers, and Patient Advocates)

Advisory Panel on Rare Disease

  • Danielle Dong, ScM CGC, Sanofi (Industry)
  • Aliza Fink, D.Sc., M.S., National Organization for Rare Disorders (Patients, Caregivers, and Patient Advocates)
  • Meghan Halley, Ph.D., MPH, Stanford University School of Medicine (Researchers)
  • Christy Moore, M.S., Blue Shield of California (Payers)
  • Richard Parad, M.D., MPH, Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital (Researchers)

Co-Chair Appointment

  • Co-Chair: Heather Adams, Ph.D., University of Rochester Medical Center (Researchers)

Brief biographies and conflicts of interest disclosures for each panelist appear on PCORI’s website. PCORI will accept applications for the next cycle of new panelist consideration from September 1, 2022, through March 31, 2023.


The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) is an independent nonprofit 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 continually seeking input from a broad range of stakeholders to guide its work.

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