Health Services Research & the Department of Surgery
As many of you know, health services research has been a strength of our department for that past 15 years. At that time, Dr. Mulholland recruited John Birkmeyer here to be the 1st George Zuidema Professor. This Professorship had been created by Dr. Zuidema when he came to Michigan in 1996 to be our first Vice Provost of Healthcare (a role that transitioned to what is now our Dean/CEO role), and had never been filled. At the same time, Skip Campbell was building the statewide collaboratives sponsored by BlueCross BlueShield, which had great synergy with our focus on quality and health care delivery improvement. John and Skip went on to mentor a dozen faculty across several departments (including me) and built what was (and is) widely regarded as one of the premier health services research groups in the nation, the Center for Healthcare Policy & Outcomes (CHOP). I was fortunate enough to be a steward of this group for the past 5 years; and it is now time to transition this role to a new faculty member.
New Director of CHOP
The primary job in this role is to mentor, sponsor, and develop the faculty and fellows who choose to focus their research efforts in this area. Given this focus on developing others, I could not imagine a better person to succeed me in this role than Dr. Jennifer Waljee. Jennifer is an incredibly talented scientist, with R01 funding from the NIH, and Co-Director of the nationally renowned Michigan Opioid Engagement Network (M-OPEN). She is a productive scholar and has a robust track-record of mentorship. Recently, she has served as the Vice Chair for faculty life, leading the faculty development initiatives as part of the Michigan Promise. Notably, she personally lead the faculty and resident launch teams, demonstrating her particular talent and focus on career development. Jennifer will transition out of this role this fall as her responsibilities ramp up at CHOP.
I am extremely excited for the future of this center of excellence within our department under Dr. Waljee's leadership. She is surrounded by a group of incredibly talented mid-career and junior faculty peers, and thanks to great recruiting within our Sections, there is more incredible talent arriving in Ann Arbor this summer and fall!