I am an assistant professor within the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, as well as the director for the Center for Clinical Outcomes Development and Application (CODA), which is housed within the Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation. CODA provides expert consultation for measurement selection and application to evaluate clinical questions and interventions across the Medical School. My research includes two multi-site NIH studies: HDQLIFE and TBI-CareQOL—both designed to develop and validate new outcomes measures that are designed to evaluate health-related quality of life; the former is designed to target individuals with Huntington disease, and the latter, caregivers of individuals with traumatic brain injury. I also am involved in several other funded projects both within U-M and nationally.
I always have been interested in measurement. In high school, I took a test designed to identify appropriate career paths for students. One item read: “I like hamburgers better than hot dogs,” and then later: “I like hot dogs better than hamburgers.” I was already annoyed that a test was supposed to tell me what I should do with my life (I already knew I wanted to go into psychology), and then I was confronted with questions that were completely irrelevant to my career path, so I decided to contradict myself each and every time the test asked this type of question. Of course, now I realize it was a validity check. Little did I know how much these early experiences with measurement would influence my career and training.
First, I enjoy spending time with my husband, George, and our six month old, Kieran. My husband is a classically-trained pianist/organist, so we often go see him perform. Second, I love playing soccer and play recreationally several nights a week.
I love reading science fantasy novels—anything that involves magic. Robert Jordan, Terry Brooks and Terry Goodkind are among my favorites.
As a child, I used to be a competitive roller skater—both figure skating and freestyle.
That who you work with is often more important than what you are doing. Make sure that you work with people that you like.
I would have to say Wide World Sports Center. When I’m not working or at home, I can often be found playing soccer on one of several teams there.
McDonald’s. I blame this on the fact that, as a child, it’s where my mother would take me after going to the doctor’s office when I was sick.