Medica Research Institute Selects Brooke Cunningham, M.D., Ph.D. as AcademyHealth Delivery System Science Fellow

Medica Research Institute Selects Brooke Cunningham, M.D., Ph.D. as AcademyHealth Delivery System Science Fellow

<0> MedicaGreg Bury, 952-992-8437 </0>

The Medica Research Institute today announced the appointment of Brooke Cunningham, M.D., Ph.D. to the AcademyHealth Delivery System Science Fellowship. The twelve-month fellowship hosted at the Medica Research Institute will begin on July 1, 2013.

Immediately prior to joining Medica Research Institute, Cunningham will have completed two fellowships at Johns Hopkins University in Maryland, including a general internal medicine fellowship and the Greenwall Fellowship in Bioethics and Health Policy at Johns Hopkins University. Cunningham received both her terminal degrees (Ph.D. in sociology and medical degree) from the University of Pennsylvania. Her residency in internal medicine was completed at Duke University Medical Center in North Carolina.

Cunningham is committed to being part of the next generation of health disparities researchers that advances the field, from the documentation of differences in the health status of population groups to identifying solutions to reduce disparities. Her interests, as both a general internist and sociologist, lead her to examine how physicians and policymakers make sense of race and frame the causes of and solutions to health disparities. Additionally, she is interested in examining structural factors that facilitate or impede organizational initiatives to address health disparities and factors that impact their sustainability.

"The Delivery System Science Fellowship offers superbly prepared researchers an experience in conducting timely and relevant studies on the needs and challenges facing health care delivery organizations," said Dr. Lisa Simpson, president and CEO of AcademyHealth. "By focusing on disparities research, Dr. Cunningham and the Medica Research Institute have created a unique opportunity to explore real-world solutions to inequalities in health care access, quality of care, and health outcomes."

During her fellowship at the Institute, Cunningham will receive mentorship from Pamela Jo Johnson, MPH, Ph.D. As a social epidemiologist; Johnson has built a health disparities research program at the Institute. In 2011-2012, Johnson was selected and completed the Massachusetts General Hospital, Disparities Solutions Center’s, , a program designed for leaders from health organizations to address disparities in their patient populations. She used this opportunity to found the Healthcare Equity Program at Allina Health where she continues to provide leadership. She has published 36 peer-reviewed manuscripts, two book chapters, and presented her research at regional and national conferences. As adjunct faculty at the University of Minnesota, School of Public Health, Division of Health Policy and Management, Johnson teaches a course on Health Disparities Research Methods and a course on Survey Research Methods, in addition to mentoring graduate students.

The Medica Research Institute is a nonprofit, academic-oriented, health services research organization committed to sharing the results of its research in the public domain. The Institute is governed by a Board of Governors, separate from its parent company, Medica. Its mission is to conduct research that generates information for timely translation into activities which protect health and improve lives. Investigators at the Institute develop their own research programs to contribute to an organizational research agenda addressing; healthy communities, consumer/patient engagement and health care delivery. For more information about the Medica Research Institute, its investigators and their publications visit: .

Medica is the parent company to the Medica Research Institute and operates as a health care services company headquartered in Minneapolis and active in the Upper Midwest. With nearly 1.5 million members, the non-profit company provides health care coverage in the employer, individual, Medicaid, Medicare and Medicare Part D markets.

AcademyHealth is a leading national organization serving the fields of health services and policy research and the professionals who produce and use this important work. The is a paid post-doctoral learning experience to provide researchers with an applied experience conducting research in delivery system settings. Overall, the goal of the fellowship is to provide hands-on training and professional opportunities for highly qualified researchers with background in HSR or related fields to enhance analytic skills and ultimately increase the capacity of the HSR workforce.

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