Advancing the Science

Mayo Clinic Medical Science Blog – an eclectic collection of research- and research education-related stories: feature stories, mini news bites, learning opportunities, profiles and more from Mayo Clinic.

November 30, 2017

New Population Health Science Scholars Announced

By Elizabeth Zimmermann

The Mayo Clinic Robert D. and Patricia E. Kern Center for the Science of Health Care Delivery (CSHCD) Population Health Science Program and Employee & Community Health are pleased to announce that three physicians have been selected into the Population Health Science Scholar Program, and will join July 1, 2018.

Maya Kessler, M.D.

Primary Care Internal Medicine

Dr. Kessler is a primary care physician with expertise in clinical informatics and public health, whose goals are to leverage data stored in the electronic environment to improve population health.

As a scholar, she will conduct a systematic review on the clinical factors that influence the effectiveness of clinical decision support systems. She plans to explore how features unique to the clinical environment in Employee & Community Health impact the success of clinical decision support tools. Dr. Kessler hopes to improve the use of existing tools and develop new tools to improve uptake of preventive services and evidence-based management of chronic diseases.

Kathy MacLaughlin, M.D.

Family Medicine

A family medicine physician, Dr. MacLaughlin’s work is focused on improving rates of cervical cancer screening and guideline-consistent follow-up of abnormal Pap, human papillomavirus (HPV) and colposcopy biopsy results, using an information technology tool called a clinical decision support system.

During her time as a Population Health Scholar, Dr. MacLaughlin will pursue research examining appropriate use of cervical cancer screening services in Mayo Clinic Health System. In addition, given the significant disease and cost consequences of not improving this preventive intervention, she will explore ways to improve the uptake of and completion of the HPV vaccine series for both sexes.

Tamim Rajjo, M.D.

Family Medicine

Dr. Rajjo is also a family medicine physician. His research interests center on obesity, and he seeks to better understand and improve patient care—addressing obesity at the individual level.

His work as a scholar will focus on the delivery of health care for obesity management in the following areas:

  • Identification and management of high cost patients
  • Innovative approaches to prevention, early detection, and management of chronic conditions and treatment burden
  • Facilitation of patient engagement to lower costs and improve self-management

These physicians will have 40 percent protected research time for three years, commencing July 1, 2018. During their time as a Population Health Science Scholar, they will engage in the scientific evaluation of population-based, health care interventions at Mayo Clinic. They will receive training and mentoring as they develop and test innovative and feasible population-based interventions that embody evidence-based practices of wellness and primary, secondary, and tertiary prevention across the care continuum.

In general, Population Health Science Scholar efforts focus on advancing healthy lifestyles and many seek to address disparities in population health with regard to these practices and their benefits. When they have completed the program, scholars will be prepared to seek extramural funding and lead population health research.


Tags: About, Center for the Science of Health Care Delivery, Education, Kathy MacLaughlin, Maya Kessler, People, population health, Tamim Rajjo

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