MAYWOOD, Ill. -- Loyola University Health System has established a new Program in Health Services Research to study how doctors and nurses can provide better health care at lower costs to more people.
Health services research is a burgeoning field that examines such topics as access to health care, costs, outcomes, patient safety and patient education.
"The Program in Health Services Research will significantly strengthen our overall commitment to research, which is central to our mission," said Dr. Paul Whelton, president and CEO of Loyola University Health System.
Heading the new program is Frances Weaver, Ph.D., director of the Center for Management of Complex Chronic Care at Edward Hines Jr. VA Hospital. Weaver has a joint appointment at Loyola and Hines.
Weaver earned masters and doctorate degrees in applied social psychology from Loyola University Chicago, and has conducted health services research for 25 years. She lives in Oak Park.
Weaver was first author of a recent landmark study in the Journal of the American Medical Association that found that a surgical treatment for advanced Parkinson Disease called deep brain stimulation is more effective than conventional drug therapy.
Joining Weaver are three other Hines researchers who also will have joint appointments at Loyola and Hines: Bridget Smith, Ph.D. (health policy and statistics); Kevin Stroupe, Ph.D. (health economics) and Timothy Hogan, Ph.D. (consumer health informatics).
Weaver and her colleagues have published major studies on increasing flu vaccination rates in veterans with spinal cord injuries, improving care for frail elderly veterans and calculating the effect of higher co-payments on pharmacy use. A fourth study found that balloon angioplasties were less costly but as effective as bypass surgery in high-risk heart patients.
Weaver is a professor in the Department of Medicine at Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine. Hogan and Smith are assistant professors and Stroupe is an associate professor at Stritch.