Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Loyola Launches New Program in Health Services Research

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.

About Loyola University Health System

Loyola University Health System (LUHS) is part of Trinity Health. Based in the western suburbs of Chicago, LUHS is a quaternary care system with a 61-acre main medical center campus, the 36-acre Gottlieb Memorial Hospital campus and more than 30 primary and specialty care facilities in Cook, Will and DuPage counties. Loyola University Medical Center’s campus is conveniently located in Maywood, 13 miles west of Chicago’s Loop and 8 miles east of Oak Brook, Ill. At the heart of the medical center campus is a 559-licensed-bed hospital that houses a Level 1 Trauma Center, a Burn Center and the Ronald McDonald® Children's Hospital of Loyola University Medical Center. Also on campus are the Cardinal Bernardin Cancer Center, Loyola Outpatient Center, Center for Heart & Vascular Medicine and Loyola Oral Health Center as well as Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine, Loyola University Chicago Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing and the Loyola Center for Fitness. Loyola's Gottlieb campus in Melrose Park includes the 255-licensed-bed community hospital, the Professional Office Building housing 150 private practice clinics, the Adult Day Care, the Gottlieb Center for Fitness, Loyola Center for Metabolic Surgery and Bariatric Care and the Loyola Cancer Care & Research at the Marjorie G. Weinberg Cancer Center at Melrose Park.

Trinity Health is a national Catholic health system with an enduring legacy and a steadfast mission to be a transforming and healing presence within the communities we serve. Trinity is committed to being a people-centered health care system that enables better health, better care and lower costs. Trinity Health has 88 hospitals and hundreds of continuing care facilities, home care agencies and outpatient centers in 21 states and 119,000 employees.