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SHP trainees and affiliates earn high honors

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John Wong (far left) presented the Lee B. Lusted Awards to this year's recipients at an October ceremony. From left to right, the award winners are: Sorapop Kiatponsan, from Harvard; and Lauren Cipriano, Eva Enns and Sze-chuan Suen, all from Stanford.

Three student researchers with Stanford Health Policy have been awarded the Lee B. Lusted Student Prizes by the Society for Medical Decision Making.

The cash prizes, which were awarded in October, recognize outstanding presentations of original student research.

First-year doctoral student Sze-chuan Suen won the Lusted Award for Best Student Presentation in the area of Health Services and Policy Research.  Suen’s abstract, Dynamic Transmission Microsimulation of Tuberculosis in India to Assess the Future Impact of Treatment Programs, explores the connection between tuberculosis treatment and the growing burden of multi-drug resistant TB in India. Co-authors included Eran Bendavid, an affiliate of Stanford Health Policy; and Jeremy Goldhaber-Fiebert, a core faculty member of SHP, which is a center at the university’s Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies. Bendavid and Goldhaber-Fiebert are both assistant professors of medicine.

Fourth-year doctoral student Lauren Cipriano won the Lusted Award for Best Student Presentation in the area of Applied Health Economics. Her abstract, Optimal Information Acquisition Policy in Dynamic Healthcare Policy: Application to HCV Screening, demonstrates how a complete policy lifecycle analysis of Hepatitis C screening can maximize its social value. Cipriano illustrated the practical value of her theoretical framework using an HCV model developed by Stanford doctoral student Shan Liu and Goldhaber-Fiebert.

Eva Enns, who finished her PhD in June, won the Lusted Award for Best Student Presentation in the area of Quantitative Methods and Theoretical Developments.  Enns’s abstract, Calibration Methods for Inferring Transition Probabilities from Cross-sectional Studies, presents an iterative algorithm that accurately and consistently infers transition probabilities from multiple cross-sectional prevalence estimates. Enns, a recent Stanford graduate and first-year faculty member at the University of Minnesota, completed this project while at Stanford, in collaboration with SH-trainee Suzann Pershing, Stanford doctoral student Yang Wang and Goldhaber-Fiebert.

Stanford investigators’ research presentations at the conference covered a wide range of clinical topics from infectious diseases to emergency care. They also contributed new methods and frameworks to help policymakers decide how best to allocate scarce resources for problems such as determining the cost-effectiveness of competing HIV management strategies and quantifying the mortality rates of high-risk groups infected with chronic Hepatitis C.

Among SHP’s participants were a number with top-ranked, plenary abstracts. Former SHP trainee and current Stanford faculty member, M. Kit Delgado, was acknowledged for his top-ranked abstract, which established that current helicopter scene transport for trauma victims is not as cost-effective as ground transport. Goldhaber-Fiebert was also recognized for his top-ranked abstract, which developed calibration methods to infer rates of exposure for time-varying risk factors from household surveys using the example of smoking in India.

SHP affiliates who gave oral presentations and posters included: Daniella Perlroth, Dena Bravata, and Lauren Shluzas. Trainees Kevin Erickson and Zachary Kastenberg were recognized as Lee B. Lusted Award finalists for their original research in the field of Applied Health Economics, and recent Stanford graduate, Sabina Alistar, was named a finalist in the area of Health Services and Policy Research.  Other trainees and former trainees who presented included Serena Faruque, Suzann Pershing, Jonathan Glazer Shaw, Grace Hunter, Jessie Juusola, and Crystal Smith-Spangler. Co-authors and faculty mentors on many of these projects include SHP director, Douglas Owens; former SHP director, Alan Garber; and Stanford professors Margaret Brandeau, Mary Goldstein, Glenn Chertow, Bendavid and Goldhaber-Fiebert.

The Society for Medical Decision Making brings researchers, educators and others in health care together in a mission of improving health outcomes through the advancement of proactive systematic approaches to clinical decision-making and policy-formation in health care. The value the society places on interdisciplinary scholarship and methodological excellence mirrors SHP’s focus on conducting rigorous, multi-disciplinary research that lays the foundation for better domestic and international health policy and health care.

“Knowing the dedication of our students and faculty to tackling important topics with sophisticated analysis, I was not surprised with our results at this year’s annual meeting. But it really was a wonderful moment to hear each Lusted Prize winner’s name, followed by their Stanford affiliation,” said Kathryn McDonald, SHP’s executive director. “Our entire Stanford contingent shared a sense of pride since everyone supports each other’s work.”