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Release:Nov. 1, 2000

HHS Secretary appoints Iowa nurse to national advisory council

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Donna E. Shalala announced the appointment of eight new members to the National Advisory Council (NAC) for the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), including a University of Iowa Health Care nurse researcher.

Marita G. Titler, Ph.D., director of research, quality and outcomes management in the UI Hospitals and Clinics Department of Nursing Services and Patient Care, will serve a three-year term on the council.

The 21-member council is composed of private-sector experts and includes top federal health officials.

"The Council advises the Secretary of Health and Human Resources and the Director of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality," Titler said. "It is a great honor to be appointed to the council and I'm looking forward to contributing to the development of health care research and quality on the national level."

NAC members work to enhance the quality, improve the outcomes and reduce the costs of health care services, and to improve access to such services, through scientific research and the promotion of improvements in clinical practice, and in the organization, financing and delivery of health care services. The Council also makes recommendations regarding priorities for a national agenda and strategy for health care research, and the identification of opportunities for public-private partnerships.

Titler serves as director of the Research Dissemination Core of the Gerontological Nursing Intervention Research Center. She is the principal investigator of a 12-site, $1.5 million federally funded study, "From Book to Bedside: Acute Pain Management in the Elderly." Titler's program of research focuses on health services and translational research among the elderly.

The seven other new NAC members are:

-- William Allen Schaffer, M.D., chief medical officer, senior vice president, Medical Strategy and Health Policy, CIGNA HealthCare, Hartford, Conn.;

-- Robert F. Meenan, M.D., M.P.H., dean and professor of health services at Boston University School of Public Health, Boston, Mass.;

-- William F. Jessee, M.D., president and chief executive officer of the Medical Group Management Association, Englewood, Colo.;

-- Janice H. Platner, director of programs, National Breast Cancer Coalition, Washington, D.C.;

-- Arthur Garson, Jr., M.D., M.P.H., senior vice president and dean for academic operations, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Tex.;

-- Mary Wakefield, Ph.D., professor and director of the Center for Health Policy at George Mason University, Fairfax, Va.;

-- Jo Ivey Boufford, M.D., dean, Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, New York University, New York, N.Y.

"These eight new members bring a wealth of knowledge and experience that will enrich the Council's ability to advise AHRQ on its policy direction and research portfolio," Shalala said. "Their imaginative and creative leadership will help the agency achieve its goal of improving the quality of health care services for all Americans."

The reappointed Council members are:

-- Donald Berwick, M.D., president and CEO, Institute for Healthcare Improvement, Boston, Mass. (Council Chairman);

-- Colleen Conway-Welch, Ph.D., professor and dean, Vanderbilt University School of Nursing, Nashville, Tenn.;

-- Dennis G. Fryback, Ph.D., professor of preventive medicine, University of Wisconsin, Madison;

-- Vanessa N. Gamble, M.D., Ph.D., vice president for community and minority programs, Association of American Medical Colleges, Washington, D.C.

In addition to the private-sector members, representatives from seven federal agencies serve as ex-officio members. The agencies include the National Institutes of Health, the Department of Defense, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Office of Personnel Management, the Food and Drug Administration, and the Health Care Financing Administration.

University of Iowa Health Care describes the partnership between the UI College of Medicine and the UI Hospitals and Clinics and the patient care, medical education and research programs and services they provide.