Mary Woolley to Receive 2016 AcademyHealth Chair Award

For Immediate Release:
June 20, 2016
Kristin Rosengren

Washington, D.C. (June 20, 2016) – AcademyHealth is pleased to announce Mary Woolley as the recipient of the 2016 AcademyHealth Chair Award, which recognizes a national leader who has significantly contributed to moving health services research into policy and practice.

The Chair Award is among the most prestigious honors bestowed by AcademyHealth. It recognizes individuals who have made sustained contributions to the health and health care of Americans through demonstrated support for improving health policy and health care delivery through the application of sound health services research. Previous recipients include Senators Edward Kennedy and William Frist, former Health Affairs editor John Iglehart, the late John Eisenberg, who from 1997 until 2002 served as director of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, and former AcademyHealth president and CEO W. David Helms.

Woolley is the president and CEO of Research!America, the nation's largest not-for-profit public education and advocacy alliance committed to making research to improve health a higher national priority, a position she has held since 1990. Under her leadership, Research!America has flourished and has received steady attention from the media and thought leaders, both on and off Capitol Hill. From her extensive background in clinical research and science advocacy, she has earned her place as a sought-after resource for those looking for information on medical and health research, health policy, and innovative advocacy for research.

Woolley, a longtime science advocate, continues to symbolize what it means to move evidence into action. She has been a loyal and enthusiastic supporter of health services research, and of the research enterprise more broadly. She has fought for federal funding for research and has made the case for the importance of science and its role in policymaking on Capitol Hill.

"I am honored to be a recipient of the AcademyHealth Chair Award," said Woolley. "Health care delivery research is an absolutely critical component of the research continuum, but it is a too well-kept secret. Strengthening awareness and support for its conduct and application to evidence-based health care will go a long way toward helping our nation find the solutions to what ails us. Research!America's board and my colleagues join me in pledging our whole-hearted partnership and commitment to achieving this goal."

Said AcademyHealth President and CEO Dr. Lisa Simpson, "Mary has been a constant friend and partner to AcademyHealth and therefore, to our field. She continues to make the case for health services research and its critical role as part of this nation's investment in health research, through a variety of channels, including her email updates, her meetings with stakeholders, her partnership on congressional briefings and events, and beyond. This award is emblematic of an already-distinguished career filled with truly exceptional contributions. I am thrilled that AcademyHealth is able to honor Mary in this way."

Former AcademyHealth Board Chair Paul Wallace will present Woolley with the 2016 Chair Award on June 27, 2016, during AcademyHealth's Annual Research Meeting in Boston.

About AcademyHealth

AcademyHealth is a leading national organization serving the fields of health services and policy research and the professionals who produce and use this important work. Together with our members, we offer programs and services that support the development and use of rigorous, relevant and timely evidence to increase the quality, accessibility, and value of health care, to reduce disparities, and to improve health. A trusted broker of information, AcademyHealth brings stakeholders together to address the current and future needs of an evolving health system, inform health policy, and translate evidence into action.

About the Annual Research Meeting

For over 30 years, AcademyHealth's Annual Research Meeting has been the premier forum for health services research, where more than 2,400 attendees gather to discuss the health policy and health system implications of research findings, sharpen research methods, and network with colleagues from around the world. The 2016 Annual Research Meeting is being held June 26-28 at the Hynes Convention Center in Boston. For more information or to register, visit