Brad Wright, PhD, MS, is Associate Professor and Director of Health Services and Outcomes Research in the Department of Family Medicine at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he also co-directs the Healthcare Economics and Finance Program at the Sheps Center for Health Services Research. His work—which has been supported by NIMHD, NIA, the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Retirement Research Foundation, the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust, and the Iowa Department of Human Services—focuses on disparities in health care delivery, with an emphasis on publicly insured populations, primary care, and emergency medicine. Dr. Wright is one of the nation’s leading experts on both federally qualified health centers and hospital observation stays. His other interests include health politics and policy and health reform. His research has been published in the New England Journal of Medicine, Health Affairs, Medical Care, Health Services Research, and the Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law among others, and he was recognized for his contributions to the field, receiving the John D. Thompson Prize for Young Investigators in 2016. Dr. Wright has also taught graduate courses on the U.S. health care system, health policy, and health policy analysis.

Dr. Wright holds a PhD in health policy and management from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, an MS in health policy from George Washington University, and a BS in biology from the University of Georgia. He also completed a postdoctoral fellowship in health services research at Brown University and was a participant in the NIH extramural loan repayment program in health disparities.

Below, Dr. Wright shares his experience as an AcademyHealth member...

Having attended multiple other health research conferences where I felt overwhelmed and a little out of place, I found the AcademyHealth Annual Research Meeting (ARM) easy to navigate, welcoming, and full of the exact type of people I wanted to meet. I was given the opportunity to present my research, both podium and poster presentations, and immediately recognized that my work was being put in front of the right people – a unique combination of peers and those from other sectors and interest areas. At each meeting, I establish new face-to-face connections that enhance by ability to stand out in the field. I cannot emphasize enough how much I appreciate the professionalism and warmth of the AcademyHealth membership community. There’s something to be said for a comfortable environment in which you can openly share your thoughts and ideas with a group of diverse colleagues.

I have been a member of AcademyHealth since 2009, and now as the Immediate Past Chair of the Disparities Interest Group, I support the current Chair, Megan Douglas, in her efforts to help the group carry out its mission to improve the health, health care, and well-being of diverse communities and achieve health equity through efforts supporting research, policy, and practice.

I cannot emphasize enough how much I appreciate the professionalism and warmth of the AcademyHealth membership community. There’s something to be said for a comfortable environment in which you can openly share your thoughts and ideas with a group of diverse colleagues. I look forward to my network expanding over the course of my career thanks to my connection to the AcademyHealth family.