When Dr. Simpson chose the title "Passing the Baton" for her final blog post as President and CEO, she established the perfect metaphor for our transition and the pace of life at AcademyHealth. As I look back on my first week with gratitude, I can't help but marvel at the efficiency, capacity, passion, and commitment of this team and the partners and members with whom we work. 

I spent most of the week in meetings, the beginning of a "listening tour" that I expect will continue for many months. The purpose of these meetings is twofold: I want to learn as much as I can about the individuals and organizations that make our mission possible and extend the bonds of trust that fuel our successful collaboration with members, supporters, partners, and research users.  

AcademyHealth has a sterling reputation as a trusted broker of evidence and information, and we need skilled, trusted information sources now more than ever. As a pediatrician, researcher, chief health officer, and science communicator, I am deeply passionate about applying health services research to inform decision-making that improves health for all. That passion drew me to AcademyHealth early in my career and sustained my engagement over the years. It is also central to my vision for the future of AcademyHealth and the field we both represent and serve.  

Dr. Simpson's final blog outlined a charge to the field and reflected the commitments of our current strategic plan. I'm committed to carrying on that work and supporting our excellent team in their ongoing efforts to investigate and advance solutions, not just define problems; to support evidence that helps address, and not just name, the systemic factors that perpetuate disparities and inequities in health, health care, and the field of HSR itself; to consider the ways technology and data can improve and extend our impact, and the methods, training, and tools necessary to do this work; to advocate for sustained and sufficient funding and data access to drive high impact, equitable research; and to effectively, actively, communicate that work to decision-makers at all levels: policymakers, clinicians, patients, caregivers. 

I'm excited about this work, the future of health services research, and, in particular, AcademyHealth's contributions to moving the field forward. As President and CEO, I will champion the field and its findings. Our shared efforts yield so much good evidence—and much of it can be applied to answer today's challenges. 

To realize that impact, we must do a much better job communicating our findings with those who can use them. We must also expand our understanding of those audiences, partners, and the tools we use to engage them. That means looking beyond our coastal, academic, and institutional lines to engage communities where they are and discuss problems that matter to them.   

I look forward to hearing from you as I continue to lead by learning—a principle of how we work at AcademyHealth that I find particularly apt. This week, the team launched our most recent member survey to gather insight from the field about their priorities and challenges. If you're a member, please look for us in your email and respond. Your input is extremely valuable.

We are also planning meetings with many of our volunteer and Interest Group leaders, the funders who support our work, and legislative and agency leaders who fund and use health services research in policymaking. Of course, I also look forward to seeing many of you in Baltimore from June 29 to July 2 for the Annual Research Meeting. 

The insights from the survey and these initial listening sessions will help inform AcademyHealth's next strategic plan – providing evidence and insights to shape the course of the organization and our contributions to the field for years to come. 

I am deeply grateful for the opportunity to serve as President and CEO, and I am eager to work with you.

Aaron Carroll Headshot
Author, Board Member, Member, Staff

Aaron E. Carroll, M.D., M.S.

President and CEO - AcademyHealth

Dr. Aaron E. Carroll is President & CEO of AcademyHealth. A nationally recognized thought leader, science comm... Read Bio

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