For Immediate Release:
June 6, 2017
Lauren Adams

Washington D.C. (June 06, 2017)—AcademyHealth announced today the winners of its 2017 Annual Research Meeting (ARM) awards. Each award recognizes individuals who have made significant contributions to the fields of health services research and health policy. AcademyHealth will honor and recognize the recipients of these prestigious awards at the 2017 ARM, June 25-27 in New Orleans.

Distinguished Investigator Award
John Z. Ayanian, M.D., M.P.P.

John Z. Ayanian, M.D., M.P.P. is the inaugural director of the Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation at the University of Michigan, where he is also the Alice Hamilton Professor of Medicine, professor of health management and policy, and professor of public policy. He previously served as professor of medicine and health care policy at Harvard Medical School and professor in health policy and management at the Harvard School of Public Health. He has published numerous influential studies on access to care, quality of care, and health disparities related to race, ethnicity, socioeconomic factors, and insurance coverage. In 2012 he received the John Eisenberg National Award for Career Achievement in Research from the Society of General Internal Medicine. Dr. Ayanian is a fellow of the American College of Physicians, an elected member of the AcademyHealth Board of Directors, and an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine.

The Distinguished Investigator Award recognizes investigators who have made significant and lasting contributions to the field of health services research through scholarship, teaching, advancement of science and methods, and leadership.

Alice S. Hersh New Investigator Award
Julia Adler-Milstein, Ph.D.

Julia Adler-Milstein is an associate professor at the School of Information and the School of Public Health at the University of Michigan. Dr. Adler-Milstein is an internationally recognized expert on policy and management issues related to the use of information technology (IT) in healthcare delivery. Her research assesses the progress of health IT adoption; the impact of such adoption on healthcare costs and quality; and the relationships between market, organizational, and team structure and health IT use.  A core focus of her work is on health information exchange and interoperability. Dr. Adler-Milstein holds a Ph.D. in health policy from Harvard University.

The Alice S. Hersh New Investigator Award recognizes scholars early in their careers as health services researchers who show exceptional promise for future contributions to the field.

Article-of-the-Year Award
Laura Rose Wherry, Ph.D.

Laura Wherry is a health policy researcher in the Division of General Internal Medicine & Health Services Research at the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University California Los Angeles. Her research focuses on the changing role of the Medicaid program and its impact on access to health care and health. Her award-winning article, “Saving Teens: Using a Policy Discontinuity to Estimate the Effects of Medicaid Eligibility,” was published in the Journal of Human Resources in November 2015. She received her Ph.D. in public policy from the University of Chicago.

The Article-of-the-Year Award recognizes the best scientific work that the fields of health services research and health policy have produced and published during the previous calendar year. The award-winning article provides new insights into the delivery of health care and advances the knowledge of the field.

Outstanding Dissertation Award
Rebecca Lee Haffajee, J.D., Ph.D., M.P.H.

Rebecca L. Haffajee is an assistant professor of health management and policy at the University of Michigan School of Public Health. After receiving her law degree from Harvard Law School and a Masters in public health from Harvard School of Public Health in 2006, she practiced as a regulatory health care attorney for several years. She then completed her Ph.D. in health policy with a concentration in evaluative science and statistics at Harvard University in 2016. Dr. Haffajee's research combines detailed legal analyses with empirical investigations of the relationships between law and health. She explores the ways in which law facilitates or serves as a barrier to patient access to quality health care and improved population health outcomes. She substantively focuses in the behavioral health and pharmaceutical policy areas, evaluating policies such as mental health/substance abuse parity and laws intended to curb opioid misuse and overdose, such as prescription drug monitoring programs.

The Outstanding Dissertation Award honors an outstanding scientific contribution from a doctoral thesis in health services research or health policy.

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 2,500 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 2017 Annual Research Meeting is being held June 25-27 in New Orleans. For more information or to register, visit the ARM webpage.

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. Learn more at and follow us on Twitter @AcademyHealth.