For Immediate Release:
May 26, 2022

Media Contact:
Lauren Adams

Washington D.C. (May 26, 2022)—AcademyHealth announced today the 2022 winners of its Annual Awards program. The awards program recognizes individuals and projects that have made significant contributions to the fields of health services research and health policy, while supporting AcademyHealth’s mission to improve health and health care for all.

AcademyHealth will honor the recipients of these prestigious awards the in-person 2022 Annual Research Meeting during the opening plenary on Saturday, June 4. Awardees will further describe their work in a special session on Monday, June 6.  

Distinguished Career Award
John F. Holahan, Ph.D.

John F. Holahan, Ph.D., is the founder of the Urban Institute’s Health Policy Center where he served as center director for over 30 years. Holahan is a nationally recognized expert on the Medicaid program, Medicaid and Medicare reform, and coverage, costs, and economic impact of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), including the costs of Medicaid expansion and the macroeconomic effects of the law. Holahan led an effort to develop reform options for the state of Massachusetts and estimate their cost and coverage effects, contributing to the state’s landmark legislation in 2006, which brought it to near universal coverage and laid the groundwork for the ACA. He currently serves as an Urban Institute Fellow of 9 years. His recent work has focused on the distribution of benefits and financing burdens by income of health reform proposals, the effect of public option proposals on coverage and spending and health expenditure growth, as well as developing proposals for health system reform.  

The Distinguished Career Award is AcademyHealth’s highest career award, recognizing leaders who have made significant and lasting contributions to the field of health services research through advancement of science and methods, leadership, mentorship, scholarship and teaching, and the application of health services and policy evidence to improve health and health care.

Health Services Research (HSR) Impact Award
Atheendar S. Venkataramani, M.D., Ph.D.

Atheendar Venkataramani is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Medical Ethics and Health Policy and a staff physician at the Penn Presbyterian Medical Center. He directs the Penn Opportunity for Health Lab, a research group that seeks to identify policies and interventions that can jointly bolster both economic opportunity and health in the United States.

His research, which combines insights from health economics, epidemiology, and clinical medicine, has focused on the impacts of economic opportunities and social programs on health over the life course. His work has frequently been cited in high-profile policy documents, including briefs to the U.S. Supreme Court, bills and testimony presented to both houses of Congress, and by leading private organizations such as the American Medical Association and American Public Health Association. For example, research conducted by him and his colleagues on the effect of police killings on mental health in the Black community, published in The Lancet, was cited and informed the 2021 “Anti-Racism in Public Health Act,” which seeks to understand and eliminate structural racism. In addition, work by him and his colleagues on the health impacts of changing economic opportunities in the United States, helped inform a recent National Academies of Science, Medicine, and Engineering report on rising midlife mortality in the United States, the Senate Judiciary Committee’s recent hearing on opioids, and a key Department of Labor ruling advising President Biden on how to implement his Executive Order that raised the minimum wage for federal contractors.

Dr. Venkataramani completed his M.D. at Washington University, his Ph.D. in Health Policy (Economics) and Yale University, and his B.S. in Biology and Economics at Duke University. He completed a residency in Internal Medicine–Global Primary Care at the Massachusetts General Hospital.

The HSR Impact Award recognizes research that has had a significant impact on health and health care. The award is intended to identify and promote examples of outstanding research that has been successfully translated into health policy, management, or clinical practice in order to address cost, quality, access, equity and/or patient outcomes and the delivery of care.

Alice S. Hersh Emerging Leader Award
Omolola A. Adeoye-Olatunde, PharmD, M.S.

Dr. Omolola (Lola) Adeoye-Olatunde is an Assistant Professor of Pharmacy Practice at Purdue University College of Pharmacy, Center for Health Equity and Innovation. Her research advances health equity through investigating drivers of effective and equitable implementation and provision of community-based health services among populations disproportionately affected by health inequities.

Funded by organizations such as the National Institutes of Health (NIH), National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS) Foundation, and the Indiana Department of Health, Dr. Adeoye-Olatunde works alongside communities and community-based organizations across the country and globally to co-create and evaluate approaches focused on addressing inequities in under-resourced communities. Her award-winning work in this space has been recognized locally and nationally, including the Bowl of Hygeia Award for her outstanding record of civic leadership in the communities she serves, selection as a NIH-National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD) Health Disparities Research Institute Scholar and a Purdue University Societal Impact Fellow Award for her demonstrated societal impact in the real world beyond academia. Her research has been featured in local and international media outlets, including the Indiana Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute (CTSI) News and The Conversation.

Dr. Adeoye-Olatunde earned her PharmD from Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences in 2016 before completing a PGY1 community-based residency at Kroger Pharmacy followed by a M.S. in Health Services, Outcomes, and Policy and a Community Practice Research Fellowship at Purdue University in 2020.

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

Publication-of-the-Year Award
Comparative Effectiveness of an Automated Text Messaging Service for Monitoring COVID-19 at Home
M. Kit Delgado, M.D., M.S

Comparative Effectiveness of an Automated Text Messaging Service for Monitoring COVID-19 at Home was published in the Annals of Internal Medicine in February 2022. The study found that enrollment of outpatients with COVID-19 in an automated remote monitoring service (“COVID Watch”) was associated with reduced mortality. Within two weeks of the first COVID-19 case in the Penn Medicine health system, Penn Medicine’s Center for Health Care Innovation set up COVID Watch to help newly diagnosed patients with COVID-19 manage their illness at home using automated text messages and rapidly escalate care when needed. The publication reports a novel and timely and practical intervention blended with a rigorous set of research methods—both deployed expertly and rapidly. It thus exemplifies how state of the art health services research can be produced in a timely fashion to address today’s health challenges. The COVID Watch program has treated more than 30,000 patients to date.

M. Kit Delgado, M.D., M.S., is an Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine and Epidemiology at the University of Pennsylvania and attending physician in the Penn Presbyterian Medical Center emergency department. Dr. Delgado is particularly committed to collaborations that involve multidisciplinary team science. He founded the Behavioral Science & Analytics For Injury Reduction (BeSAFIR) lab, which applies data and behavioral science to improve acute care and to prevent injuries and overdoses. This includes analyzing emergency department and hospital encounter data and leveraging electronic health records, text-messaging, and other digital interventions to change clinician and patient behavior. His research is currently funded by PCORI, NIH, CDC, and FDA. He also serves as an Associate Director of the Center for Health Incentives and Behavioral Economics (CHIBE) and as the Deputy Director of the Penn Medicine Nudge Unit, a health system behavioral design team within the Penn Medicine Center for Health Care Innovation. Finally, Dr. Delgado serves as Co-Chair of the University Pennsylvania Health System Opioid Task Force. He received his bachelor’s degree in public policy from Princeton University, his M.D. from Columbia University, College of Physicians and Surgeons, and his M.S. in Health Services Research from Stanford University.

The Publication-of-the-Year Award recognizes the best and most relevant peer-reviewed, scientific work that the fields of health services research and health policy have produced and published in the prior calendar year.

Outstanding Dissertation Award
Inequities in Home Health Access, Outcomes, and the Impact of Public Reporting

Shekinah Fashaw-Walters, Ph.D.

Medicare home health provides important care for vulnerable older adults. Its use has increased in recent years making it increasingly important to ensure high-quality care for all.  This year’s Outstanding Dissertation winner, Inequities in Home Health Access, Outcomes, and the Impact of Public Reporting, finds that access to high-quality Medicare home health is inequitable, inequities in access are potentially exacerbated by the publicly reported five-star quality ratings, and that access to poorer quality home health providers may have a disparate impact on Medicare patient outcomes. In this dissertation research, Dr. Fashaw-Walters was among the first researchers to use models that examine patient, provider, place-based, and societal contexts through a structural lens to explore disparities in home- and community-based long-term services and supports (LTSS) and the unintended consequences of policies in this setting. Her dissertation offers several different policy and practice recommendations including providing resources and financial incentives to home health agencies and to consider adjusting star ratings for racism-related social determinants of health. She also provides recommendations to increase outreach to minoritized and low-income patients to inform them about publicly reported quality information to help them make informed choices.

Dr. Fashaw-Walters is a health equity and aging tenure-track Assistant Professor in the Division of Health Policy & Management at the University of Minnesota’s School of Public Health, a graduate of Brown University, UNC Chapel Hill, and the University of Central Florida. Dr. Fashaw-Walters is also an affiliate faculty member with the Center for Antiracism Research for Health Equity and the Center for Healthy Aging and Innovation.

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