For Immediate Release:
January 23, 2017
Lauren Adams


WASHINGTON, D.C. (1/23/2017) – AcademyHealth announced today the five individuals selected for the 2017 cohort of the New Investigator Small Grant Program in partnership with the Altarum Institute, the Association for Community Affiliated Plans, and the March of Dimes.

The AcademyHealth New Investigator Small Grant Program is designed to support the early careers of new health services researchers. This grant program funds innovative, timely, and relevant research and translation activities that advance AcademyHealth's vision.

The 2017 New Investigators were selected through a competitive process that includes evaluation by four individual review committees comprised of AcademyHealth staff, staff at partner organizations, and health services research and policy experts.

"I am pleased to announce the 2017 cohort of New Investigators,” said AcademyHealth President and CEO Lisa Simpson. “I know that this year’s cohort will use this professional development opportunity to contribute critical research on some of the most pressing issues in health care. Their work will help advance AcademyHealth's vision of improving health and the performance of the health system by generating evidence and moving evidence into policy and practice."

AcademyHealth thanks the Altarum Institute, the Association for Community Affiliated Plans, and the March of Dimes for their support of junior health services researchers.

Award winners and their research topic and title include:

  • Danielle N. Atkins, Ph.D., M.P.A.
    Research Topic: Maternal and Child Health (funded by March of Dimes) 
    Institution: University of Central Florida
    Research Title: The Effect of Prenatal Substance Use Policies on Maternal Substance Abuse and Infant Health
  • Amanda Brewster, Ph.D., M.Sc.
    Research Topic: Community Interventions for Healthcare (funded by AcademyHealth)
    Institution: Yale School of Public Health
    Research Title: Linking Health Care and Social Services for Older Adults: Which Strategies Reduce Avoidable Utilization and Contain Costs?
  • Cara McDermott, Pharm.D., Ph.D., M.Sc.
    Research Topic: Combatting Low Value Care (funded by Altarum Institute)
    Institution: University of Washington School of Medicine
    Research Title: Care Coordination and Low-Value Care at End-of-Life Among Patients with Advanced Cancer
  • Caitlin C. Murphy, Ph.D., M.P.H.
    Research Topic: Prescription Medication Use and Polypharmacy (funded by AcademyHealth)
    Institution: University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center
    Research Title: Patterns of Prescription Medication Use and Polypharmacy Among Cancer Survivors
  • Sayeh Nikpay, Ph.D., M.P.H.
    Research Topic: Medicaid Managed Care (funded by Association for Community Affiliated Plans)
    Institution: Vanderbilt University
    Research Title: Impact of Coordination in Medicaid Managed Care Markets: Evidence from Tennessee

For more information on the program, visit the New Investigator Small Grant Program 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.