Robert H. Ebert Career Development Awards Granted to Three Institute Faculty
The Robert H. Ebert Career Development Award, named for the founder of Harvard Community Health Plan and former Dean of Harvard Medical School, supports the work of Institute faculty who demonstrate exceptional promise in the area of ambulatory care, primary care, or preventive medicine.
These awards provide resources to develop leading-edge programs in teaching and research and to pursue scientific and professional activities consistent with the department’s mission. Congratulations to this year’s awardees:
Jason Block received his initial Ebert Award in 2018 and has been awarded an additional third year of funding. He is a general internal medicine physician whose primary research interests are neighborhood-level determinants of weight gain and obesity, the evaluation of governmental and institutional policies and other novel interventions to improve diet, and leveraging electronic health record data for observational research and public health surveillance. Jason’s work in the first two years of his Ebert Career Development Award helped establish PCORnet as a network that can make contributions in population health surveillance and policy evaluation. He will use this additional year of funding to execute network-wide chronic disease surveillance queries, expand on PCORnet COVID-19 surveillance and build a longitudinal cohort to facilitate research opportunities on COVID-19 and chronic disease, and identify PCORnet partners and build a research team to seek funding for grants to explore the effects of obesity prevention policies on health outcomes.
Katherine Yih received her initial Ebert Award in 2018 and has been awarded an additional third year of funding. She is a biologist and epidemiologist with domestic and international experience in infectious disease surveillance and immunization. She works mainly on vaccine safety monitoring, with the CDC-sponsored Vaccine Safety Datalink (VSD) Project and the FDA-sponsored Sentinel Initiative. In the first two years of Ebert Career Development funding, Katherine studied the safety of human papillomavirus and shingles vaccines, using Marketscan data and the self‐controlled tree‐temporal scan statistical method (TreeScan). She will use this additional year of funding to apply a new enhancement of the TreeScan method to examine the safety of the currently recommended shingles vaccine (“Shingrix”), again using the Marketscan data. The enhancement allows one to conduct multiple analyses over time as doses and post‐vaccination health outcomes accumulate and thus allows any safety problems to be detected earlier than if one were to wait for some target number of doses to accumulate.
Hao Yu’s work includes collaborative research on the effects of large-scale state or national health policies on population and patient-centered measures such as: health outcomes, health system and clinician quality, access to care, health care disparities, and health care costs. Previously at RAND in Pittsburgh, he has extensive experience in health services research and health economics, and is viewed by both policymakers and researchers as a national health policy expert. He will use his two-year Ebert Award to further integrate his research into DPM and expand his research portfolio through new initiatives. This integration will enable him to further understand the unique data files that are available at DPM, including the HPHC, Optum, and HCA datasets and pursue new initiatives through collaborations with researchers at DPM and the Harvard community.