Honors and Awards, Spring 2016

Vincent Mor Elected to National Academy of Medicine

Members of the National Academy of Medicine have elected Brown University Professor Vincent Mor to join their ranks. “Membership in the NAM is considered one of the highest honors in the fields of health and medicine and recognizes individuals who have demonstrated outstanding professional achievements and commitment to service,” according to the Academy, formerly known as the Institute of Medicine. “Current active members elect new members from among candidates nominated for their accomplishments and contributions to the advancement of the medical sciences, health care, and public health.”

Mor, the Florence Pierce Grant University Professor in the Brown University School of Public Health, has worked for decades to study how the delivery of health care affects the well-being of frail and chronically ill people, particularly the elderly. Since coming to Brown in 1981 he has made many contributions in assessing health care delivery and  patient outcomes in long-term care settings. Most recently,  for example, he and colleagues have produced needed evidence that flu vaccinations prevent hospitalizations and deaths among elderly nursing home residents.

Just two years out of graduate school, under the supervision of former Brown medical dean Dr. David Greer, Mor led a study that helped convince Congress to establish a Medicare hospice benefit. He said election to the NAM reminded  him of working with Greer and Dr. Sidney Katz, who were NAM members.

“[Greer] would regularly attend those meetings and was on one or two of those committees, and at one point presented information from the studies we did together,” Mor said. “So that’s been in my head for the last 35 years, thinking of that as the pinnacle because that’s where my mentors were spending time. [Katz] chaired the committee that actually had a profound effect on the quality of care in nursing homes.” To Mor, election feels like a cherished rite of passage.

“My appreciation of the role of the institute is all bound up in my relationship with my mentors,” he said.

Constantine Gatsonis Receives Long-Time Excellence Award

At the 11th International Conference on Health Policy Statistics at the Biltmore Hotel Oct. 7-9, 2015, Constantine Gatsonis, chair of Brown University’s Department of Bio-statistics, delivered the plenary talk and received the group’s Long-Time Excellence Award. More than a dozen Brown University faculty members and students presented during the three-day event.

“As one of the founders of the Health Policy Statistics Section of the ASA, co-chair of the first International  Conference on Health Policy Statistics in 1995, and  founding editor in chief of the journal Health Services and Outcomes Research Methodology, I was deeply touched by this honor at the 11th ICHPS, held in Providence this year,” said Gatsonis, who chairs the Department of Biostatistics  in the Brown University School of Public Health.

For decades, Gatsonis has developed methods to study  variations in health care utilization and outcomes, to  compare health care providers, and to evaluate medical technology for diagnosis and prediction. More recently he has focused on ways to access and link large sources of health care data, notably health insurance and electronic  medical records, to study the effectiveness of medical tests. On the website of the 11th International Conference on Health Policy Statistics, Gatsonis is acknowledged as “a world leader in methods for applying and synthesizing evidence on diagnostic tests in medicine.”