Health care workers

Texas A&M National Research Cooperative and Major Philadelphia Health System Partner to Combat Health Disparities

August 7, 2015
Health care workers

Research will focus on developing new and innovative ways to reduce health care disparities and close the gap in population health outcomes.

Main Line Health, a five-hospital teaching health system in suburban Philadelphia, recently became a member of the Center for Health Organization Transformation (CHOT) at the Texas A&M Health Science Center School of Public Health – an industry-university cooperative research center funded by the National Science Foundation and other health care organizations.

CHOT’s mission is to conduct and support research into major health care innovations in the areas of management, clinical care and information technology. As a member, Main Line Health will work with CHOT and will also leverage their new partnership between Lankenau Institute for Medical Research and Jefferson College of Population Health in Philadelphia to develop new and innovative ways to reduce health care disparities and close the gap in population health outcomes.

Despite spending more per capita than the vast majority of countries, health care disparities continue to persist among racial and ethnic minorities in the U.S. In fact, studies show that these populations experience a lower quality of health services, are less likely to receive routine medical procedures, and have higher rates of morbidity and mortality than non-minorities.

“Our membership in CHOT will not only help advance the nation’s understanding of health care disparities and how to reduce them, it will also provide us with valuable information about patients in the communities we serve,” said Phil Robinson, President of Lankenau Medical Center, a member of Main Line Health. “Our first project will focus on identifying the key drivers of disparities in 30-day readmission among our patients and implementing evidence-based interventions that could significantly reduce these disparities.”

Bita Kash, Ph.D., M.B.A.

Bita Kash, Ph.D., M.B.A.

“The partnership between Main Line Health, CHOT and researchers at the Jefferson College of Population Health, will be highly effective in answering important health disparities questions in the U.S.,” said Bita Kash, PhD, MBA, CHOT director and associate professor at the Texas A&M School of Public Health. “We hope to advance our knowledge base in the field of population health outcomes and health disparities while gaining a better understanding of the important role healthcare organizations and health systems play in achieving population health targets.”

The first CHOT research project in the Philadelphia region will be led by Alva Ferdinand, Ph.D., J.D., assistant professor in Health Policy and Management at the Texas A&M School of Public Health, and will focus on building a disparities-of-care predictive model for hospital readmissions that takes key market and geographic factors as well as the diverse populations served by Main Line Health into consideration. This unique population approach will allow Main Line Health to formulate evidence-based strategies toward closing health disparities gaps.

About CHOT

CHOT is one of the National Science Foundation’s 70 Industry/University Cooperative Research Centers (I/UCRC) in the U.S. and the only I/UCRC focused on innovations in healthcare delivery. Through their cooperative research model, CHOT researchers and industry members from across all spectrums of health care work with university faculty and graduate students to conduct research on strategies for improving health and transforming health care delivery.

About Main Line Health

Founded in 1985, Main Line Health (MLH) is a not-for-profit health system serving portions of Philadelphia and its western suburbs. At its core are four of the region’s respected acute care hospitals—Lankenau Medical Center, Bryn Mawr Hospital, Paoli Hospital and Riddle Hospital—as well as one of the nation’s premier facilities for rehabilitative medicine, Bryn Mawr Rehab Hospital; Mirmont Treatment Center for drug and alcohol recovery; and HomeCare & Hospice, a home health service. Main Line Health also consists of Main Line HealthCare, one of the region’s largest multi-specialty physician networks, and the Lankenau Institute for Medical Research, a non-profit biomedical research organization located on the campus of Lankenau Medical Center. Main Line Health is also comprised of four outpatient health centers located in Broomall, Collegeville, Exton and Newtown Square. Main Line Health Hospitals, with more than 10,000 employees and 2,000 physicians, are the recipients of numerous awards for quality care and service, including System Magnet® designation, the nation’s highest distinction for nursing excellence. Main Line Health is among the area’s leaders in medicine, providing advanced patient-centered care, education and research to help our community stay healthy.

— Rae Lynn Mitchell

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