Emory University Announces Newly Formed
Emory Center on Health Outcomes and Quality
Aetna's USQA Center for Health Care Research
Will Be the Cornerstone of Emory University's Multi-disciplinary Approach
to Improving Health Outcomes
ATLANTA, GA and HARTFORD, CT, November 5, 2001 -- Emory
University and Aetna (NYSE: AET) today announced that the USQA Center
for Health Care Research, an Aetna affiliate, has become the cornerstone
of the newly formed Emory Center on Health Outcomes and Quality. This
agreement immediately establishes one of the largest groups in the nation
in health research directed at measuring and assessing the quality of
health care with the aim of improving medical outcomes.
"Aetna is delighted that Emory, one of the nation's preeminent academic
research centers, shares our belief in the Center and its research mission
and sees the value of creating this unique public-private partnership,"
said Aetna Chairman and CEO John W. Rowe, M.D. "We believe that a strategic
relationship with Emory will enable us to explore new ways to collaborate
on joint research initiatives directed toward the quality and cost-effectiveness
of patient care." Kenneth E. Thorpe, Ph.D. has been named director of
the new Emory Center on Health Outcomes and Quality. He is chair of
the Department of Health Policy and Management in Emory's Rollins School
of Public Health, where the Emory Center is housed.
"Being able to incorporate this strong, experienced Aetna research
team into the new Emory Center on Health Outcomes and Quality provides
a jump start to achieving our objectives of linking clinicians with
health services researchers to look at issues of cost and quality,"
said Dr. Thorpe. "This provides an unusual opportunity for Emory, by
integrating academically trained researchers who had been working hands
on in the private sector, looking at issues of quality and outcomes.
We are pleased and excited that they will be able to bring that experience
to bear in this new university research center."
This visionary arrangement moves the USQA Center for Health Care Research,
and a highly experienced group of 14 researchers and staff, from the
private sector of Aetna into Emory University's Robert W. Woodruff Health
Sciences Center, one of the nation's fastest growing research academic
health sciences centers. It is expected that the new Emory Center on
Health Outcomes and Quality will maintain an on-going relationship with
Aetna for collaborative research initiatives that may include access
to the extensive data resources of Aetna's U.S. Quality Algorithms (USQA)
group. USQA is the performance and outcomes measurement subsidiary of
Aetna. Aetna will continue to support and collaborate on relevant research
undertaken at the Emory Center for a minimum of two years.
The Emory Center on Health Outcomes and Quality, a multi-school, multi-disciplinary
center within The Robert W. Woodruff Health Sciences Center of Emory
University, was created to conduct outcomes-based research that includes
assessing and improving methods for measuring quality of care and designing
interventions to improve health outcomes. In addition to research, the
new Emory Center will focus on education by offering a long-distance
Master of Public Health degree in outcomes research. It also will focus
on service and applications, working with consumers, physicians and
insurers to evaluate and implement new approaches for improving quality
Michael M. E. Johns, M.D., Executive Vice President for Health Affairs
at Emory University, Director of Emory's Robert W. Woodruff Health Sciences
Center, and CEO of Emory Healthcare, said "In a time when there are
documented issues concerning health care costs and quality, the Emory
Center on Health Outcomes and Quality can make a major contribution
toward solving some of these pressing issues. We are particularly pleased
that we have been able to work closely with Aetna to accomplish the
goal of adding the talents of the USQA Center for Health Care Research
to our multi-faceted organization."
"The USQA Center for Health Care Research has provided Aetna with valuable
insight into quality improvement opportunities at all levels of the
health care continuum," said Aetna Chief Medical Officer William C.
Popik, M.D. "We are pleased about the USQA Center's enhanced potential
to play a critical role as the foundation of Emory's multi-disciplinary
efforts to improve health outcomes."
Based in Atlanta, the USQA Center for Health Care Research has produced
research-based knowledge and methods to help health plans, physicians
and hospitals enhance the quality and cost-effectiveness of patient
care. The Center has collaborated on research with academic institutions
such as Emory, government agencies such as the Centers for Disease Control
and Prevention (CDC), and other health industry leaders for more than
The USQA Center for Health Care Research and its researchers have more
than a dozen studies in progress at any given time. In 2000 alone, they
published findings in peer-reviewed journals including the Archives
of Internal Medicine, Journal of Gerontology, Maternal and Child Health
Journal, and Cardiology in Primary Care Medicine. Article
topics have included evaluating the role of health literacy as a potential
contributor to depression, physical abuse around the time of pregnancy,
diabetes in managed care, and the association of breastfeeding education
and support with the decision to breastfeed.
Last year, the USQA Center for Health Care Research was one of nine
research consortia awarded a contract by the Agency for Healthcare Research
and Quality to establish the Integrated Delivery System Research Network.
This new model of field-based research links top researchers in the
nation with some of the country's largest health care systems.
In recognition of Aetna's contribution to the establishment of the
newly formed Emory Center, the Robert W. Woodruff Health Sciences Center
will establish a lecture series that will focus on health outcomes and
The Robert W. Woodruff Health Sciences Center encompasses those components
of Emory University responsible for education of health professionals,
research affecting health and illness, patient care, and policies for
prevention and treatment of disease. The Health Sciences Center includes
Emory University School of Medicine, Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of
Nursing, Rollins School of Public Health, Yerkes Regional Primate Research
Center and Emory Healthcare, the center's system of clinical facilities.
Information is available at www.emory.edu/WHSC/.
Aetna is the nation's leading provider of health care and related group
benefits, serving 18.1 million health care members, 13.9 million dental
members and 11.7 million group insurance customers. Information about
Aetna is available at www.aetna.com.