Investigators

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Dr. Johnson is Chair of the ACHORD Group. Jeff is currently a Professor in the School of Public Health, University of Alberta and a Fellow with the Institute of Health Economics in Edmonton. In 2012 Jeff was appointed as the Scientific Director for Obesity, Diabetes and Nutrition, Strategic Clinical Network, Alberta Health Services. He holds a University of Alberta Centennial Professor Award and a Senior Health Scholar award from the Alberta Heritage Foundation for Medical Research (now called Alberta Innovates – Health Solutions). Jeff leads many of the ACHORD research projects, including studies of the measurement of health-related quality of life in diabetes, epidemiologic studies of diabetes and major comorbidities and complications, pharmacoepidemiologic studies of drug therapy in diabetes, economic analyses of diabetes care, and in the evaluation of policies and alternative care delivery strategies to improve the efficiency and quality of care in diabetes.

Apart from his primary interests in diabetes health outcomes, Jeff collaborates with other colleagues in areas such as dialysis, osteoporosis, stroke and cardiology, often providing support in the assessment of patient-reported outcomes in these chronic medical conditions. As a pharmacist, Jeff is also interested generally in pharmaceutical policy and the formulary decision-making process.

Jeff received a B.S.P. with Distinction in 1988 and a M.Sc. in clinical pharmacy/pharmacoepidemiology in 1994, both from the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon, Canada. He received his Ph.D. in Pharmaceutical Sciences from The University of Arizona in 1996, majoring in pharmaceutical economics.

Bill

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Dr. William Ghali is the director of the Calgary Institute for Population and Public Health as of July 1, 2010. He is also Professor in the Departments of Medicine and Community Health Sciences at the University of Calgary. He holds a Government of Canada Research Chair in Health Services Research, and is also funded as a Health Scholar by the AHFMR. Clinically, he is trained as a General Internist while his methodological training in health services research and epidemiology (MPH) was obtained in the Health Research Unit at Boston University. He is involved in a number of research initiatives assessing health care delivery and access issues relating to cardiovascular disease, cerebrovascular disease, venous vascular disease, and diabetes.

Of relevance to ACHORD, Bill is conducting a study assessing the validity of the case surveillance definition used by the National Diabetes Surveillance System (NDSS). That definition uses ICD-9 administrative data to identify individuals in the general population who have diabetes, but may miss some individuals who have diagnosed diabetes based on laboratory results. Data available from Calgary Laboratory Services can serve as a reference standard against which the validity of administrative data for diabetes case surveillance will be assessed. Bill is also about to embark on collaborative diabetes outcome projects with other ACHORD investigators. One of those projects will involve the assessment of quality of life outcomes in cardiac patients who have diabetes as a comorbidity. While it is anticipated that diabetes will be associated with a decrease in quality of life outcomes, the magnitude of that decrease is not known.

 

Me2

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Dr. Sumit (Me2) Majumdar is an Associate Professor in the Department of Medicine, University of Alberta; a Research Fellow at the Institute of Health Economics; and a Visiting Instructor in the Department of Ambulatory Care and Prevention, Harvard Medical School. He is also a Population Health Investigator of the Alberta Heritage Foundation for Medical Research and a New Investigator of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.

Sumit received his MD in 1992 from the University of Alberta, followed by 5 years of clinical training in general internal medicine, and then went on to a combined MPH and research fellowship at Harvard Medical School. His research supervisors were Dr. Stephen Soumerai and Dr. Robert Fletcher. He then returned to the University of Alberta for his first faculty appointment in 1999. Sumit is a health outcomes researcher whose primary interests are related to evaluating and optimizing the management of chronic disease, typified by diabetes mellitus. He has a specific interest and expertise in improving evidence-based prescribing and understanding the barriers that exist to the delivery of quality care. He recently synthesized this vast literature in a chapter of Strom’s Pharmacoepidemiology. In addition, he is a practicing academic internist, taking care of both inpatients and outpatients.

Under the ACHORD umbrella, Sumit is involved in a number of projects related to studying and improving the quality of diabetes management, with a particular focus on evidence-based prescribing. With several other ACHORD investigators, he is using administrative databases to examine patterns of practice and outcomes related to drug treatments of diabetes. With other DOVE investigators, he is evaluating (in a prospective controlled trial) the use of a diabetes outreach program to improve the outcomes for rural patients with type-2 diabetes. With other STRIP-Type2 investigators, he is studying the policy impact (in a randomized controlled trial) of providing free glucose testing strips on the level of glucose control attained in the community.

Scot Simpson

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Dr. Scot Simpson received his Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy from the University of Saskatchewan in 1990 and completed a hospital pharmacy residency at the Regina General Hospital in 1991.  Following this, he worked as a staff pharmacist at the Yorkton Regional Hospital in Yorkton, Saskatchewan for three years.  Scot returned to school in 1995 and completed a Doctor of Pharmacy degree from the University of Toronto in 1997, and a post-doctoral fellowship (2000) and Master of Science degree (2001) in the Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry, at the University of Alberta.

Scot is an Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Alberta and a clinical pharmacist with the University Hospital Family Medicine Clinic. He currently holds a New Investigator salary award from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and is the principal investigator on a number of pharmacy practice and pharmacoepidemiology studies.  He is a Fellow of the Institute of Health Economics and a collaborator with the Alliance for Canadian Health Outcomes Research in Diabetes (ACHORD) in Edmonton, Alberta.  In addition, he is a member of the Canadian Diabetes Association Clinical Practice Guidelines Expert Committee for Pharmacologic Management of Type 2 Diabetes.

Scot's teaching, research, and clinical practice interests are in medication management of diabetes and its complications, medication adherence issues, and the challenges of integrating evidence into practice.  He has a published interest in evaluating the impact of medication adherence on health outcomes, identifying and overcoming patient-perceived barriers to medication use, and optimizing medication management of diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Publications

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Dr. Doreen Rabi is a clinical endocrinologist and new faculty member at the University of Calgary.  Doreen is building an independent research program in Calgary.  Her research interests revolve around the themes of sex and gender, diabetes, cardiovascular outcomes and health services research.

Having completed her medical and specialty training in Ontario, Doreen came to Calgary in 2003 to complete an MSc in clinical epidemiology under the supervision of ACHORD investigator Dr. Bill Ghali.  Doreen received an Alberta Heritage Foundation for Medical Research Clinical Fellowship to support her graduate training.  Her MSc thesis involved a series of projects examining the effect of income on access to diabetes care, clinical profiles at the time of referral to diabetes specialty care, and burden of coronary atherosclerosis.

As a trainee in clinical research, Doreen became involved with both ACHORD and the Gender and Sex Determinants of Cardiovascular Disease (GENESIS) Interdisciplinary Capacity Enhancement Team.  As a research fellow, Dr. Ghali, ACHORD and GENESIS provided Doreen with exceptional mentorship and as she transitioned to a junior investigator, these networks provided unique opportunities for collaboration.

Shortly after being appointed to assistant professor in March of 2007, Doreen was awarded her first operating funds grant from CIHR.  This success is shared with Doreen’s co-investigators from ACHORD (Drs. Jeff Johnson, Bill Ghali and Scot Simpson) and GENESIS (Drs. Louise Pilote and Kaberi Dasgupta).  The project, entitled “From Adherence to Outcomes:  A study of sex differences in the use and impact of cardioprotective medications in diabetes”, examines whether sex differences in use or adherence of cardioprotective medications accounts for any of the observed sex differences in cardiovascular outcomes documented in those with diabetes. This project uses Saskatchewan Health data, a rich data source that uses a number of linkable data files that include information on resident demographics, outpatient physician billing claims, hospital admission and discharge records, pharmacare data and vital statistics.

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