Nancy Baker, ScD, Completes Sabbatical Year at CDC
Nancy Baker, ScD, MPH, OTR/L, associate professor in the Department of Occupational Therapy at the University of Pittsburgh, recently completed a yearlong sabbatical as a researcher at the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), Division of Population Health.
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Explore This IssueNovember 2015
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Her mentor at the CDC, Kristina Theis, MPH, provided Dr. Baker with “multiple opportunities to achieve my goal to learn about large datasets and large dataset analyses.”
Dr. Baker is lead author on a paper written while she was at the CDC that looked at the prevalence of general Internet use and two online health behaviors (looking up health information; using chat groups to learn about health topics) among U.S. adults with arthritis compared with those without arthritis. The study used data from the National Health Interview Survey.
She says she also developed two additional papers over the past year. One considered the effect of arthritis on physical function decline after retirement. The second examined the association between arthritis and changes in cognitive function in older adults, using data from the Health and Retirement Study.
During her time at the CDC, Dr. Baker was accepted as a Visiting Scholar at the Center for Rehabilitation Research Using Large Datasets, the University Texas Medical Branch, where her mentor was Soham al Snih, MD, PhD.
Internet Use & Health Behavior
Dr. Baker’s study concluded that Internet use was no different for people with arthritis compared with those without arthritis after controlling for the sociodemographic variables age, sex, race/ethnicity and education. However, obtaining online health information was 10% more common and participating in online chat groups was 40% more common among people with arthritis.
Catherine H. Maclean, MD, PhD, Named Chief Value Medical Officer at New York’s Hospital for Special Surgery
Catherine H. Maclean, MD, PhD, has been appointed chief value medical officer at the Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS) in New York City. Dr. Maclean will co-lead the Value Management Office, which focuses on improving external quality transparency. This is the first time the HSS has named a chief value medical officer.
Dr. Maclean says she is “thrilled to invest my 30 years of experience in improving healthcare value to advance the important mission of Hospital for Special Surgery. HSS is a pioneer in developing best practices for patients and redefining the way value is understood and delivered within healthcare.”
After earning her medical degree from Washington University School of Medicine and her PhD in health sciences from UCLA School of Public Health, Dr. Maclean worked for several years at WellPoint’s Center for Quality Measures and Improvement, most recently as the staff vice president.
Julie Unk, DNP, ANP, Transfers to Bone & Mineral Health
After 11 years with the Rheumatology Division at Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Julie Unk, DNP, ANP, transferred to the Division of Bone and Mineral Health in August.
“The decision to leave rheumatology for bone and mineral health was not easy,” she says. “I gained great experience treating patients with rheumatic diseases. Many rheumatology patients have decreased bone quality along with their rheumatologic conditions,” and many were also treated in the bone health program.
Dr. Unk says the opportunity to transfer to the program “fits well with the disease-specific direction I wanted to take in my career.” Dr. Unk has been involved in multi-center clinical medication investigations for 20 years. Her focus is on osteoporosis and treatment adherence.
Dr. Unk, who earned her doctoral degree in nursing in 2011 at the University of Missouri, notes the advancements in the treatment of bone health as in rheumatology. With her move to the new division, patients will “benefit by having specific focus on their bone quality by an experienced rheumatology nurse practitioner,” she says.
Elena Hitrava, MD, PhD, Named Chief Medical Officer at Crescendo Bioscience
Elena Hitrava, MD, PhD, became the chief medical officer of Crescendo Bioscience on Oct. 1. In her new role, she will lead efforts to provide professional education initiatives and to expand market access for Vectra DA, the multi-biomarker blood test that measures rheumatoid arthritis disease activity, and for the company’s pipeline of autoimmune products.
Dr. Hitrava says that her new role on the company’s leadership team “is a wonderful time to join Crescendo, with its commitment to developing and commercializing innovative molecular tests that are opening the doors to personalized medicine for patients with RA and other autoimmune diseases.”
Over the past 11 years, Dr. Hitrava held several leadership positions at Genentech; most recently, she served as group medical director of rheumatology/immunology for the Genentech/Roche group. Prior to her work at Genentech, Dr. Hitrava was regional director of medical affairs for immunology at Centocor.
Dr. Hitrava received her medical degree from Semmelweis Medical University in Budapest, she received her doctoral degree in clinical rheumatology from the Institute of Rheumatology of the Russian Academy of Medical Sciences in Moscow, and she completed a postdoctoral fellowship in molecular biology at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia.
Richard H.C. Lai, MD, Joins Great Falls Specialty Center
Richard H.C. Lai, MD, who recently completed a fellowship in rheumatology at the Medstar Washington Hospital Center in Washington, D.C., has joined the Great Falls Clinic in Montana and began seeing patients in mid-October.
After earning a medical degree from the University of SintCQ Eustatius School of Medicine in Cole Bay, St. Maarten, Dr. Lai spent one year in post-graduate clinical research at Johns Hopkins University and completed a residency in internal medicine at Medstar Franklin Square Medical Center in Baltimore.
Dr. Lai is board eligible in internal medicine and rheumatology and carries an active certification in sonography.
Kathy L. Holliman, MEd, is a medical writer based in Beverly, Mass.