Dr. Robert Dittus, executive vice president, Public Health and Health Care for Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC), has been named to the National Advisory Council of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ).The Council provides advice and recommendations to the director of AHRQ and the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) on priorities for a national health services research agenda.
Founded in 1990, the National Advisory Council consists of 21 members from the private sector and seven ex-officio members from other federal agencies. AHRQ supports research to produce evidence that improves the quality, safety, efficiency and equitable access to health care.
Dittus, who is also the Albert and Bernard Werthan Professor of Medicine, director of the Institute for Medicine and Public Health at VUMC, and senior associate dean for Population Health Sciences in the School of Medicine, has conducted research in the areas supported by AHRQ for over 30 years and was the founding director of the Vanderbilt Center for Health Services Research (HSR), currently led by Russell Rothman, M.D., MPP, Vice President for Population Health Research at VUMC.
Over the past 15 years, the center for HSR has been well funded by AHRQ, including the three most significant programs AHRQ established during that time: the Evidence-Based Practice Centers (led by Katherine Hartmann, M.D., Ph.D.), the Centers for Research and Education in Therapeutics (led by Wayne Ray, Ph.D.) and the DEcIDE Network — Developing Evidence to Inform Decisions about Effectiveness — (led by Marie Griffin, M.D., MPH).
The private-sector members of the National Advisory Council serve three-year terms and represent health care plans, providers, purchasers, consumers and researchers.
“I am honored to have the opportunity to assist AHRQ plan its future,” Dittus said. “The work of the agency is of fundamental importance to advancing the quality and efficiency of health care services and a vital effort for the nation.”