Director, Joy Melnikow, M.D., M.P.H.

Joy Melnikow, M.D., M.P.H.
Director, Center for Healthcare Policy and Research
Professor, Department of Family and Community Medicine

Joy Melnikow, M.D., M.P.H., Professor of Family and Community Medicine, has led CHPR since 2009. She leverages her clinical, research, and teaching expertise to execute CHPR’s mission. Dr. Melnikow’s own research spans mental health, cancer screening and prevention in women, healthcare access, and the synthesis and integration of evidence in policy formulation.

Under Dr. Melnikow’s leadership, CHPR has experienced consistent growth in grant support, faculty membership, and interdisciplinary program development. Dr. Melnikow’s day-to-day management of CHPR’s 30-person staff is supported by CHPR’s Associate Director and a leadership team comprised of key faculty members, the CHPR CAO, and CHPR supervisors.

Dr. Melnikow’s focus on research related to health outcomes, access and costs, and the effective translation and application of research to healthcare policy, as well as her work training and mentoring the next generation of health services researchers, all reflect CHPR’s mission and objectives. She devotes significant time to teaching and mentoring trainees and junior faculty, to her own research, and to overseeing the activities of the Center, all in addition to seeing patients in the Family Medicine clinic regularly and teaching clinical medicine to both medical students and residents. In recognition of her leadership of CHPR she was awarded the Dean’s Award for Excellence in Leadership of a Research Team from the UC Davis School of Medicine in 2011, and the UC Davis Academic Senate award for Distinguished Scholarly Public Service in 2013. A selection of Dr. Melnikow’s research-, education- and policy-related accomplishments include:

  • Vice-Chair of Medical Effectiveness and Public Health for the California Health Benefits Review Program, leading a team producing comprehensive, rapid turn-around analyses of the public health impacts of all health insurance benefit mandates proposed by the California State Legislature;
  • Principal Investigator on systematic reviews to support US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) guidelines on adjuvant screening for women with dense breasts and on cervical cancer screening;
  • Leading the investigation of regional access to primary care for people with Medi-Cal (California Medicaid) insurance; authoring a brief on Medi-Cal managed care in Sacramento County, and presenting findings to key stakeholders and thus initiating a Medi-Cal reform process in Sacramento;
  • Leading an evidence synthesis, a presentation to stakeholders, and a report on integrated care for people experiencing homelessness designed to be applied in Sacramento County;
  • Serving as a member of the Medicare Evidence Development and Coverage Advisory Committee (MEDCAC) and of the California Technology Assessment Forum (CTAF) voting panels;
  • Program Director and PI of the AHRQ-funded Quality, Safety, and Comparative Effectiveness Research Training (QSCERT) T32 program, an interdisciplinary, post-doctoral program through which 16 primary care, surgical, trauma and urgent/emergency care outcomes researchers, most of whom went on to academic appointments, were trained;
  • Director and Instructor-of-Record 2010-2019 of an innovative, hybrid course – Principles and Methods of Comparative Effectiveness Research – developed, with NIH support in collaboration with the UC Davis Clinical and Translational Science Center (CTSC), to expand training in comparative effectiveness research; the course, offered annually, includes publicly accessible on-line materials used in training comparative effectiveness researchers across the nation.
  • Mentoring numerous undergraduate, graduate, and medical students, as well as residents, fellows and junior faculty, across multiple UC Davis departments over the last 15 years;
  • Publishing 115 peer-reviewed research papers.

Associate Director, Jeffrey Hoch, Ph.D.

Jeffrey Hoch, Ph.D.
Associate Director, Center for Healthcare Policy and Research
Professor and Chief, Department of Public Health Sciences, Division of Health Policy and Management

CHPR’s Associate Director, Jeffrey Hoch, Ph.D., was recruited to UC Davis in Fall 2015. He is Professor and Chief of the Division of Health Policy and Management in the Department of Public Health Sciences. Dr. Hoch’s experience is in health services research and health economics. He pursues research that makes health economics more useful to decisionmakers. An award-winning teacher, Dr. Hoch has taught Health Economics classes in the United States and internationally. His extensive research, teaching, and mentoring experience with students, fellows, and faculty has expanded CHPR’s capacity to conduct and communicate cost-effectiveness research.

Before being recruited to be CHPR’s Associate Director, Dr. Hoch was Director or co-Director of three research groups in Canada. Under Dr. Hoch’s tenure as Associate Director, CHPR has experienced consistent growth in collaborations and educational activities. He substantially improved the weekly CHPR seminar series, for example, expanding the speaker base to include speakers with additional breadth and expertise and increasing attendance. CHPR’s seminar series is now cross-listed as EPI 291, a Department of Public Health Sciences class, a change which has served to enhance connections between applied health researchers at both UC Davis campuses.

 

Dr. Hoch’s focus on research impacts and the application of research findings to healthcare policy, cost-effectiveness research, and training and mentoring the next generation of health services researchers dovetails nicely with CHPR’s mission and goals.

 

In addition to significant time devoted to oversight of CHPR, Dr. Hoch established and now leads the Division of Health Policy and Management in the UC Davis Department of Public Health Sciences. Dr. Hoch serves as an important connector between those with research interests on both the main UC Davis campus in Davis and the UC Davis Health campus in Sacramento. In addition, Dr. Hoch has trained international students at CHPR (e.g., from the Centre for Health Economics, University of York, UK, and from the University of British Columbia). In 2018, Dr. Hoch received the Dean’s Team Award for Inclusion Excellence in Community Engagement from the UC Davis School of Medicine. A selection of Dr. Hoch’s research- and education-related accomplishments include:

  • 200+ peer-reviewed publications, 150+ funded research projects, 10+ book chapters, 250 invited talks and 180 courses taught over a 20-year period;
  • 2020 Recipient of the Advanced Leadership Development Certificate from the UC Davis Health Program;
  • Teaching Awards from the University of Toronto in Toronto, and Western University in London, Ontario, Canada; 2 Teaching Awards and 2 honorable mentions for an Outstanding Short Course from the Society for Medical Decision Making (SMDM);
  • Cost Lead for the California Health Benefits Review Program, leading the cost analysis for a team producing comprehensive, rapid turn-around analyses of the impacts of all health insurance benefit mandates proposed by the California State Legislature;
  • Methodology Panel Member for the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review, USA;
  • Serving on the Global Scientific Committee of the Movember Foundation (to raise awareness of men’s health issues like prostate cancer), Australia;
  • Visiting Fellow with the Office of Health Economics (OHE), England, UK.

Leadership Team

CHPR’s leadership team provides long-term strategic and operational guidance to the Director. The team reviews member applications for use of CHPR resources, reviews and approves new membership applications, and provides input on program development and direction (i.e., conferences, fellowship programs, etc.). In addition to CHPR’s Director and Associate Director, the following UC Davis faculty serve on the leadership team:

Patrick Romano, M.D., M.P.H.
Professor, Departments of Internal Medicine and Pediatrics
Patrick Romano, M.D., M.P.H., research and teaching interests focus on developing, testing, and validating healthcare quality measures, using outcomes data to improve the quality and effectiveness of healthcare, and studying the role of clinicians in optimizing quality and safety in healthcare.
James Holmes, M.D., M.P.H.
Professor, Department of Emergency Medicine
James F. Holmes, M.D., M.P.H., research aims to improve the quality of care that patients receive in the emergency department, including identifying appropriate indications for computed tomography utilization in children with blunt head or abdominal injuries. Dr. Holmes directs the School of Medicine’s interdisciplinary KL2 career development program.
Eleanor (Bimla) Schwarz, M.D., M.S.
Professor, Department of Internal Medicine
Eleanor Bimla Schwarz, M.D., M.S., conducts research centered on the use of technology to meet the needs of vulnerable populations and improve women’s health, and also serves as the co-Director and Principal Investigator for CHPR’s current T32 post-doctoral training fellowship program, the Quality, Safety and Comparative Effectiveness Research Training in Primary Care (QSCERT-PC) program.

CHPR CAO Michael Webster, B.S., and supervisors Meghan Weyrich, M.P.H., and Melissa Gosdin, Ph.D., also serve on CHPR’s leadership team.