Pharmaceutical Socioeconomics Faculty

Faculty in the Division of Health Services Research use an interdisciplinary approach in studying behavior and choice in health care with an economics and social-psychological theoretical basis.

Dr. Carter’s research primarily involves multi-center, randomized studies to investigate team-based care strategies to improve care of patients with chronic cardiovascular risk factors and diseases. These studies primarily evaluate physician-pharmacist collaboration to improve blood pressure control and other cardiovascular problems.

Dr. Chrischilles's current research interests include:

  • Cancer outcomes in practice
  • Medication use and effects among the elderly
  • Pharmacoepidemiology
  • Health effectiveness research
  • Health services epidemiology

Medication use continues to increase as more patients, especially older adults, use drug therapy to treat chronic conditions. Greater use of medications has been associated with drug-related morbidity. Our health care system does not help all patients optimize the outcomes they achieve through their drug therapy. One approach to improve the safety and cost-effectiveness of medication use is to utilize pharmacists to work with practitioners and patients to manage the drug therapy. Pharmacists can help patients by regularly monitoring the effects of the drug therapy. Dr. Doucette's research addresses this area by studying how pharmacists conduct new services in their practices, especially community settings.

Dr. Ernst’s research interests are in the area of infectious diseases and antimicrobial agents. This includes studies pharmacodynamics, pharmacoepidemiology andpharmacogenetics of antibiotics. Pharmacodynamic research has focused on the relationship between drug concentration and antimicrobial killing properties of antifungal and antibacterial agents. This research includes designing dosing regimens that optimize antimicrobial action while minimizing toxicity and the development of resistance. Pharmacoepidemiological studies investigate the relationships between drug utilization and risk factors for infection with resistant organisms and adverse effects of antimicrobial agents. Newer research interests include describing the pharmacogenetic basis for adverse effects of antimicrobial agents.

Dr. Goedken’s primary research interest is child and adolescent health.  Specifically, her focus is on chronic conditions that affect children, such as asthma and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.  She has examined the impact of parent insurance status and other parent, family, and child factors on well-child visits and children’s physician visits for asthma.  Her current work explores the factors that influence medication use by children and the effectiveness of medications in this population.  Dr. Goedken is also interested in how pharmacy benefit design affects medication use in all age groups.  She has studied the association between cost-sharing and the number of medications used by elderly Medicare beneficiaries before and after implementation of Medicare Part D.

Dr. Kennelty's research primarily examines patients’ medication continuity when they transition from the hospital to community care. She also plans to work with Dr. Carter in studying roles of pharmacists in managing chronic conditions.

Dr. Polgreen is a health economist who is interested in econometric approaches to solving problems in healthcare, specifically personal healthcare choices. She has examined the optimal strategies for estimating healthcare costs. She has also used econometric approaches to examine hospital employee vaccination rates, adherence to therapy for patients with HIV, and the effects of rising health insurance costs.

Dr. Schroeder is a health economist who is interested in using large observational databases to study treatment effects at a population level.  She is currently working on projects spanning the whole life spectrum, from infant mortality to lung cancer in the elderly.

Dr. Sorofman’s primary research centers on health behavior theory in the context of treatment-oriented health care practices (actions) by patients. He is currently working on health policy issues related to underserved and prison populations.

Dr. Urmie's main area of research is health insurance, particularly prescription drug insurance. She has studied Medicare Part D, the effects of insurance benefit design on patients' decisions about prescription drug use, and the effects of third party reimbursement policies on pharmacy providers. Dr. Urmie's second area of interest is patient attitudes and preferences related to health care.  She has studied attitudes toward generic prescription drugs, cancer patient preferences for treatment, attitudes toward different insurance benefits, and preferences for using different types of medical care.

Dr. Witry conducts research to understand and improve interactions between pharmacists and patients in community and clinic pharmacies. His research interests include how patient medication use experiences can be collected using interviews and technology to facilitate pharmacists in providing the most effective medication monitoring services.