HOPE Center News Archive


Tomás Nuño receives grant to assess cancer disparities

Tomás Nuño, PhD, assistant professor in the Community, Environment and Policy Division at the UA Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health, and a postdoctoral fellow, has been awarded a $325,000 grant from the National Cancer Institute's Center to Reduce Cancer Health Disparities to study cancer outcomes among underserved populations.

Nuño is a fellow in the Arizona Area Health Education Centers interprofessional academic fellowship program in Clinical Outcomes and Comparative Effectiveness Research (COCER), which is housed in the College of Pharmacy’s Center for Health Outcomes and PharmacoEconomic Research.

Nuño's research will be conducted as part of the University of Arizona Cancer Center's Cancer Prevention and Control Fellowship Program. He will study clinical (screening/diagnosis/treatment), economic and humanistic cancer outcomes and assess disparities among underserved populations, including racial/ethnic and rural populations.


Advanced Course in Pharmacoeconomic Modeling held in January

large group of people

The HOPE Center held its annual program on advanced modeling Jan. 7 and 8, 2013. Seventeen participants attended this hands-on program to learn modeling techniques using Microsoft Excel software. Dan Malone, the course coordinator, provided much of the didactic instruction and facilited all of the computer exercises.  Ed Armstrong and Grant Skrepnek also gave lectures. Course topics included decision analysis, Markov modeling, probabilistic modeling, cost-effectiveness acceptability curves, meta analysis and mixed treatment comparisons.
two men looking at a computerPar
Participants were encourged to confer during workshops.
two women working together on a computer
Hands-on Excel exercises allowed participants to practice what they learned.


ISPOR hosts former Director of the Centre of Health Economics

Drummond Grad students smiling
From left (back row): Alon Yehoshua, Dafter Alshayban, Michael Drummond, Lorenzo Villa, Prasadini Perera, Chanadda Thammit, Alex Mutedi; (front row): Adrienne Gilligan, Diana Sun, Jill Augustine, Queeny Ip, Wendy Tate, Amanda Harrington

The International Society of Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research (ISPOR) University of Arizona Student Chapter hosted Dr. Michael Drummond, professor at the University of York and former Director of the Centre of Health Economics, in October 2012.

Drummond spoke with students and faculty from the Arizona Health Sciences Center concerning his latest research article, "Twenty Years of Using Economic Evaluations for Reimbursement Decisions: What Have We Achieved?"

Following the presentation, Pharmaceutical Economics, Policy, and Outcomes students had the opportunity to engage with Drummond in an open Q & A session where topics ranged from reimbursement practices to current U.S. health policy issues.

HOPE Center hosts 4-day pharmacoeconomic training program

Group photo, men and women smiling

The 12th annual Training Program in Health Outcomes and Pharmacoeconomic Research was held this past September 24-27, 2012. Forty-one attendees participated in the program and represented pharmaceutical companies, managed health care organizations, and academia. 

The program consisted of a combination of lectures and hands-on workshops.  Topics included pharmacoeconomic methodology, decision analysis, Markov analysis, budget impact analysis, comparative effectiveness research, patient-reported outcomes, interpreting cost-effectiveness results, evaluating pharmacoeconomic studies, designing and conducting pharmacoeconomic studies, and managed care decision making.

two men and one woman by a computer    group of people around a table talking

Left: Conference participants enjoy a lunch break. Right: Conference attendees collaborate
during a hands-on workshop.

ISPOR’s role at expo benefits students of all ages

By Amanda Harrington, ISPOR chapter president

Members of the UA student chapter of the International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research (ISPOR) showed some students, parents and other adults what ISPOR is all about during an expo in April 2012.

COP graduate students who are members of ISPOR and faculty member Terri Warholak attended the second annual Vail Academy and High School Boxer Science Expo in Vail, Ariz. The primary goal of the expo was to generate student interest in pursuing a career in science, technology or math.Group with children, smiling

The ISPOR group planned a range of activities and games in the areas of decision analysis, patient-reported outcomes (PRO), and health-care policy to target three different groups of attendees: students in grades kindergarten through eight, high school students, and parents and other adults attending the expo (e.g., teachers and faculty members).

The expo helped the ISPOR group develop and enhance their skills in explaining complex pharmacoeconomic concepts in a way that can be understood by students of varying ages.  The expo also gave graduate students the opportunity to practice answering questions about their area of research to people who do not have a statistical or scientific background.

The younger groups enjoyed learning decision analysis and PRO concepts through game activities, whereas the adults were engaged in learning how ISPOR areas of research impact medical resource allocation and health-care policy decisions.

woman teaching kids


Sun selected for CER institute in Switzerland

Diana Sun, PhD candidate in pharmaceutical economics, policy and outcomes, has been admitted to the summer institute “Comparative Effectiveness Research: Methodologies, Proposal Building and Politics” at the University of Basel in Switzerland.

Comparative effectiveness research is a discipline designed to inform health-care decisions by providing evidence on the effectiveness, benefits, and potential harm of different treatment options. The evidence is generated from research studies that compare drugs, medical devices, tests, surgeries, or ways to deliver health care.

At the institute, which runs Aug. 20-24, 2012, Sun will review the policy context and political realities of comparative effectiveness research, as well as key methods. Along with other participants, she will also explore and work up her own research ideas in small group and class discussions. She will finish the week's sessions and course learning activities with ideas for incorporating comparative effectiveness research into her own research programs.

In addition to being admitted to the institute, Sun was awarded the ThinkSwiss travel grant that covers part of her travel and accommodation costs. As a condition of the grant, Sun will be required to write about her experiences in a weblog while in Switzerland.

Tang receives AFPE fellowship

Derek Tang, a PhD student in pharmaceutical economics, policy and outcomes, has been chosen to receive a fellowship from the American Foundation for Pharmaceutical Education.

The fellowship is open to students who have completed at least three semesters of graduate study toward a PhD and who have no more than three and a half years remaining to obtain a PhD in a graduate program iboy smilingn the pharmaceutical sciences administered by or affiliated with a U.S. school or college of pharmacy.

Tang was selected based on his accomplishments (including honors, publications and society memberships), a description of the nature and scope of his proposed dissertation research project, graduate school transcripts and letters of recommendation.

Tang’s fellowship will run from Sept. 1, 2012 through Aug. 31, 2013. It will provide $6,500 to support the completion of his ongoing research projects and dissertation.


HOPE Center announces AzAHEC fellowship program

The Arizona Area Health Education Centers Program (AzAHEC) has launched an interprofessional academic fellowship program in clinical outcomes and comparative effectiveness research (COCER) focused on educating healthcare professionals in rural primary care. The new program is housed in the College of Pharmacy’s Center for Health Outcomes and PharmacoEconomic Research (the HOPE Center).

The 2011-2013 fellows (from left): Melanie Logue, Eleanor Olvey, Randa Kutob and Tomás Nuño

The AzAHEC COCER Fellowship Program is a two-year career development initiative that funds four postdoctorate fellows per year. The fellows come from four healthcare disciplines: one from family and community medicine (an MD), one from nursing (a DNP), one from pharmacy (a PharmD), and one from public health (a PhD or DrPH).

The 2011-2013 fellows are:

  • Randa Kutob, MD, MPH
  • Melanie Logue, RN, DNP, PhD
  • Eleanor Olvey, PharmD, PhD
  • Tomás Nuño, PhD

[Note: More information about each of the fellows appears in the story below.]

About 80 percent of each fellow’s time is spent in research training, collaborative research projects at the advanced levels of translational research (specifically, studies on interventions in the real world from the patient to the population levels), and a mentored research project. The remaining 20 percent of each fellow’s time is devoted to interprofessional primary care practice in environments that help underserved, predominantly rural, populations in the Tucson area.

“The AzAHEC COCER Fellowship Program aims to be an example of the future of healthcare for rural underserved patients, families, and communities in Arizona,” says Ivo Abraham, professor in the Department of Pharmacy Practice and Science and an investigator in the HOPE Center.

“The program will demonstrate practice leadership across professions, evidence-based innovation across disciplines, knowledge and experience networks driven by the regional AzAHEC centers, and expertise to educate the primary care professionals of the future. The program intends to create a new type of clinician-educator for rural primary care: a person knowledgeable about and experienced in rural primary care, evidence-based innovation in health care, patient-centric and population-focused care, and the generation and application of new knowledge.”

AzAHEC funded the program with $1.7 million for three years.

For more information, contact Ivo Abraham, 520-626-4425.

Four AHEC COCER fellows join center

Four people joined the center in 2011 as fellows in the AHEC COCER program. COCER stands for "clinical outcomes and comparative effectiveness research." It is a fellowship program designed to help deliver primary care to rural areas. The fellows and their biosketches follow.

Randa KutobRanda Kutob, MD, MPH is an Assistant Professor of Family & Community Medicine. She received her MD in 1992 at the University of Arizona (UA) and completed her Family Medicine residency in 1995, also at the University of Arizona. She joined the UA Department of Family & Community Medicine in 1997 after serving for 2 years as Director for Urgent Care Services at University Medical Center. In 2005, she completed a Masters in Public from the UA Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health.

Her early career focus was on medical education. She directed the Family and Community Medicine Clerkship from 2002-2007, and served as Chair of the University of Arizona, College of Medicine, Educational Policy Committee (formerly referred to at the Curriculum Committee) in 2007. Her research publications focused on undergraduate and postgraduate medical education. She also (co)-authored and served a consultant on several online continuing medical education courses on topics such as culturally competent medical care, breast cancer diagnosis, intimate partner violence, and the management of chronic pain.

Dr. Kutob’s clinical work in primary care inspired her current research focus on promoting lifestyle change for the prevention and treatment of chronic diseases such as diabetes. With funding from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), her research team created an Internet-based course for health care providers that focused on culturally competent care for patients with diabetes. She conducted a randomized controlled trial of the course’s effectiveness on a national sample of family medicine residents. With subsequent funding from NIDDK, she enhanced and conducted further research on this course, including the development of a cultural competence assessment tool for health providers. 

She also conducted a study of group office visits for patients with diabetes (Group Visits for Treating Type 2 Diabetes in Hispanics grant (Bassford (PI)). Most recently, with support of the American Diabetes Association, she is serving as the PI on Families United/Familias Unidas. This three-year grant targets people who are at risk for diabetes but have not developed the disease yet. The core components of this six-month, family group office visit intervention are education on healthy food choices, weight loss/control, and increased physical activity utilizing an underlying cognitive behavioral approach.


Melanie LogueMelanie D. Logue, PhD, DNP, APRN, CFNP, earned her dual PhD/DNP from the University of Arizona College of Nursing in 2011. During her graduate education, she worked as a research associate on a National Library of Medicine (NIH) funded project with her mentor, Dr. Judith A. Effken. The purpose of the research, titled Dynamic Network Analysis Decision Support Tool for Nurse Managers (DyNADS), was to use computational modeling that allows nurse managers to assess the organizational health of their patient care units and then engage in strategic planning through automated analysis techniques to improve their actual units’ safety and quality outcomes. This work gave her research experience in cognitive work analysis (a qualitative approach), survey methodology (a quantitative approach), and dynamic network modeling and is summarized in part in two papers published in the Journal of Nursing Administration (2010) and the International Journal of Medical Informatics (2011).

Prior to her appointment to the University of Arizona as a Clinical Outcomes and Comparative Effectiveness Research (COCER) Academic Fellow in the Health Outcomes and Practice Effectiveness (HOPE) Research Center, Dr. Logue was an Assistant Professor in the Family Nurse Practitioner program at Grand Canyon University. Dr. Logue has worked as a primary care provider serving different populations and communities in her native state of Arizona for over 12 years. Her clinical experiences are what incited her interests in preventing disability and improving health outcomes in vulnerable populations.

Dr. Logue’s research is aimed at older adults with chronic illness and applying health information technologies (HIT) to prevent disability and empower self-management. She has developed and validated a conceptual model for predicting the barriers and facilitators to adopting personal health records (PHRs) and will be expanding and testing the model for its use in guiding effective interventions. Using her expertise in HIT, experience as a health care provider, and her research and practice doctorates, she plans to advance her translational science and improve healthcare delivery for seniors.

Dr. Logue currently serves as president for the nurse educator chapter of the Arizona Nurses Association. She is also a member of the American Nurses Association, the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners, the Western Institute of Nursing, the Council for the Advancement of Nursing Science, the Arizona Nurses Association Political Action Committee, and Sigma Theta Tau Beta Mu Chapter. In addition, Dr. Logue serves on the Community Advisory Board for the Peoria Unified School District and volunteers for various community events.


Tomas NuñoTomas Nuño, PhD, is a Clinical Outcomes and Comparative Effectiveness Research (COCER) Academic Fellow in the Health Outcomes and PharmacoEconomic (HOPE) Research Center. He is an Assistant Professor in the Community, Environment, and Policy Division at the University of Arizona Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health (MEZCOPH).  

Dr. Nuño is a recent graduate of the PhD program in Epidemiology at the UA Zuckerman College of Public Health. His area of expertise is breast and cervical cancer screening among rural-dwelling Hispanic and American Indian women in Arizona. A key part of his work was the evaluation of a community-based, randomized controlled trial that provided a promotora-administered intervention to promote breast and cervical cancer screening in a rural community along the U.S.-Mexico border. His dissertation work has been recently published in the Journal of Women’s Health and Cancer Causes and Control

Dr. Nuño has conducted other research such as barriers and facilitators to Hispanic participation in cancer clinical trials, comparison of patient and physician collected cervical cytology and human papillomavirus, diabetes education among Hispanics, and U.S.-Mexico cross-border workforce training needs. Dr. Nuño also has experience utilizing Centers for Disease Control Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System data for researching breast and cervical cancer screening patterns among rural populations. Dr. Nuño has taught CPH 376:  Introduction to Health Sciences Statistics at the Zuckerman College of Public Health since 2008. 

Prior to his doctoral work in epidemiology, Dr. Nuño received his Bachelor’s degree in Managerial Economics from the University of California at Davis and his Master’s of Arts degree in Economics from the University of Arizona. In 2002, he received a National Institutes of Health Initiative for Maximizing Student Diversity (IMSD) Fellowship. Since 2003, he has been a Research Associate with the Arizona Health Sciences Center where he has worked closely with his mentor, Dr. Francisco Garcia.  In 2004, he received a University of Arizona Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health Yuma Friends Young Investigator Award and in 2007 he was recognized as an American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Minority Scholar in Cancer Research. In 2009, he was recognized as a Susan G. Komen® for the Cure Scholar-in-Training. Dr. Nuño has authored 9 peer-reviewed manuscripts and 1 book chapter.


Elly OlveyEleanor L. Olvey is an Arizona Area Health Education Center (AzAHEC) Fellow in Clinical Outcomes and Comparative Effectiveness Research (COCER), a program coordinated by the Health Outcomes & PharmacoEconomic (HOPE) Research Center at the University of Arizona’s (UA) College of Pharmacy (COP). She received her PharmD degree from the UA COP in 2006. After graduation from the professional program, Dr. Olvey remained at the college to pursue a PhD in the pharmacoeconomics, policy and outcomes program, with a minor concentration in biostatistics. Her anticipated PhD defense is fall of 2011.

While Dr. Olvey has many clinical and research interests, her main therapeutic area of concentration continues to be in cardiovascular diseases, focusing on modeling and large database studies in this population. Examples of this work include developing decision analytic models and conducting comparative cost-effectiveness analyses of thrombolytic therapies for peripheral artery disease, and analyzing the impact of patient, clinician, and hospital factors on mortality and cost outcomes in adult and pediatric heart transplant recipients. Her dissertation topic primarily investigates the role of insurance on utilization of secondary pharmacotherapies for coronary artery disease in a nationally representative sample of Medicare beneficiaries.

Dr. Olvey has additional interest in patient-reported outcomes (PROs) and biostatistics. She has had the privilege of lecturing on PROs at invited professional presentations, as well as introducing this area of outcomes research to PharmD students. Her interest in biostatistics has led to opportunities collaborating with clinicians in sports medicine, serving as a database manager and consultant to projects involving collegiate athletes.

Medical debt research published

Patricia HermanHealth insurance is not protecting Arizonans from having problems paying medical bills, and having bill problems is keeping families from getting needed medical care and prescription medicines, a new study by a HOPE Center researcher has found.

According to a study published online June 16, 2011, by the American Journal of Public Health, after taking age, income and health status into account, simply being insured does not lower the odds of accruing debt related to medical care or medications. In addition, says HOPE Center research scientist Patricia Herman, who directed the study, medical debt is a separate and better predictor of whether people will delay or forego needed medical care than their insurance status.

Read the entire news release about Herman's study here.

Listen to an interview Herman did about her research on the Bill Buckmaster radio show. Click on the following link, then click on the "play" arrow for the July 14th show. Herman's interview is right after the introduction from about 3:24 to 14:00: Bill Buckmaster show.


Kim Saverno

Kim Saverno receives fellowship

Kim Saverno, PhD student in Pharmaceutical Economics, Policy and Outcomes, has been chosen to receive a 2011 Predoctoral Fellowship in Health Outcomes from the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America Foundation.


The award, $25,000 for one year, will help Saverno complete her dissertation. She is investigating the impact of Medicare Part D on individuals who are eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid within the state of Arizona. Saverno expects to receive the award at the ISPOR 16th Annual International Meeting in Baltimore in May.


Amar Gupta appointed to HOPE Center

The center welcomed a new investigator in early 2011.

Amar Gupta Amar Gupta, PhD, received an appointment as a HOPE Center investigator in January 2011. Dr. Gupta is the Thomas R. Brown Endowed Professor of Management and Technology, professor of entrepreneurship, and founding director of the Nexus for Entrepreneurship and Technology (NEXT) initiative at the UA Eller College of Management. He holds additional appointments in the College of Science and the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences.

Dr. Gupta came to Tucson in 2004 after a 25-year tenure at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He holds a bachelor’s degree in engineering from IIT, Kanpur; a master’s degree in management from MIT; and a doctorate in computer science from IIT, Delhi.

He has served as an adviser to the World Health Organization and has headed research projects funded by many organizations, including NIH and the Critical Path Institute. His areas of interest include: opportunities and barriers related to interstate and transnational telemedicine; the application of the 24-Hour Knowledge Factory concept to mitigate health hazards associated with the graveyard shift; the three-pronged approach to health care that involves on-site personnel, off-site personnel, and computer-assisted decision-making; the merits and demerits of patients getting treatment in foreign countries; the outsourcing of radiology and other healthcare tasks; the integration of medical records from multiple sources in emergency situations; post-approval monitoring of safety of drugs; and new approaches to dissemination and customization of medical knowledge for diverse audiences.

“I am honored to become part of the HOPE Center,” says Gupta. “The growing challenges in the ability to provide quality healthcare services to diverse sections of the society at affordable prices motivates serious consideration of non-traditional approaches that could be more effective. The analysis should include consideration of implicit technical, organizational, public policy, legal, management, and economic issues. I look forward to working in these areas and other areas with my colleagues of the HOPE Center.”

More details about Gupta’s background, accomplishments, and papers, can be accessed at

Ana Lucia Hincapie at the World Health OrganizationPhD student completes internship at the World Health Organization

Ana Lucia Hincapie, PhD student in the Pharmaceutical Economics, Policy and Outcomes track, completed a six-week internship at the World Health Organization in Geneva, Switzerland, Feb. 15, 2011.

Her main project was to identify indicators that can be used to evaluate interventions aimed at improving patient safety in healthcare settings with poor information systems.

The indicators were in nine specific areas of patient safety, including adverse drug events, surgicical care and maternal health.

Patricia Herman joins center

The center is pleased to introduce a new research scientist who joined us during 2010.

Patricia Herman Patricia Herman, ND, PhD, joined the center in October. Dr. Herman is an NIH-trained research methodologist, a resource economist and a licensed practicing naturopathic physician. She has been an economist for 29 years and worked in policy and cost-effectiveness analysis across a number of disciplines, including health care. She holds a PhD in psychology, program evaluation and research methods from the University of Arizona.

Dr. Herman's training and experience in research methodology includes statistics, biostatistics, epidemiology, econometrics, psychometrics, and program evaluation as well as general and whole systems research design and health services research methods.

Her research interests focus on the concept of health and its value as a personal and national resource. To this end she has examined health behaviors (e.g., tobacco use) and their effect on health, health insurance and its impact on access to health care and medical debt, worksite and hospital-based care, and individuals’ use of non-conventional medicine.

Dr. Herman maintains a clinical practice at Sierra Tucson, an in-patient psychiatric hospital, where she consults regarding drug-herbal interactions.

Students meet noted health economist

Students with Dr. DrummondA group of graduate students and Dan Malone, PhD, professor, Department of Pharmacy Practice and Science, traveled to the University of New Mexico in October to meet Michael Drummond, arguably the most influential health economist in the world.

All of the students were graduate students in the Pharmaceutical Economics, Policy and Outcomes program.

“It was an amazing opportunity…to have an open discussion with Dr. Drummond about the future of pharmaceutical economics, including career opportunities within our field,” says student Kim Saverno. “His unparalleled expertise was evident to all in the room, especially as he responded to detailed questions about various countries’ health policies.”

Photo: The students who met with Drummond were (from left): Kim Saverno, Prasadini Perera, (Dr. Drummond,) Ana Hincapie, Adrienne Gilligan and Amanda Harrington.

Faculty and graduate students presented posters at the Arizona Pharmacy Association Annual Meeting in July 2010

Graduate student Amanda Harrington discusses her project on students' knowledge of drug-drug interactions.

Professor Dan Malone presents results from a recent meta-analysis.

Graduate students presented at the May 2010 meeting of the International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research

Alex Mutebi receives award for his project comparing the SF-36 and SF-6D quality of life instruments.

Amanda Harrington presents on student knowledge of drug-drug interactions.

Jason Hurwitz with plaque

Jason Hurwitz receives fellowship

The PhRMA Foundation awarded the 2009 Post Doctoral Fellowship in Health Outcomes to Jason Hurwitz at the ISPOR 14th Annual International Meeting in Orlando. His research focuses on the outcomes and prevention of injury associated with overdoses from over-the-counter cough and cold/pain and fever medications. This two-year project involves analyzing emergency room and inpatient datasets, and assessing consumers' awareness of the risks of these products, and use of different medication labels and dosing methods to improve their safety.


ISPOR meeting includes UA posters

Two professors, seven students,and two research scientists from the Center for Health Outcomes and Pharmaco-Economic Research attended the 14th Annual International ISPOR Meeting held May 16-20 in Orlando.  Four students from the pharmaceutical economics, policy and outcomes graduate program presented posters at the meeting. Follow the links below to their posters.

ISPOR meeting



“Inpatient Burden of Illness and Predictors of Charges or Lengths of Stay Among Adult Heart Transplantation Patients”
Authors: Eleanor L Olvey, PharmD (below), Grant H. Skrepnek, PhD

Elly Olvey with poster

“Evaluation of a Wireless Handheld Medication Management Program in the Prevention of Drug-Drug Interactions”
Authors: Kim Saverno, BSPharm,  Daniel C. Malone, PhD

“Metformin Treatment for Improving Outcomes Related to Infertility in Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) - A Bayesian Analysis.”
Authors: Prasadini N Perera, Daniel C Malone

"Which Public Policy is More Cost-Effective in Reducing Cardiac Deaths:

Increased Taxes or Smoking Bans?”
Authors: J. Michael Menke, D.C., M.A. and Daniel C. Malone Ph.D., R.Ph.

Graduate student Ana-Lucia Hincapie presents at AMIA

The center’s Ana-Lucia Hincapie presented a poster titled “Outcomes of the Arizona Medicaid Medical Information Exchange Proof of Concept.” at the American Medical Informatics Association Spring Congress held in May 2009. 

Ana Marie Hincapie with poster

Authors were Hincapie, Anita Murcko MD, FACP, and Terri Warholak PhD., RPh.

The team, led by Warholak, received funding through Arizona Medicaid to assist in developing the Arizona Medical Information Exchange (AMIE). The team has been an integral part of AMIE planning and evaluation and conducted the AMIE pilot evaluation. Through AMIE, the inaugural cohort of providers in emergency departments, outpatient clinics and private offices were equipped with Web-based access to medication history, recent laboratory test results,and hospital discharge summaries across the systems. Because AMIE adoption and use depend on provider perceptions, the team evaluated user perceptions of AMIE’s impact on costs, quality, and efficiency of health care.

New Research Scientists

The center is pleased to introduce four assistant research scientists who joined us during 2008 and 2009.

Karen Smith Karen Smith, PhD, RPh, joined the center after receiving her PhD from UA College of Pharmacy in pharmaceutical economics, policy and outcomes. Karen received her BS in pharmacy from the University of Montana, and her MS from the University of Washington College of Pharmacy Pharmaceutical Outcomes Research and Policy Program.

She is the current liaison between the College of Pharmacy and the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS) and leads the Steering Committee as well as joint research efforts.

Karen has examined drug utilization in the elderly; healthcare and pharmaceutical costs of the Arizona Medicaid population; and progression of kidney disease as a function of blood pressure and medication use. Karen will provide lectures in the undergraduate pharmacy program and teach in the center’s annual Training Program for Health Outcomes and Pharmacoeconomic Research held in September.

In addition, she maintains her practice as a clinical pharmacist at Northwest Medical Center. Karen’s interests include pharmacoepidemiology, pharmacoeconomics, and the use of outcomes research to inform policy decisions that improve healthcare.

Jason Hurwitz Jason Hurwitz, MS, PhD, is a member of the center and affiliated with the Arizona Center for Education and Research in Therapeutics (AzCERT). Jason is also a recipient of the 2009 Post-Doctoral Fellowship in Health Outcomes award from the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufactures of America (PhRMA) Foundation

He has a PhD in educational psychology from the University of Wisconsin in Madison, with clinical and scholarly expertise in assessment, consultation, prevention and intervention concerning pediatric populations.

From 2001 to 2008, Jason assisted in research within the Wisconsin Center for Education Research (WCER), on three large-scale projects funded by the U.S. Department of Education. His current research evaluates prevalence, outcomes, and prevention of overdoses from over-the-counter medications, using large national databases and consumer testing. Jason is a course coordinator for the pharmacy class PhPr 845: Medication Use and the US Health Care System.

Terry Urbine Terry Urbine, PhD, is located in our downtown Phoenix office. Terry has a PhD in economics from the University of Notre Dame, with a concentration in econometrics. He   received a BA in physics from Butler University. He has extensive knowledge and experience conducting quantitative analyses, forecasting, and data manipulation.

Before coming to the College of Pharmacy, Terry worked 16 years in private industry as a forecaster and financial analyst. He was also an assistant professor at Eastern New Mexico University. Terry’s current research interests are in the economics of disease management, comparative effectiveness of interventions, costs and benefits of medication adherence, personalized medicine biomarker economics, health information technology, and telemedicine.  He is collaborating with other departments at The University of Arizona and at Arizona State University. 


Chris Lee Christopher Lee, PhD, RN received a BS degree in nursing (1996) from the University of New Hampshire, an MS in nursing (adult acute care nurse practitioner program; 2005) and a PhD in nursing from the University of Pennsylvania (2009). Christopher's dissertation research involving the influence of heart failure self-care behavior on health outcomes and cardiac performance was sponsored by the National Institutes of Health/National Institute of Nursing Research.

While at the University of Pennsylvania, Christopher received awards for excellence in teaching, clinical simulation and outstanding academic achievement and leadership, as well as the distinguished doctoral dissertation award. He has presented his research at the scientific meetings of the Heart Failure Society of America, American Heart Association, and European Society of Cardiology.

Christopher joined the Center for Health Outcomes and PharmacoEconomic Research as an assistant research scientist in 2009. His postdoctoral research is sponsored by Matrix45, a strategic evidence-based scientific consulting firm based in Earlysville, VA. His research interests involve the multi-level determinants of cardiovascular treatment effectiveness and clinical outcomes, the influence of adherence on therapeutic effectiveness, and modifiable predictors of treatment cost.

ISPOR participates in Memory Walk

ISPOR members on Memory Walk
The UA student chapter of the International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research (ISPOR) participated in Memory Walk 2008 on Oct. 25 to benefit the Alzheimer's Association.

The team consisted of MS and PhD students in the pharmaceutical economics, policy and outcomes track.

Due to generous donations from friends, family and COP faculty, the small team managed to raise more than $750. 

Visits by Distinguished Scientists

HOPE Center folks with Brian Luce
Dr. Brian Luce

Senior Vice President for Science Policy

United BioSource

Dr. Brian Luce visited the College of Pharmacy in April 2008.  He spoke about the ups and downs of worldwide health technology assessment policies over the years.  He also outlined the implications of comparative effectiveness research and his vision for its future role.  Following the presentation, he met with members of the Center for Health Outcomes and PharmacoEconomic Research to discuss some of the trends in economic research and associated policy implications.

Coons & Hansen
Dr. Phil Hansten

Professor Emeritus

University of Washington School of Pharmacy

Dr. Phil Hansten visited the University of Arizona College of Pharmacy on December 18, 2007. He gave a presentation to faculty, staff and students titled, "Using Humor in Scientific Lecture." Prior to the talk, he attended the AZ CERT meeting to assist with contributions to current research studies.

Arizona Center for Education and Research on Therapeutics

Members of AzCERT
The Arizona Center for Education and Research on Therapeutics (AzCERT) is one of 14 national centers funded by the U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality to conduct  research  and offer educational programs that will advance the optimal us of drugs, medical devices and biological products. The AzCERT is a collaboration between C-Path institute and The University of Arizona. The drug-drug interaction core is housed in the Center for Health Outcomes and PharmacoEconomic Research. Daniel Malone heads up an interdisciplinary team that includes members for the colleges of pharmacy, nursing and public health. The team, as shown above, includes (back row, left to right) John Murphy, Grant Skrepnek, Duane Sherill, Dan Malone; (second row) Michael Menke, Ed Armstrong, Amy Grizzle, Sally Reel; (front) Laura Riddenbach (former staff), Lisa Hines and Terri Warholak.

To learn more, visit the AzCERT website and the AzCERT faculty list.

Drug-drug interactions

The center's research focuses on dangerous drug-drug interactions. Read a story about this research here.

Originally posted: August 29, 2013
Last updated: October 29, 2014
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