Oct 13, 2011

Prof. Billings Honored for His Work on Improving the Health of Vulnerable Populations

NYU Wagner's John Billings, associate professor of health policy, has been chosen as the 2011 recipient the Lewis and Jack Rudin New York Prize for Medicine and Health. The award was presented to him on Oct. 10, 2011 at New York Academy of Medicine (NYAM).

"Throughout his career, John has always brought into focus the inequalities and disparities in health care," said Dr. Jo Ivey Boufford, MD, president of NYAM. "In New York City, he's the ‘go-to' researcher who is able to deal with public policy issues in a practical way. He is a brilliant teacher and is always a challenging and rewarding."

Established in 2003, the prize provides a forum for a distinguished member of the research community to receive recognition from colleagues and the public at large. The award was created to promote the sharing of innovative findings from a variety of research areas with both fellow researchers and clinicians in the metropolitan New York region, with particular focus on the excellence and dedication of the men and women striving to find solutions to pressing health concerns.

Previous recipients include Dr. David Ho of the Aaron Diamond AIDS Research Center and The Rockefeller University, Dr. Harold Freeman of the National Cancer Institute, Dr. John H. Laragh of the New York Presbyterian Hospital-Weill Cornell Medical Center, Dr. Susan Band Horwitz of Albert Einstein College of Medicine, and Dr. Barbara Barlow of Harlem Hospital Center.

At the award event, Billings delivered a lecture, "Population Health: Improving the Health of Vulnerable Populations."

Professor Billings is the director of NYU Wagner's Health Policy and Management Program. He is principal investigator on numerous projects to assess the performance of the safety net for vulnerable populations and to understand the nature and extent of barriers to optimal health for vulnerable populations. Much of his work has involved analysis of patterns of hospital admission and emergency room visits as a mechanism to evaluate access barriers to outpatient care and to assess the performance of the ambulatory care delivery system. He has also examined the characteristics of high cost Medicaid patients in order to help in designing interventions to improve care and outcomes for these patients.

Parallel work in the United Kingdom has involved creating an algorithm for the National Health Service to identify patients at risk of future hospital admissions and designing interventions to improve care for these high risk patients. As a founding member of the Foundation for Informed Decision Making, Professor Billings is helping to provide patients with a clearer mechanism for understanding and making informed decisions about a variety of available treatments. Professor Billings received his J.D. from the University of California (Berkeley).

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