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LEBANON, N.H., July 22, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- John D. Birkmeyer, MD, an internationally recognized leader in outcomes research and quality improvement, has been named to the position of Executive Vice President for Enterprise Support Services across the Dartmouth-Hitchcock health system. In this newly-created position, he will work with CEO and President Dr. James N. Weinstein and key members of the senior management team to create a sustainable health system a regional and national model for convenient, accessible, high-quality, low-cost health care.
Dr. Birkmeyer, a general surgeon, leaves an endowed chair position at the University of Michigan, where he currently heads the Center for Healthcare Outcomes and Policy, a 120-person research institute engaged in policy evaluation, outcomes research, and quality improvement. He also directs the Michigan Value Collaborative, an innovative partnership between Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Michigan and leaders of 54 Michigan hospitals working to improve quality and reduce costs across the state.
"John Birkmeyer is one of the most innovative minds in health care today," said Dr. Weinstein. "His impact on health care quality and our understanding of outcomes variation is enormous. Most important, John shares our passion and commitment to create a sustainable health system that will improve the lives of the people and communities we serve, for generations to come."
"Dartmouth has always been a thought leader on accountability and what it means to deliver to high value health care," said Dr. Birkmeyer. "Dartmouth-Hitchcock is now putting those ideas into practice across a large, expanding network, and I'm extremely excited to help lead that effort."
Dr. Birkmeyer has a long history with Dartmouth and Dartmouth-Hitchcock. Between 1989, when he began his surgical residency, and 2004, when he was recruited to the University of Michigan, he served as Chief of Surgery at the White River Junction VA Medical Center, as Chief of the Section of General Surgery at Dartmouth-Hitchcock, and as a core contributor to the Dartmouth Atlas of Healthcare, the roadmap of the US health care system. During this time, he also did seminal research on variations in his own discipline of surgical outcomes.
In the newly created position, Dr. Birkmeyer will lead initiatives to align resources across the Dartmouth-Hitchcock system. He will be responsible for ongoing efforts in improving quality and accessibility of Dartmouth-Hitchcock services for patients and the communities and the regions Dartmouth-Hitchcock serves, with a focus on reducing the overall cost of health and health care through more efficient and effective care delivery of services across our region and nationally.
CEO and President Dr. Weinstein said: "Our leadership team is focused on delivering care at the highest quality care for the lowest cost. The smartest minds, with the broadest experience, are coming to Dartmouth-Hitchcock to join an already-great institution in forging a path toward a sustainable future for health and health care. Colleagues like John have the track records, commitment, determination, and the distinct skills we need to realize our vision for the people and communities we serve, and to provide a model for the nation."
Birkmeyer is the George D. Zuidema Professor of Surgery at the University of Michigan. A graduate of Boston College and Harvard Medical School, he received his general surgery training at Dartmouth. During this time, he completed a National Library of Medicine fellowship in medical informatics and health services research. He joined the Dartmouth faculty in 1996 and in 2004, he moved to the University of Michigan, where he has directed the Center for Healthcare Outcomes and Policy.
Dr. Birkmeyer's research career has focused on understanding variation in surgical outcomes and cost-efficiency. His published studies, many of which have appeared in the New England Journal of Medicine, Journal of the American Medical Association, and the Lancet, have been cited more than 20,000 times in the scientific literature. He has written white papers on performance measurement for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and the Institute of Medicine. He has a long track record of funding from the Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality and the National Institutes of Health.
Dr. Birkmeyer has also worked closely with payers and purchasers in initiatives aimed at accelerating improvement and fostering accountability. In addition to his role in the Michigan Value Collaborative, he chairs the expert panel on evidence-based hospital referral for the Leapfrog Group, a national coalition of public and private purchasers, and is a member of its Blue Ribbon panel on hospital safety ratings.
Reflecting his entrepreneurial interests, Dr. Birkmeyer is founder and Chief Scientific Officer of ArborMetrix, a venture capital-funded analytics and services company. With 50 employees based in Ann Arbor, the company helps health systems and health plans enhance quality and cost-efficiency in acute and specialty care.
Dr. Birkmeyer was elected to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences in 2006.
ABOUT DARTMOUTH-HITCHCOCK: Dartmouth-Hitchcock is an academic medical center and health system, a national leader in patient-centered health care and building a sustainable health system. Founded in 1893, the system includes New Hampshire's only Level 1 trauma center and its only air ambulance service, as well as the Norris Cotton Cancer Center, one of only 41 National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers in the nation, and the Children's Hospital at Dartmouth-Hitchcock, the state's only Children's Hospital Association-approved, comprehensive, full-service children's hospital. As an academic medical center, Dartmouth-Hitchcock provides access to nearly 1,500 primary care doctors and specialists in almost every area of medicine, as well as world-class research at the Audrey and Theodor Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth.
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