Regenstrief Institute names new president and CEO

Photo: Rachel E. Patzer

Indiana University School of Medicine this week announced that Rachel E. Patzer, an expert in epidemiology and health services research, has been appointed to be president and chief executive officer of the school-affiliated Regenstrief Institute.

Patzer, who holds degrees including a PhD and a masters in public health, will begin the new role on May 1. She currently works at Emory University School of Medicine, where she serves as the founding director of its Health Services Research Center and is a tenured professor there in the school’s department of surgery.

She has spent her career leading efforts to increase access to healthcare and improve quality of health care delivery and care outcomes—with a major focus on health equity.

In 2018, Patzer founded the Health Services Research Center—a cooperative initiative of the departments of medicine and surgery at Emory—where she currently serves as director. The work of the center is aimed at creating opportunities for closer connections and collaboration between methodologists and clinical researchers to advance healthcare access and improve health of patients.

Patzer received her bachelor’s degree in biology and nutritional sciences from the University Wisconsin-Madison in 2005. She earned her MPH in epidemiology from the Emory University Rollins School of Public Health in 2007 and returned a year later, after working as a science writer to complete her doctorate in epidemiology. She joined the Emory School of Medicine faculty in 2011 and was promoted to professor in 2021.

“Over the course of her career, Dr. Patzer’s work in using data to expose inequities and inefficiencies in health systems aligns perfectly with the important work being done by our world-class researchers at the Regenstrief Institute,” said Dr. Jay L. Hess, dean of the IU School of Medicine. “It is a critical time in our community for health care research, and I am confident that Dr. Patzer is the transformative leader needed to take the Regenstrief Institute into the future.”

Regenstrief is a leader dedicated to improving health and health care through innovations and research in biomedical informatics..

“Data is critical, but it won’t improve health on its own,” said Tatiana Foroud, executive associate dean for research affairs at IU School of Medicine, and vice chair of the Regenstrief board of directors. “You must connect with the community to use that data in order to make an impact. “Dr. Patzer’s experience in establishing the connection between methodology and clinical practice will be key to making a meaningful impact on the health of people in our state, our nation and around the world.”

“I am excited to work with the internationally renowned Regenstrief investigators in biomedical informatics, aging, and health services research, who are leading the way in using data – from an ever-increasing number and types of sources to improve health,” said Patzer in a statement.

“The Institute has contributed so significantly to such areas as electronic health records, health information exchange, health outcomes research, collaborative care, addressing the inclusion of neglected populations into research and many other areas.” she added.

“We as a society invest in health care research with an expectation of the benefits we gain from it,” said Patzer. “I believe that we can leverage the impressive strengths of the Regenstrief Institute to attain even more value from these data and accelerate the translation of this research into practice to improve not only health care, but ultimately the health of patients and populations.”

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