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Center for Health Equity Research and Promotion


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Center for Health Equity Research and Promotion Leadership

Michael Fine, MD, MSc (Director)

Dr. Fine is a general internist with a 25-year track record conducting research on the quality and equity of care for vulnerable patients (e.g., racial and ethnic minorities, women, elderly, HIV+) with common medical problems (e.g., pneumonia, diabetes). He conceptualized and oversaw the development of CHERP and has served as its Director since 2001. Dr. Fine collaborated with CHERP colleagues to develop a widely cited conceptual framework for advancing the field of health equity research, published numerous influential editorials, and conducted original research in the field. Under his leadership, CHERP has been a highly successful HSR&D Center, with an annual research funding exceeding $32 million in FY 2013. Dr. Fine co-chaired the VA Equality Workgroup that established the Office for Health Equity in 2011, and has represented VA as a council member of the National Institute for Minority Health and Health Disparities since 2002. He is the prior recipient of a K24 NIH Mid-Career Development Award and has mentored more than 55 trainees and junior faculty at VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System (VAPHS) and University of Pittsburgh. He is the VAPHS Site Director for the Office of Academic Affiliations post-doctoral fellowship in health services research, serves as a co-investigator on multiple CHERP health equity research projects, and mentors many CHERP investigators.

Said Ibrahim, MD, MPH (Co-Director)

Dr. Ibrahim is a general internist with a 16-year track record conducting quantitative and qualitative research on racial and ethnic disparities in access to health care, health care utilization, and outcomes. He has been a member of CHERP since its inception and assumed the role of CHERP Co-Director in 2012. His research program, supported by HSR&D, RWJF, the Arthritis Foundation, and NIAMS, serves as a model for advancing health equity research; he has designed and conducted 1st and 2nd generation studies to detect and understand disparities in joint replacement, which then led to the first-ever 3rd generation trial to reduce racial disparities in osteoarthritis care. Dr. Ibrahim served on the National Advisory Board for the RWJF program, “Finding Answers: Health Disparities,” and co-chaired the 2010 and 2011 National Summits on Arthritis and Musculoskeletal Disparities. He holds an NIH K24 award that supports his mentoring of future health equity investigators.

Galen Switzer, PhD (Associate Director)

Dr. Switzer is a medical sociologist and psychometrician with 19 years of experience investigating donor motivation, decision-making, and donation-related experiences in stem cell transplantation and 10 years of experience in research focused on vulnerable populations. He has been a CHERP investigator since 2001 and CHERP Associate Director since 2005. He recently completed an NHLBI R01 study examining the role of ethnicity and culture in stem cell donation and has collaborated on multiple CHERP health equity projects over the past decade. He serves as the Co-Director of CHERP’s Post-doctoral Fellowship in Health Services Research.  He has mentored more than 25 trainees and junior faculty at VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System and the University of Pittsburgh. Dr. Switzer also directs the pre-doctoral fellowship program and PhD program in Clinical and Translational Science at the University of Pittsburgh.


Center for Health Equity Research and Promotion Steering Committee

The national steering committee that guides our COIN is chaired by Nancy Kressin, PhD, a national leader in VA Health Equity Research, and includes leaders from the host VA Medical Centers, academic affiliates, and national VA offices and centers that share CHERP's commitment to improving the quality and equity of Veteran health and health care. In addition, the steering committee includes VA leaders in information technology and systems engineering to support our implementation efforts, a national leader in VA Pharmacy Benefits Management to support our emerging focus on clinical therapeutics, and national experts in health equity research.

Click Here for the complete list of the CHERP national steering committee members.