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Center for Health Equity Research and Promotion

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Robert E. Burke, MD, MS, FHM

Picture of Robert Burke

CHERP COIN Investigator

Assistant Professor of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania


Robert E. Burke MD, MS, is the inaugural Director of Research in Hospital Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, an academic hospitalist at the Corporal Michael Crescenz VAMC, COIN Investigator with the VA Center for Health Equity Research and Promotion (CHERP)and an Assistant Professor of Medicine at the Perelman School of Medicine. Dr. Burke is currently Principal Investigator of several major VA-funded initiatives:

VA-funded IIR research: "Improving Post-Acute Care Value for Veterans" VA-funded Innovation: "Building a Model VA-State Partnership to Support Non-Institutional Long-Term Care for Veterans" VA QUERI-funded implementation: "Safer Aging through Geriatric-Informed Evidence-based Practices."

Dr. Burke's research seeks to improve the outcomes associated with transitions from the hospital to post-acute care in vulnerable populations. For example, his VA Career Development Award sought to understand and improve processes of care that influence outcomes of these transitions, and he was funded by the National Institute of Aging to understand provider and patient decision-making regarding post-acute care in skilled nursing facilities in order to better anticipate the benefits and harms of PAC for individual patients at the time of hospital discharge. He has also worked on large-scale dissemination and implementation projects, such as the rural Veteran Transitions Nurse Program, and is active in quality improvement work locally and as an Associate Editor for BMJ Quality & Safety. Dr. Burke was selected as a 2017-8 Health and Aging Policy fellow working with the Centers on Medicare and Medicaid Services on programs for dual-eligible populations. Dr. Burke matriculated from Stanford University of School of Medicine and completed residency training in internal medicine at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston. From 2011-2018, he served as an Assistant Professor at the University of Colorado and as a hospitalist at the Denver VA Medical Center, completing a Masters degree in Clinical Sciences at the University of Colorado in 2015.

He completed a VA HSR&D Career Development Award, and has continued to receive funding from the VA, NIH, and the Hartford Foundation. His work has explored hospital and nursing home relationships, focusing on transitions of older adults from hospital to skilled nursing facility care. He also directed the dissemination of a large transitional care program for rural Veterans in partnership with the VA Office of Rural Health and Office of Nursing Services, and has completed additional training in implementation science. He served as a 2017-18 Health and Aging Policy Fellow placed in the Medicare-Medicaid Coordination Office at the Centers of Medicare and Medicaid Services to improve his ability to contribute to effective health policy as it relates to older adult populations. He is active in quality improvement work and serves as an Associate Editor of BMJ Quality & Safety.

Research Areas
Hospital and Nursing Home Relationships
Implementation of Safer Aging Practices