So a modeler, an economist, a shared decision making expert and a pair of patient experts walk into a conference room…

Monday, October 20, 2014
2:45 - 4:15 EST

SMDM encompasses a wonderful diversity of research approaches and methods. As a society, we have the potential to cross-pollinate our strengths in areas such as comparative effectiveness research and shared decision making, health policy and patient partnership, and health economics and decision psychology. This symposium aims to facilitate such cross-pollination by bringing together speakers who represent diverse perspectives and methods. The speakers will all address a common theme: Diversity and Diabetes, but the lessons learned will be applicable across clinical contexts.


  • Mila and Jimmy Ferrer are patient advocates in the Miami area. Mila Ferrer runs a popular blog for Spanish speakers living with diabetes: She has been recognized as a Diabetes Leader by the International Diabetes Federation, and as a Top Latina Influential Blogger by LATISM. With her husband, Jimmy Ferrer, she organizes patient-led education and support groups for the Latino community in the Miami area.

  • Monica Peek, MD, MPH, is an Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of Chicago and Associate Director of the Chicago Center for Diabetes Translational Research. She specializes in general internal medicine and preventive health for adults. She has a particular interest in reducing health care disparities and concentrates these efforts on diabetes care and breast cancer-screening education for African American patients. Dr. Peek was awarded the 2013 Junior Investigator of the Year Award from the Society of General Internal Medicine and has conducted research about incorporating culturally competent shared decision making into diabetes care.

  • David Meltzer, MD, PhD, is Chief of the Section of Hospital Medicine, Director of the Center for Health and the Social Sciences, and Chair of the Committee on Clinical and Translational Science at The University of Chicago, where he is Associate Professor in the Department of Medicine, and affiliated faculty of the Harris School of Public Policy Studies and the Department of Economics. He has conducted research about incorporating diverse patient preferences in diabetes into models of future costs and outcomes.

  • Daria O’Reilly, PhD, is an Associate Professor of Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics at McMaster University in Hamiton, Ontario, Canada, and is affiliated with Programs for Assessment of Technology in Health (PATH) Research Institute at St. Joseph's Healthcare Hamilton. She conducts research in health technology assessment and cost-effectiveness research. She is an Early Researcher Award Recipient from the Ministry of Research and Innovation in Ontario, and she leads a number of projects, notably a diabetes economic model that simulates the long-term costs and health outcomes of different diabetes management strategies to help inform decision-making in policy, planning and delivery of diabetes care in Ontario. She will speak about this work and about the challenges of incorporating diversity in models.

  • James Stahl, MD, CM, MPH, will be the discussant for the symposium. Dr. Stahl is Senior Scientist at the Institute for Technology Assessment at Massachusetts General Hospital and Assistant Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. Dr. James Stahl is a champion of innovative, interdisciplinary research and has already had time to reflect on the presentations of each of the speakers. He will offer a thoughtful discussion of how these different perspectives can inform each other, methodologically and otherwise.

The symposium will also be live-tweeted by the moderator and organizer, Holly Witteman, PhD, Assistant Professor of Medicine at Université Laval in Quebec City, Canada. Dr. Witteman has connected with relevant patient communities, opinion leaders in those communities, and other stakeholders to promote this symposium. She will bring selected questions posed on Twitter to the speakers and send their answers back to the questioners.

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