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AHRQ--Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality: Advancing Excellence in Health Care

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Speaker Biosketches

Heidi Nelson, M.D., M.P.H., FACP

Heidi Nelson, M.D., M.P.H., FACPDr. Heidi D. Nelson is a research professor in the Department of Medical Informatics and Clinical Epidemiology and Medicine at Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU), and medical director of women’s health at Providence Health & Services in Oregon. At the Oregon Evidence-based Practice Center at OHSU, Dr. Nelson has led approximately 25 systematic evidence reviews and analyses for the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF), the National Institutes of Health, the State of Oregon, and other partners since 1998. Her work has resulted in numerous publications and has informed clinical practice guidelines in many areas. She was the principal investigator for the evidence review on breast cancer screening that the USPSTF used for its new recommendations in November 2009. Besides breast cancer screening, her research interests include osteoporosis, family and intimate partner violence, genetic testing for breast and ovarian cancer susceptibility, menopausal symptoms and management, and risk assessment. Dr. Nelson received her undergraduate and graduate degrees at the University of Minnesota, completed her residency in internal medicine at OHSU, and completed her fellowship in medicine and clinical epidemiology at University of California, San Francisco.

Karen Schoelles, M.D., S.M., FACP

Karen Schoelles, M.D., S.M., FACPDr. Karen Schoelles is the Evidence-based Practice Center (EPC) director at the ECRI Institute. Dr. Schoelles is responsible for assuring the clinical relevance of ECRI Institute’s EPC projects and Health Technology Assessment Group’s work products. She is also the project director for the AHRQ health care Horizon Scanning System.

Dr. Schoelles has over 20 years of clinical experience in internal medicine, with particular expertise in geriatrics. A clinical instructor at Harvard Medical School for 9 years, Dr. Schoelles has lectured to diverse audiences on geriatric assessment, preventive health measures in the elderly, and primary care of the older patient. She participated in the development of a geriatric assessment tool for use by primary care physicians at Harvard Pilgrim Health Care and developed a clinical program within which a model of geriatric care was developed and evaluated at Hebrew Rehabilitation Center for Aged.

Dr. Schoelles has held professional and clinical positions at numerous hospitals and health care organizations in the Boston area. For 7 years she was both the associate director of the internal medicine residency program and the director of the ambulatory care clinic at Salem Hospital. She subsequently entered private practice as a solo practitioner, caring for over 1,400 Medicare patients in their homes, in the office, in an acute care hospital, and in long-term care facilities. Dr. Schoelles later joined Harvard Community Health Plan as an internist at the Wellesley Center, served as an attending physician at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital, later helping to form the extended care facilities program for Harvard Pilgrim Health Care and Harvard Vanguard Medical Associates. While pursuing education in health policy at Harvard School of Public Health, Dr. Schoelles led systematic review projects at MetaWorks, Inc., in Medford, MA. As associate medical director at MetaWorks, Inc., Dr. Schoelles served as the principal investigator on numerous systematic review projects concerning topics such as bladder management following spinal cord injury, impact of bariatric surgery on obesity-related conditions, satisfaction with treatment among individuals with diabetes, and the efficacy and safety of recombinant human growth hormone for HIV wasting.