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UTHSC’s Ilana Graetz Honored as Emerging Leader in Managed Care Research



UTHSC’s Ilana Graetz, PhD, was honored Thursday by The American Journal of Managed Care for achievements in managed care research. (Photo by Amanda J. Cox Photography)

Ilana Graetz, PhD, an assistant professor in the Department of Preventive Medicine at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center, is the recipient of the 2017 Seema S. Sonnad Emerging Leader in Managed Care Research Award.

The American Journal of Managed Care (AJMC), the leading peer-reviewed journal focusing on issues in managed care, presents the prestigious award. It recognizes an individual whose early achievements in managed care research demonstrate the potential for making an exceptional long-term contribution as a leader in the field.

Dr. Graetz received the award during the dinner reception of the 6th annual Patient-Centered Oncology Care meeting November 16 in Philadelphia.

The award commemorates the contributions of the late AJMC associate editor, Seema S. Sonnad, PhD, who died from cardiac arrhythmia while running an ultramarathon in Seattle in 2015.

Dr. Graetz received a doctorate in health services and policy analysis from the University of California, Berkeley, in 2012. She joined the Department of Preventive Medicine at UTHSC in 2013.

She is a member of the Health Services and Policy Research Group, which conducts research in health policy to better understand how to improve population health outcomes and optimize cost and quality in the health care system.

“This award recognizes Dr. Graetz for her current accomplishments thus far, but much more than that, for the outstanding potential we see in her,” said Teresa Waters, chair of the Department of Preventive Medicine at UTHSC. “She is one of the most talented and hard-working individuals I have ever had the privilege of collaborating with. I, and others, have no doubt that her work, focused primarily on how information technology can transform health care delivery for providers and patients, will have a lasting impact on the field of health services research.”

Dr. Graetz said she is humbled to receive the award named in memory of Dr. Sonnad.  “Although I didn’t have the privilege of knowing her, Seema was a fellow alumna from my program at Berkeley. I know she made a tremendous contribution to the field of health services research and was a dedicated mentor and advocate for young researchers,” Dr. Graetz said. “I am still early in my career, and hope that my research will one day make a positive impact in someone’s life and make me worthy of this award.”