Research!America president and CEO Mary Woolley is the recipient of the 2016 AcademyHealth Chair Award, recognizing a national leader who has significantly contributed to the health and health care of Americans by moving health services research into policy and practice.
Accepting the award at AcademyHealth's Annual Research Meeting in Boston on June 27, Woolley urged attendees to step up their engagement with elected officials and those seeking office. "They work for us; for you," she said. "If you haven’t yet reached out to candidates running to represent you in the White House and the Congress, you are missing an opportunity to assure that your work in the service of the public’s interest will be well supported in the years ahead."
Woolley suggested tapping into public aspirations and using language that resonates with non-scientists, policymakers included. "My advice is to take a deep breath, take the leap and change the wording from ‘health services research’ to ‘health care delivery research’. It won’t solve the on-going challenge of ensuring adequate support for the field, but I believe it will help," she said.
Previous recipients of the award, one of the most prestigious honors bestowed by AcademyHealth, include Senators Edward Kennedy and William Frist, former Health Affairs editor John Iglehart, former director of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality John Eisenberg, and former AcademyHealth president and CEO W. David Helms.