Two U-M researchers who have devoted their careers to improving health care — especially for people with chronic disease and eye disease — are among the new members of the National Academy of Medicine of the National Academies. Election to the NAM, formerly known as the Institute of Medicine, is one of the highest honors in the fields of health and medicine.
Eve Kerr, M.D., M.P.H., and Paul Lee, M.D., J.D., both of the U-M Medical School, were elected to the NAM in recognition of their major contributions to the advancement of the medical sciences, health care and public health.
With their election, the U-M now has 56 members of the NAM among its active, emeritus and living former faculty.
Eve Kerr, M.D., M.P.H.
Kerr is the Louis Newburgh Research Professor in the U-M Department of Internal Medicine, and a member of the Division of General Medicine. A primary care physician at the VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System, she directs VA’s Center for Clinical Management Research, which brings together researchers who work to make health care more patient-centered, safer and effective for veterans and beyond.
Kerr has built an international reputation as a developer of methods to assess and improve quality of care and understand the challenges of providing care to patients with multiple chronic conditions. For instance, she helped lead two major studies showing that VA patients received higher-quality care for common conditions than people treated in non-VA settings. She led a team that identified the need for, and developed, new measures to guide treatment of high blood pressure in veterans nationwide.
Her current work focuses on decreasing low-value care and overtreatment of certain chronic conditions. In additional to leading several studies that aim to identify and reduce wasteful and unnecessary medical tests, treatments and procedures, she is a steering committee member of Choosing Wisely International, which brings together nearly 20 countries that are leading efforts to help clinicians and patients avoid unneeded services.
After coming to U-M in 1996, she helped spearhead the development of the U-M Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation, which now helps more than 500 faculty from many fields study and improve the American health system and the impact of health policy decisions. She serves on IHPI’s leadership team and directs a new effort, the Michigan Program on Value Enhancement or MPrOVE, which seeks to bring together the expertise of IHPI members with the clinical delivery needs of Michigan Medicine to assess and solve difficult problems in health care value within U-M’s academic medical center.
Paul Lee, M.D., J.D.
Lee is the F. Bruce Fralick Professor and chair of the U-M Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences. He is a glaucoma specialist serving as director of the W.K. Kellogg Eye Center, which has, in recent years, gained in national health care rankings and deepened its commitment to global collaborations.
He’s inspired public health and ophthalmic organizations to develop eye care delivery approaches that help patients maintain eyesight for life. His research interests include pioneering work on assessing and improving access to quality eye care, patient-centered care and exploring the impact of health policy and financing on patients and populations.
Lee is the current chair of the American Board of Ophthalmology, serves on the advisory committee of the Hoskins Center for Patient Safety and Quality of the American Academy of Ophthalmology Foundation, and member of the board of directors of the American University Professors of Ophthalmology and the American Glaucoma Society.
Lee also serves in various capacities for the American Academy of Ophthalmology’s IRIS Registry, a clinical registry database that’s the largest national outpatient care registry of any specialty implemented in the United States, and serves as a consultant to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
His influence on health care delivery includes serving on the Michigan Medicine Board of Directors. In 2016, he was appointed by the U-M board of regents to guide the health system as it delivers complex patient care, researches new medical innovations and trains the next generation of physicians and scientists.