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Paul Visintainer PhD Named Director of Research

by Sharon Glazer, MPH | March 01, 2014

Aims to Cultivate a Culture of Inquiry

Paul Visintainer, PhDPaul Visintainer PhD, Professor of Medicine at Tufts University School of Medicine, was named Director of Research at Baystate Health in December 2013. His goal in this new role is to "create and support a culture of inquiry here that ultimately supports the hospital's mission of improving the health of our community."

Dr. Visintainer uses as his guide a 2007 Institute of Medicine report that he says asserts that the best medical care arises out of the seamless integration of research and practice—what the IOM terms a learning healthcare system.

The way to promote a learning healthcare system here, according to Visintainer, is to "make every physician a contributor to best practices, and make sure researchers use the best evidence to investigate what the best practices are."

New Initiatives

"We have top-notch clinicians here," says Visintainer. " We need to promote their abilities as researchers and research mentors by expanding our training in clinical research, and by setting up systems that support, evaluate, and monitor the quality of clinical research we do."

A couple of new initiatives he is working on to advance these goals include setting up scientific review committees within, or across, departments to improve the quality and validity of studies that come forward.

He is also working with Richard Osborne, Director of Data Management in IT, to help develop policies for the responsible use of clinical data for research purposes. "We need a data governance committee to make sure we’re using the best data, and using it appropriately and ethically."

Dr. Visintainer joined the Division of Academic Affairs in 2008 as Director, Epidemiology and Biostatistics Research Core, a role in which he will continue. Previously, he was the chair of Epidemiology and Biostatistics in the School of Public Health at New York Medical College where he created the first doctoral program in epidemiology.