research at Baystate Medical Center

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Center for Quality of Care Research Faculty

Core Faculty

Peter K. Lindenauer, MD, MSc, FACP

Peter Lindenauer is Director of the Center for Quality of Care Research at Baystate Medical Center, Medical Director of Clinical Decision Support for Baystate Health, and Associate Professor of Medicine at the Tufts University School of Medicine.  A board-certified internist and practicing hospitalist, and founding Board member of the Society of Hospital Medicine, Dr. Lindenauer's research focuses on measuring the quality and outcomes of care for patients with common medical conditions, evaluating the effectiveness of acute treatments and care strategies, and the design, implementation and evaluation of interventions to improve care delivery. 


His research is supported by grants from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality and the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute of the NIH.  He is the author of over 100 peer reviewed papers, which have appeared in the New England Journal of Medicine, JAMA, Annals of Internal Medicine, Health Affairs, Medical Care, and leading general internal medicine and subspecialty journals. 


In 2008 he received the excellence in research award from the Society of Hospital Medicine, was named a Master in Hospital Medicine in 2012, and received Baystate’s Weinberg Family Award for academic excellence in 2013. He is a member of the Editorial Boards of the Journal of Hospital Medicine, the Joint Commission Journal of Quality and Patient Safety, and Perioperative Medicine, and has served on multiple NIH study sections focused on health services research, dissemination and implementation, and career development awards. Dr Lindenauer is a graduate of the University of Chicago, the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, the London School of Economics and Political Science, and completed a residency and chief residency in internal medicine at the University of California San Francisco.

Tara Lagu, MD, MPH

Tara Lagu is a board-certified internist and has been a Research Scientist in the Center for Quality of Care Research, an Assistant Professor of Medicine at Tufts University School of Medicine, and an academic hospitalist in the Baystate Medical Center Department of Medicine since 2008. Prior to her arrival at Baystate, she attended Yale University School of Medicine, completed a General Internal Medicine Residency at Brown University, and was a Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholar at the University of Pennsylvania. 


Her research is focused on the quality and value of care for hospitalized patients. In 2013, she received a five-year career development award from the National Heart, Lung Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health to study the optimal clinical strategies for improving quality of care for critically ill patients with heart failure. Her other research interests include the impact of the internet on the doctor-patient relationship, access to care for patients with disabilities, and the potential for the Internet to improve quality and transparency in health care.

Penelope S. Pekow, PhD

Penelope Pekow is the Senior Biostatistician for the Center of Quality of Care Research, an Assistant Professor in the Division of Biostatistics and Epidemiology in the School of Public Health and Health Sciences at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Her recent work has focused on application of analytic methods for comparative effectiveness studies and studies of variation in delivery of care utilizing large observational databases with multi-level hierarchical data structures.

Sarah L. Goff, MD

Sarah Goff is a board-certified pediatrician and internist, and is an Assistant Professor at the Tufts University School of Medicine. She is a graduate of the Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars Program at Yale and was the 2011 recipient of the Tufts University School of Medicine KL-2 Mentored Career Development Award. 


Her research interests include maternal-child health care quality and safety with a particular interest in public reporting of quality measures. Additional interests include qualitative methodology, palliative care research, impact of health care delivery systems on patient outcomes and how communication impacts health outcomes.

Mihaela S. Stefan, MD

Mihaela Stefan is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Palliative Care, an Assistant Professor of Medicine at Tufts University School of Medicine, the Director of the Medical Consultation & Perioperative Care Program and Co-director of the Scholarly Activity in the Internal Medicine Residency Program at Baystate Medical Center. 


In 2010 she received a KM1 career development award in comparative effectiveness from Tufts CTSI. In 2013, she received a four-year career development award from the National Heart, Lung Blood Institute of the NIH to study the effectiveness of noninvasive ventilation in patients hospitalized with acute respiratory failure. Her research interests include 1) hospital-based strategies to improve the outcomes of patients with respiratory diseases with a special focus on COPD, acute respiratory failure and obstructive sleep apnea; 2) measuring and evaluating interventions to improve perioperative evaluation and optimization and postoperative outcomes in elderly patients 3) end of life and palliative care for seriously ill and dying patients. She is in her third year of completing a PhD in Clinical and Translational Science.

Quinn Pack, MD, MSc

Quinn R. Pack is a non-invasive cardiologist and the medical director of cardiac rehabilitation at Baystate Medical Center.  His clinical and research interests center around cardiovascular prevention and education. He has published in smoking cessation, preventive cardiology education, obesity and weight loss, and over the past several years focused his research efforts in cardiac rehabilitation.  His particular emphasis has been on improving patient participation in cardiac rehabilitation where he recently designed, organized, and completed a randomized controlled trial published in the journal Circulation. 


He has a growing involvement in national organizations and is a member of both the Research and Quality committee’s for the American Association of Cardiovascular Rehabilitation and Prevention (AACVPR.) He is an Assistant Professor of Medicine at Tufts University School of Medicine and was recently awarded a 2-year KL-2 grant through Tuft’s University. He will be studying the prevalence, characteristics, and clinic impact of inpatient cardiac rehabilitation.

Research Core

Aruna Priya, MA, MSc

Aruna Priya  is a biostatistician with the Center for Quality of Care Research. She has an MSc degree in Statistics (Operations Research) from the University of Hyderabad (India) and an MA in Biostatistics from the University at Buffalo in New York. Before joining the Center, Aruna worked as a statistician for the Department of Emergency Medicine at Erie County Medical Center in Buffalo, NY. She works with large administrative databases such as Premier Inc.’s Perspective and Cerner Health Facts.  In addition to studying hospital performance measures and 30-day readmission rates; association between beta-blocker therapy and outcomes among patients with COPD and underlying heart disease, her recent work includes employing advanced statistical modeling methods to study the association of guideline-concordant therapy in patients with health care-acquired pneumonia.

Meng-Shiou Shieh, PhD

Meng-Shiou Shieh is a biostatistician with the Center. She received her PhD in statistics at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and her dissertation topic was “Correction Methods, Approximate Biases, and Inference for Misclassified Data,” with application to physical activities data. Before coming to the Center, she worked as a statistical consultant where she proofread and verified formulas for the study, "Measurement Error: Models, Methods and Applications,” published March 4, 2010 by John Buonaccorsi. She is also coauthors with Charles M. Schweik and Robert English for Chapters 9 and 10 of, “The Success and Abandonment of Open Source Commons,” MIT Press, Spring 2012. Her recent work focuses on application of analytic methods appropriate for use with large observational databases like the Nationwide Inpatient Sample and Premier, Inc.’s Perspective.

Xiaoxia Liu, MA, MS

Xiaoxia Liu is a biostatistician with the Center. She worked as a biostatistician at Brigham and Women’s Hospital before she joined the Center, where she have collaborated extensively with physicians by providing statistical analysis supports for clinical research and coauthored over 30 peer reviewed papers. Besides the collaboration research, she also develops and teaches regular lecture series to medical fellows on introducing commonly used statistical methods. Her recent work has focused on working with large observational databases and application of appropriate analytic methods for comparative effectiveness research.

Anu Joshi

Anu Joshi is a Clinical Research Coordinator with the Center. She graduated summa cum laude from Saint Peter’s University with a BS in Biotechnology. Prior to joining Baystate Medical Center in 2014, she was a Research Assistant in a Biochemistry laboratory, working with gold and iron nanoparticle synthesis for malignant tumor treatment. She currently assists with all aspects of active projects in the Center- manuscript writing, grant management and project management.

Amy S. Shatz, MPH

Amy Shatz is a Clinical Research Manager with the Center. Amy earned her Bachelor’s degree from the Johns Hopkins University and a Master’s in Public Health from Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine. She is currently working with Dr. Peter Lindenauer on his study, “Contextual Factors Associated with Implementation Effectiveness within a QI Collaborative,” funded by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. This study, which involves surveying senior hospital leaders and quality improvement staff, examines how perceptions of collaborative-recommended clinical practices, together with hospital implementation climate and strategies, influence the chances of successful implementation of collaborative recommended practices and ultimately on change in hospital complication and mortality rates. 


Amy is also working with Dr. Lindenauer on his study, “Implementation and Outcomes of Noninvasive Ventilation in COPD.” In this study, which is funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLB), researchers at Tufts University School of Medicine and Baystate Health are examining the use of non-invasive ventilation for COPD patients in the US in an effort to identify contextual factors and strategies associated with its effective implementation.

Lauren A. Williams

Lauren Williams began working with the Center as a Clinical Research Assistant in October 2013. She graduated with honors from Brown University in May 2009 with a bachelor’s degree in Ethnic Studies. Upon graduation, she worked as a research assistant for nearly four years on various healthcare studies in Boston-based hospitals (Brigham and Women’s and Massachusetts General Hospitals), gaining immense real-world exposure to the realities of healthcare research. To fulfill her desire of becoming a physician-researcher, she is currently completing coursework in the Postbaccalaureate Pre-Medical Program at Mount Holyoke College, with plans to apply to medical school immediately upon completion.

Nathaniel Schreiber

Nathaniel Schreiber began working with the Center as a Clinical Research Assistant in 2014. He graduated from Hamilton College with a Bachelor’s in Psychology, and has more recently completed Mount Holyoke’s Pre-Medical Post-Baccalaureate program in order to apply to Medical School.  He is currently working with Dr. Mihaela Stefan’s Baystate Frailty Study.  The study examines whether preoperative patient frailty is associated with postoperative outcomes in patients over 65 who have been admitted for urgent surgery.

Lorna Murphy, MA, MS

Lorna Murphy is a clinical research assistant with the Center. Lorna graduated from University of Massachusetts with an MS in Epidemiology and an MA in Anthropology. She is currently working toward a PhD in Anthropology at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. She is working with Dr. Sarah Goff on her study, “IDEAS for a Healthy Baby: Reducing Disparities in Consumer Use of Quality Data,” funded by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality to determine if health care quality information can influence patient choice of provider.

Yara Youssef, PhD candidate

Yara Youssef is a clinical research assistant with the Center. Yara graduated from Providence College with a degree in Health Policy and Management in 2008. She is currently working toward a PhD in Health Policy and Management and Epidemiology at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Prior to entering the PhD program at UMass-Amherst, she worked in the Physician Hospital Organization at Women and Infants Hospital in Providence, RI. 


Her research interests include the reporting of health care quality information to influence patient behavior as well as improving health care management to influence health policy. She is working with Dr. Sarah Goff on her study, “IDEAS for a Healthy Baby: Reducing Disparities in Consumer Use of Quality Data,” funded by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality to determine if health care quality information can influence patient choice of provider.

Adjunct Faculty

Evan M. Benjamin, MD, FACP

Evan Benjamin is Professor of Medicine at Tufts University School of Medicine and the Sackler School of Graduate Biomedical Sciences as well as Senior Vice President for Quality & Population Health and Chief Quality Officer at Baystate Health. Dr. Benjamin, a board certified internist, founded the Division of Healthcare Quality at Baystate in 2000 and helped to create the Center for Quality of Care Research in 2006. His work has helped to transform healthcare within the three hospital- Baystate Health system, garnering a number of national awards and has been a model for other healthcare organizations.


Nationally recognized for his work in outcomes management, and quality-of-care improvement, his publications have appeared in more than 40 articles in major journals. His research in measuring quality, patient safety and health policy has been published in the New England Journal of Medicine and JAMA. He has contributed to five books including Healthcare Quality: The Clinician’s Primer (ACPE 2012).


Currently, he is on the editorial board for the American Journal of Medical Quality, and is an active reviewer for JAMA. Dr. Benjamin sits on a number of national and regional boards and committees including the Board of Directors of Catholic Health Partners, a 30-hospital health system based in Ohio, where he chairs the Board Quality Committee. He is an active faculty member for the Institute for Healthcare Improvement in Cambridge, MA and a member of the Family & Patient Committee of the National Patient Safety Foundation (NPSF). He sits on the Premier, Inc. Board Quality Committee and chairs the Premier, Inc. Strategic Clinical Advisory Committee. Dr. Benjamin speaks nationally regarding the impact of the healthcare delivery system on the quality and safety of healthcare.


Dr. Benjamin received his BA in chemistry with highest honors from Williams College; his MD from Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine; post-graduate education in Internal Medicine at Yale-New Haven Hospital, Yale University School of Medicine and training in epidemiology with the US Public Health Service.

Jay S. Steingrub, MD, FACP, FCCP

Jay Steingrub is a Professor of Medicine at Tufts University School of Medicine and Vice Chair for Research in the Department of Medicine at Baystate Medical Center. Dr. Steingrub has distinguished himself as an outstanding clinician, educator, and clinical investigator. As Director of the Medical Intensive Care Unit, Dr. Steingrub has built a nationally recognized program in clinical research devoted to sepsis and acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). 


He has served as principal investigator or co-investigator on 42 extramurally funded clinical trials and has been funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute to study Acute Lung Injury as part of an ARDS network consortium. He is also one of 11 national recipients of the new NHLBI PETAL Network Research Grant, working with 3 other New England sites to create a clinical center for this project. Dr. Steingrub’s work continues to focus on optimal strategies to deliver clinical care in the ICU setting for patients with sepsis and ARDS and currently is examining the utility of novel compounds in the treatment of sepsis and ARDS.

Sarah D. Haessler, MD

Sarah Haessler is an attending physician in the division of Infectious Diseases and the hospital epidemiologist in the division of healthcare quality at Baystate Medical Center, and an Assistant Professor at Tufts University School of Medicine.  Her research interests include Healthcare associated pneumonia, Clostridium difficile infection, and healthcare-associated infections.

Natalia G. Shcherbakova, PhD

Natalia Shcherbakova is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Pharmaceutical and Administrative Sciences at Western New England University College of Pharmacy. She is also a health services researcher with a local health plan, Health New England. Her research interests include pharmacoeconomics and health outcomes studies, managed care program evaluation, as well as assessment of the impact of mobile technology and social media on health care and education.

JoAnna Leyenaar, MD, MPH

JoAnna Leyenaar is a board-certified pediatric hospitalist in the Division of Pediatric Hospital Medicine at Tufts Medical Center and Assistant Professor at the Tufts University School of Medicine. She completed her undergraduate education in nutritional science at the University of Guelph, Canada, a Master of Public Health at Harvard School of Public Health, and a Master of Science in Clinical and Translational Research at Tufts University. Her research interests include inpatient pneumonia management, hospital to home transitions of care, and hospital-based care of children with complex chronic medical conditions.  She is a 2012 recipient of the Tufts Clinical and Translational Research Institute's KM1 Award in Comparative Effectiveness Research.

Brian H. Nathanson, PhD

Brian Nathanson is the co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of OptiStatim, LLC, a consulting firm specializing in mathematical modeling in health care for both commercial and academic clients. He has a doctorate in Industrial Engineering and Operations Research from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. In 2013, he achieved diplomate status in the Society of Health Systems. His research interests are in benchmarking, applying operations research methods to clinical health care problems, and econometrics. A majority of his recent projects have focused on critical care or emergency medicine, with an emphasis on sepsis. He is also very active in the Institute of Industrial Engineers and INFORMS.