Dio Kavalieratos, PhD, is a Post-Doctoral Fellow in the University of Pittsburgh RAND Scholars Program. In 2012, he earned his PhD in Health Policy from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a concentration in quality and access to care. He continues to serve his alma mater as an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Health Policy and Management. In August 2014, he will join the University of Pittsburgh's Division of General Internal Medicine as an Assistant Professor of Medicine within the Section of Palliative Care and Medical Ethics. In addition, Dr. Kavalieratos will be among the first group of trainees matriculating into the ICRE's new Patient-Centered Outcomes Research (PCOR) Program. He hopes that this program will allow him to understand how to meaningfully conduct patient-centered research and how to engage stakeholders to improve the relevance of his work.
His work seeks to engage the patient voice to identify sources of distress and improve palliative care access and quality for patients with serious illnesses. He currently serves as co-principal investigator on a grant from the Magee-Womens Cancer Research and Education Fund that focuses on patient preferences for palliative care in women with gynecological cancers. Dr. Kavalieratos supports this project in a methodological capacity, providing expertise in qualitative study design and analysis. For his research related to the PCOR K12 program, Dr. Kavalieratos will marry his interests in palliative care, clinical information technology, and patient-centered outcomes. He will attempt to use patient-reported outcomes to trigger clinical decision support aimed at improving symptom identification and management in advanced heart failure. Dr. Kavalieratos would like the contributions of his research to aid in reducing the suffering that people with serious illnesses face. He hopes to achieve this by further understanding the unmet needs of patients and helping to maximize the potential impact that the health care system has on improving quality of life
Though early in his career, Dr. Kavalieratos' work has been recognized with various honors. He was awarded the 2013 Young Investigator Award from the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine, an international award that he was very humbled to receive. Dr. Kavalieratos acknowledges that this award made him feel that he is a part of a community that has sought him out and continues to invest in and support him. He believes the award shows that this organization believes in him and the value of his work. Additionally, he won the 2014 ICRE Award for Outstanding Grant Proposal, entitled "Developing Patient Centered Palliative Care to Improve Heart Failure Patient Quality of Life," which was subsequently awarded a Junior Faculty Career Development Award by the National Palliative Care Research Center. The goal of this project is to identify a patient-centered approach to increase the utilization of palliative care that is directly informed by the needs and preferences of patients with heart failure, caregivers, and providers. He credits the RAND program with allowing him to develop and fine tune his grant writing skills while also being appreciative of the remarkable hands-on support Drs. Lauren Broyles and Kevin Kraemer delivered in the development of this grant. Dr. Kavalieratos feels this award is especially important because of its limited number of recipients, as well as the rare opportunity of having a fully qualitative study funded.
The American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine has also granted him with the Year-Long Mentorship Award in 2014, which financially supports his endeavors in connecting with mentorship outside of the university in order to help him create a well-rounded mentoring team. Dr. Kavalieratos will continue his work under the mentorship of Nathan Goldstein, MD, of the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City, along with Robert Arnold, MD, at the University of Pittsburgh. Dr. Kavalieratos also serves on the Editorial Board of the American Journal of Public Health.
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