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UMMC faculty member appointed to national research institute board

Published on Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Published in Press Releases on September 28, 2010 (PDF)

Dr. Grayson Norquist, professor and chair of the Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior at the University of Mississippi Medical Center, has been appointed to a national board of medical professionals and health policy experts who are charged with researching ways to improve the country's health care quality.

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) announced recently the appointment of Norquist and 18 other members to the Board of Governors for the new Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI). This nonprofit organization, established through the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010, assists patients, clinicians, purchasers, and policymakers in making informed health decisions through research projects. The results of the research provide quality and relevant evidence on how diseases, disorders, and other health conditions can effectively and appropriately be prevented, diagnosed, treated, monitored, and managed.

"I'm excited about this opportunity to improve the quality of health care we deliver in the U.S.," Norquist said. "I'm especially interested in bringing the best prevention and treatment options to populations that are traditionally underserved in our current health care system."

A graduate of the University of Mississippi, Norquist earned the M.P.H. at the University of California-Los Angeles School of Public Health and the M.D. at the University of Mississippi School of Medicine. His research focuses on the use of telemedicine to reduce disparities in mental health treatment for those living in the Delta and to improve the quality of care they receive at local community health centers.

Norquist has served in a number of leadership positions at the National Institute of Mental Health, including director of the Division of Services and Intervention Research. He was also a clinical professor of psychiatry at Georgetown University.

Norquist's first term will expire in September 2014. Board members are appointed at staggered terms, set at two, four and six years. They may be reappointed for one additional term.

Gene L. Dodaro, acting Comptroller General of the United States and head of the GAO, said the research to be developed by the Board has great potential.

"This outstanding group of individuals brings an impressive range of knowledge, expertise and professional experience to this important initiative," he said.