January 13, 2023
AUBURN, Alabama – The Harrison College of Pharmacy and the Innovation and Value Initiative have recently partnered to offer a fellowship to a graduate student within the college. The fellowship is the first and only one offered by the organization.
The Innovation and Value Initiative, or IVI, is a nationally-recognized organization that brings academic leaders and scientific experts together to focus on value assessment in health care. IVI champions a focus on patient-centered outcomes and preferences as drivers of change, emphasizes modern thinking about methods and value elements that should be included in value assessment models and advocates for transparent, open-source model development to improve dialogue and build trust between users, decision-makers and patient communities.
The creation of the fellowship is a partnership with Dr. Surachat Ngorsuraches, associate professor in the Department of Health Outcomes Research and Policy. It is $50,000 and can be renewed for a second year. Tim Lai, a graduate student working under Ngorsuraches will be the first recipient of the fellowship.
“The fellowship provides me with numerous learning opportunities,” said Lai. “It allows me to collaborate with IVI’s internal research team and external research partners, and also provides me with unique opportunities to participate in the development and conduct of public events such as educational webinars organized by IVI.”
The fellowship works as a training program for a student working under Ngorsuraches. The fellow will join in on multiple projects, leading at least one, with a focus on equity-based value assessment.
“This support will strengthen my research capacity in the field of equity-based value assessment,” said Ngorsuraches. “It will help me identify novel methods and apply them in the health care field. Although I do not know why IVI approached us, I believe they saw our potential at Auburn University to advance this field of research.”
Within that field of research, Ngorsuraches stands out in that he considers not just the economic evaluation of value assessment, but also considers patient preference. This unique approach is something that also interested Lai.
“Patients' preferences and patient-centered value evaluation are the main research interests of Dr. Chat and this is especially relevant to my interest in health equity as a study topic,” said Lai. “We need to hear from patients in order to address health disparities. The majority of the present frameworks for health technology evaluation do not take patients' perspectives into account and I think that Dr. Chat's study methodology, which combines discrete choice experiments with what matters most to patients, can assist science address health disparities.”
Auburn University’s Harrison College of Pharmacy is ranked among the top 25 percent of all pharmacy programs in the United States, according to U.S. News & World Report. Fully accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE), the College offers doctoral degrees in pharmacy (Pharm.D.) and pharmaceutical sciences (Ph.D.) while also offering a master’s in pharmaceutical sciences. The College's commitment to world-class scholarship and interdisciplinary research speaks to Auburn's overarching Carnegie R1 designation that places Auburn among the top 100 doctoral research universities in the nation. For more information about the College, please call 334.844.8348 or visit http://pharmacy.auburn.edu.