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George Mason University

4400 University Drive, MSN 2D7

Fairfax, VA 22030

Phone: (703) 993- 9490

Fax: (703) 993- 1555

CHPRE Mission Statement

The mission of the Center for Health Policy, Research and Ethics is to develop independent research and innovative thought leadership to improve health policy and its impact on people’s lives.

Topics in which CHPRE’s leadership and affiliates have expertise include: insurance market performance and reforms, payment reform, incentive realignment and quality improvement in health service markets, health workforce, population health, patient and community engagement in health, equitable access to health resources, and transforming the US health system to become sustainable.

The passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and the continuing debate over its repeal, revision, and state-by-state implementation, provide the context for much of CHPRE’s current work.

CHPRE pursues its mission through:

  • non-partisan research,
  • commentary and public speaking,
  • technical assistance to public and private decision makers, and
  • convening public forums.

CHPRE Leadership

Len 2Len M. Nichols (email)
Director, Center for Health Policy Research and Ethics (CHPRE)

Len Nichols has been the Director of the Center for Health Policy Research and Ethics (CHPRE) and a Professor of Health Policy at George Mason University since 2010, where he continues to bridge the worlds of health policy, health politics, health economics, health services research, and to help interpret it all for policy makers, private sector leaders, and journalists.  Len is the PI of a 5 year evaluation study of the CareFirst Patient Centered Medical Home program.  He has testified frequently before Congress and state legislatures, and is or has been an advisor to the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation, the Patient Centered Primary Care Collaborative, and to the Pan American Health Organization.  Len has worked  with the Commonwealth’s official Health Reform Initiative  and the new Virginia Center for Health Innovation as well as with Fairfax County on its own health reform implementation options.  Past positions include Senior Advisor for Health Policy at the Office of Management and Budget, Vice President of the Center for Studying Health System Change, Principal Research Associate  at the Urban Institute, and chair of the Department of Economics at Wellesley College.  He received his Ph.D. from the University of Illinois.

Len M Nichols CV

Kalahn Taylor-Clark, CHHS. Photo by Creative Services/George Mason UniversityKalahn Taylor-Clark (email)
Senior Advisor, Center for Health Policy Research and Ethics (CHPRE)

Kalahn Taylor-Clark, PhD, MPH most recently served as the Director of Health Policy at the National Partnership for Women and Families (NP).  Her primary responsibilities were in providing strategic policy support on a range of activities related to delivery system reform, including payment reform, quality measurement, reduction of health disparities, consumer engagement, and promotion of patient-centered care delivery and the effective use of health information technology (HIT).  Prior to joining NP, Dr. Taylor-Clark led the Patient-Centeredness and Health Equity Portfolio in the Engelberg Center for Health Care Reform at the Brookings Institution, which sought to inform regional, state, and national practices for advancing priorities for patient-generated measurement in new delivery and payment reform models; incorporate consumer perspectives into strategic planning of new delivery reforms; focus on social determinants and population health in health care reform models; and identify innovative ways to collect and report data to measure and address health care disparities.

Dr. Taylor-Clark was a W.K. Kellogg Health Scholar at Harvard University from 2006-2008 where her areas of research included public health communication in politically and socially marginalized populations and minority voting on health care issues. In 2005-2007, she was a lecturer at Tufts University, teaching classes titled “Women and Health” and “The Politics of Health Disparities.” Before teaching at Tufts, Dr. Taylor-Clark held a position as a researcher at the Harvard School of Public Health’s Project on Biological Security and the Public, where she focused on risk communication in communities of color during public health emergencies.

Kalahn Taylor-Clark CV



AliceAlice Hreiz – bio (email)
Communication and Project Coordinator
Center for Health Policy Research and Ethics (CHPRE)






Treniese Polk – bio  (email)
Project Manager, Care First
Center for Health Policy Research and Ethics (CHPRE)




IwonaIwona Kicinger – bio  (email)
Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Center for Health Policy Research and Ethics (CHPRE)





Kyung Min Lee – bio (email)
Graduate Research Assistant
Center for Health Policy Research and Ethics (CHPRE)




Stephen Petzinger – bio (email)
Graduate Research Assistant
Center for Health Policy Research and Ethics (CHPRE)

CHPRE Research Affiliates

GilbertGimmGilbert Gimm

Associate Professor

Dr. Gimm, Associate Professor of Health Administration and Policy, has research experience in Medicaid program evaluations, aging, disability, chronic care coordination, and health care financing. Currently, Dr. Gimm serves as co-principal investigator of a research contract with CareFirst Blue Cross Blue Shield of Maryland to conduct a 5-year program evaluation of their patient-centered medical home program.

Previously, Dr. Gimm was a senior researcher at Mathematica Policy Research in Washington, DC, where he directed a national evaluation for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) on the Medicaid Buy-in program and the impact of early interventions on the receipt of federal disability benefits for adults with mental health conditions. He also examined the financial performance of rural hospitals in response to Medicare payment reforms. His research has been published in several journals including Health Affairs, Health Services Research, and Disability and Health Journal. Dr. Gimm’s other research interests include the impact of malpractice claims on physician practice patterns and the extent to which care coordination models improve cost and quality.  Dr. Gimm serves as the Co-PI on the CareFirst Evaluation.

AlisonCuellarAlison Evans Cuellar

Associate Professor

Dr. Cuellar, Associate Professor of Health Administration and Policy, has extensive research experience in health care systems, Medicaid, mental health, and justice involved populations. Her contributions include work on identifying and evaluating new organizational forms, such as hospital systems and physician alliances, and their effects on quality, efficiency, costs, prices, and technology adoption. In other work supported by the National Institute of Mental Health, she has examined the intersection of behavioral health and the juvenile justice systems; on Medicaid policies and their impact on justice-involved youth and youth with behavioral health problems; on mental health courts as an innovative alternative for juvenile delinquents; and on health care services for incarcerated youth and adults returning to the community. She was a member of a national collaborative Mental Health Policy network supported by the MacArthur Foundation. She also was co-investigator on a pediatric health needs assessment in Washington, D.C. with a special focus on vulnerable and minority populations. In addition, she spent the 2005-06 academic year as a visiting economist to the U.S. Department of Justice. She is co-editor of the Economic Grand Rounds column in the journal Psychiatric Services. Her work has been published in several journals, including Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, Journal of Health Economics, American Journal of Public Health, Health Affairs, Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine, American Journal of Psychiatry and Psychiatric Services, among others. Previously, Dr. Cuellar was an Assistant Professor in the Department of Health Policy and Management at Columbia University.  Dr. Cuellar serves on the quantitative team for the CareFirst Evaluation.

LorensHelmchenLorens A. Helmchen

Associate Professor

Dr. Helmchen, Associate Professor of Health Administration and Policy, is currently studying mechanisms that improve quality transparency in health care and patients’ incentives to choose effective medical treatment. Dr. Helmchen is a co-investigator on a $3 million grant from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) that aims to evaluate how the disclosure of medical errors affects patients’ likelihood to sue and receive compensation, and their assessment of the quality of care.

Dr. Helmchen also researches the potential of provider-issued outcome warranties, which would insure policyholders against easily verifiable adverse treatment outcomes, such as remission after cancer therapy or 30-day survival after undergoing heart bypass surgery. In a related project, he is exploring how negative co-payments might improve existing insurance benefits, instead of paying more for more costly treatment; beneficiaries would get paid for choosing less costly treatment. He has published in leading field journals such as Health Economics, Medical Care, Journal of Risk and Insurance, Southern Economic Journal, Quality and Safety in Healthcare, and the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.  Dr. Helmchen serves on the quantitative team of the CareFirst evaluation.

MargaretRodanMargaret Rodan

Research Associate Professor

Dr. Margie Rodan is an Associate Professor and Assistant Dean for the Master’s Division in the School of Nursing at George Mason University. She lectures on a variety of public health topics in community oriented primary care and evidence based practice. Currently, Dr. Rodan is a health researcher conducting an independent program evaluation of the Patient Centered Medical Home (PCMH) using qualitative and quantitative methods to measure quality of care, patient outcomes and healthcare cost. Dr. Rodan has designed online education, simulation and eHR strategies for practice providers to incorporate practice guidelines and motivational interviewing blending behavior change and primary care. Previously, Dr. Rodan was a Research Director at Georgetown studying health disparities and outcomes in prenatal care. Through a randomized controlled trial, protocols addressed barriers to care, system innovations and community supports. Dr. Rodan supported the early development of a practice based research networks. Dr. Rodan holds a Doctor of Science degree in public health from the Harvard School of Public Health with concentrations in maternal child health, biostatistics and research methods. Dr. Rodan is a grant writer, consultant and program evaluator for many public health programs in a variety of medically underserved settings. Her publications have addressed psychosocial risks including care coordination, depression, smoking, intimate partner violence, alcohol risk drinking, dietary quality and teen pregnancy.

JayWantJay Want, MD

Jay Want, MD, is the owner and principal of Want Healthcare LLC.  He consults for a wide variety of clients, including the Network for Regional Healthcare Improvement, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.  He is also the Chief Medical Officer for the nonprofit Center for Improving Value in Health Care (CIVHC), a public-private partnership purposed to catalyze health care reform in Colorado.  He serves on the board of the non-profit Rocky Mountain Health Plan, based in Grand Junction, Colorado.  In January 2012, he was appointed an Innovation Advisor for the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation with the initial cohort of the program.

He recently served as founding chairman of the board of CIVHC.  For eight years he was President and Chief Executive Officer of a management services organization that is now part of the MSSP ACO program.  He has served on task forces for the Colorado Division of Insurance, the Colorado Trust, the Colorado Hospital Association, the Governor’s Blue Ribbon Commission on Health Care Reform, and as a fellow of the Colorado Health Foundation.  He also served as chairman of the Northwest Denver Care Transitions Steering Committee, a program that successfully lowered readmissions by 10% while improving care for Medicare beneficiaries over a two year period.

In 2009, he assisted Senator Michael Bennet in drafting the Care Transitions Act, ultimately included in the Accountable Care Act under Section 3026.  He has spoken nationally for the Brandeis Health Industry Forum, the Integrated Healthcare Association, AcademyHealth, and the American Medical Association.   He was the 2010 recipient of the John K. Iglehart award for leadership in health care from the Colorado Health Foundation.

Jay is board-certified in internal medicine, and was a primary care internist in private practice for ten years.  This gives him a unique understanding of the challenges that health care reform poses for practicing physicians.  He passionately believes that the current system is broken, and that physicians can and should lead the transformation to a more effective, efficient, and humane system for providers and patients alike.

He received his internal medicine training at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, and his medical degree from Northwestern University.  He is a member of the Alpha Omega Alpha medical honor society.  He grew up outside of Fort Wayne, Indiana, and graduated from Wabash College in Crawfordsville, Indiana, a very long time ago.

Jay is privileged to work with George Mason University’s Center for Health Policy Research and Ethics as an authority on clinical environments, incentives, and workflows.  He is thrilled to have the opportunity to participate in important health policy research with such a talented team.

CHPRE Organizational Affiliates

The College of Health and Human Services

The College of Health and Human Services – Academic Programs

The Department of Global and Community Health

The Department of Health Administration and Policy

The Department of Social Work

The Institute for Philosophy and Public Policy

The Office of Academic Outreach

The Philosophy Department

The School of Nursing

CHPRE History

The Center for Health Policy Research and Ethics has been operational for about twenty-five years. Originally known as the Center for Health Policy, it was founded by Dr. Hazel Johnson-Brown, who was a former chief of the Army Nurse Corps and Director of Walter Reed Army Institute of Nursing. Dr. Johnson Brown was succeeded by Dr. Mary Wakefield, who led the Center for six years, leaving to serve as Director of the Center for Rural Health at the University of North Dakota and as Associate Dean and Professor of Rural Health at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Science. Dr. Wakefield is currently the Administrator of the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). The Center for Health Policy merged with the Center for Ethics, which was headed by Dr. Mary Silva (ret.), to become the Center for Health Policy and Ethics. The affiliation of Dr. P.J. Maddox introduced the research component which ultimately changed CHPRE’s name to the Center for Health Policy Research and Ethics. Throughout the years, Dr. Mark Meiners was Director, followed by Prof. Tim Henderson, as Acting Director with Dr. Lisa Eckenwiler as the Director of Ethics. Dr. Len M. Nichols, joined CHPRE from the New America Foundation in March 2010, as its current Director. CHPRE has always been located on George Mason University’s main campus in Fairfax, Va.


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