Dr. Elizabeth Calhoun Appointed Executive Director of the New Center for Population Science and Discovery at the Arizona Health Sciences Center

Friday, September 5, 2014

Elizabeth Calhoun, PhD, MEdElizabeth Calhoun, PhD, MEd, a nationally recognized leader in minority health and health disparities research, with a special focus on breast cancer disparities, has been appointed associate vice president for population health sciences and executive director of the new Center for Population Science and Discovery at the Arizona Health Sciences Center at the University of Arizona.

Dr. Calhoun also has been appointed professor in the Division of Community, Environment and Policy of the UA Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health, with a joint appointment in the Department of Surgery at the UA College of Medicine – Tucson.

Dr. Calhoun, who joined the UA Aug. 18, reports to Joe G.N. “Skip” Garcia, MD, UA senior vice president for health sciences and interim dean of the UA College of Medicine – Tucson.

“We are excited to welcome Dr. Calhoun to the UA to lead the development of the new Center for Population Science and Discovery,” said Dr. Garcia. “The establishment of this center is in response to the recommendations of the faculty-led AHSC Population Health/Health Outcomes Advisory Council and the opportunity to further leverage our established strengths in population health and health outcomes, health-care policy and health disparities research.”

Dr. Garcia added, “Dr. Calhoun has an outstanding track record as an exceptional program builder and champion of health services research with expertise in health disparities. She will develop the center as a valuable resource for Arizona and the nation and as a pipeline for developing health-care professionals and researchers interested in solving health disparities. We expect the center to be a clearing house for practical solutions that improve population health and promote health equity throughout Arizona and the greater Southwest.”

Iman Hakim, MD, PhD, MPH, dean and professor, UA Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health, said, “I am delighted to have Dr. Calhoun join our college. Her expertise in health disparities research and population health aligns perfectly with the mission and goals of the college. I look forward to the tremendous benefits she will bring to our faculty, students and community.”

“It is my great pleasure to join the University of Arizona to lead the charge of improving health across all populations in Arizona. It is exciting to be part of a world-class institution with a strong commitment to population health,” said Dr. Calhoun.

Dr. Calhoun will lead the new Center for Population Science and Discovery, building on AHSC’s collaborative and translational research and clinical strengths in these areas. The center will develop practical solutions to improve health outcomes, enhance access to quality health care, reduce health inequities, assess cost effectiveness and improve accountability across health-care delivery systems. The center will serve as a timely, trusted data and policy resource for health-care systems, the public and policy makers.

About Dr. Calhoun

Prior to joining the UA, Dr. Calhoun was a professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago, where she established and directed the Center of Excellence in Eliminating Health Disparities and co-directed the Center for Population Health and Health Disparities. She also was professor of health policy and administration in the UIC School of Public Health.  Dr. Calhoun most recently has been leading the effort to certify navigators and enrollment specialists who are working toward getting the uninsured population of Illinois into health insurance and other public benefits available through the Affordable Care Act.  Prior to joining UIC, she was an assistant professor with the Institute of Health Services Research and Policy Studies, Department of Urology, and Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago. In addition, she was an adjunct professor in the Master’s in Health Services Management Program at the American Schools of Professional Psychology in Chicago and held executive positions with Columbia/HCA.

Dr. Calhoun’s research interests include health disparities and community health, including cancer health disparities and prevention and cancer patient navigation. She has been the principal investigator for several large federally funded projects, including two National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities studies of Comparative Effectiveness Research for Eliminating Disparities, the National Cancer Institute-sponsored Chicago Cancer Navigation Project and a U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study of racial and ethnic approaches to community health.

Dr. Calhoun serves as an invited reviewer on the editorial boards of the Annals of Internal Medicine, Medical Care, Gynecologic Oncology, Journal of General Internal Medicine, Journal of Urology, Health Promotion and Practice, Women and Health, Preventive Medicine and Quality of Life Research.

She has been an invited speaker at many national conferences and has been a grant reviewer for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Population Affairs, National Cancer Institute and National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities.

Dr. Calhoun is author of more than 80 peer-reviewed articles in scientific journals covering the impact of patient-navigation programs, health and environmental disparities in disadvantaged neighborhoods, and women’s and men’s cancers. She also is author or co-author of several book chapters.

Dr. Calhoun received her Bachelor of Science in economics and management and psychology from Chatham College in Pittsburgh, Pa., in 1987; her Master of Education in rehabilitation counseling from the University of Pittsburgh in 1990; and her doctorate in health administration from the University of South Carolina in Columbia in 1995.