Wright named 2016 recipient of the Thompson Prize for Young Investigators

A portrait of Brad Wright of the University of Iowa College of Public Health.In recognition of his significant contributions to research literature in the field of health services, Brad Wright, assistant professor in the Department of Health Management and Policy, has been selected as the recipient of the 2016 John D. Thompson Prize for Young Investigators. The prize will be presented during the Association of University Programs in Health Administration (AUPHA) Annual Meeting Award Luncheon on Friday, June 24, 2016, in Kansas City, Mo.

The prize was established to honor John D. Thompson, a professor of health administration, who set high standards in teaching, commitment to learning, collegial relationships, and health services research. It is awarded to faculty from AUPHA members programs whose work, which may be in any of the several fields of disciplines, contributes to knowledge in health services.

Wright was nominated by Jonathan Oberlander, professor and chair of social medicine and professor of health policy and management at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. Oberlander remarked, “His career has gotten off to a tremendous start thanks to his hard work and strong research and publication skills, and he has already made important contributions to the field, yet I firmly believe the best is yet to come.”

Wright earned an MS in health policy from George Washington University before entering the PhD program in health policy and management (with a concentration in health politics and policy) at the University of North Carolina School of Public Health. After receiving his PhD from UNC-Chapel Hill in 2011, Wright went to Brown University as a postdoctoral fellow in health services research at the Center for Gerontology and Health Care Research under the mentorship of Dr. Vince Mohr. In 2012, Wright joined the faculty at the University of Iowa.

According to Oberlander, “Brad’s research to date has focused on underserved populations and their access to medical care, Medicare and Medicaid, and community health centers, which he studied for his dissertation. Brad’s work on community health centers is an exciting, innovative, theoretically rich, and methodologically sophisticated project that speaks to important issues in health policy and organizational theory.”

“I am truly honored to be the 2016 recipient of AUPHA’s John D. Thompson Prize for Young Investigators,” Wright said of the award. “The field of health services research is perhaps more important today than it has ever been, and the work we do to inform policy and practice is instrumental to ensuring access to affordable, high quality care for everyone.”

Wright honored with James N. Murray Award

Brad Wright, assistant professor of health management and policy, was named the 2016 recipient of the James N. Murray Award.

The award honors the late professor and chair of the University of Iowa Department of Political Science by celebrating his interaction with undergraduate students. The Murray Award honors a tenure-track faculty member who has not yet received tenure, and its recipients demonstrate outstanding rapport with students and create an exemplary classroom atmosphere.

Wright received the award at the 99th Anniversary Finkbine Dinner held April 12 at the Iowa Memorial Union.

Brad Wright receives the 2016 Murray Faculty Award
Brad Wright receiving the 2016 Murray Faculty Award

Wright named AcademyHealth Presidential Scholarship recipient

A portrait of Brad Wright of the University of Iowa College of Public Health.
Brad Wright

Brad Wright, assistant professor of health management and policy, was named one of five recipients of the Presidential Scholarship for the AcademyHealth Institute on Advocacy and Public Policy. This award provided complimentary registration and funding to attend the 2015 National Health Policy Conference (NHPC) held Feb. 9-10 in Washington, D.C.

“The day before the conference, the Presidential Scholars participated in a public policy boot camp,” says Wright. “Then the day after the conference, we engaged in advocacy training in support of science policy and funding for health services research, before heading to the Hill to meet with staffers from Sen. Ernst’s office, Rep. Loebsack’s office, and Sen. Grassley’s office. In fact, I got to meet Sen. Grassley and talk to him about the research I’m conducting here at the UI College of Public Health. It was a tremendous opportunity.”

Iowa research highlights challenges for safety net providers

A portrait of Brad Wright of the University of Iowa College of Public Health.
Brad Wright

Community health care centers and rural health clinics face resource constraints that may limit their ability to respond to the opportunities and challenges of the Affordable Care Act, according to a recent study published by the University of Iowa Public Policy Center and College of Public Health.

About 25 million individuals are expected to gain insurance coverage over the next five years through the Affordable Care Act (ACA). At the same time, as many as 31 million individuals will remain uninsured.

“The implementation of the ACA and the corresponding expansion of insurance coverage will result in an increased demand for primary care services,” says the study’s lead author Brad Wright, assistant professor of health management and policy at the University of Iowa. “Safety net providers will be called upon to provide a significant amount of care to help meet this demand, in addition to continuing to care for those who remain uninsured. Whether they will have the capacity to do so is unknown.”

Data show both community health care centers and rural health clinics are not fully staffed, have difficulty recruiting professionals to fill vacant positions, and report challenges referring patients for specialty care.

The study, funded by The Commonwealth Fund, indicates the need for safety net providers is only going to increase, and their ability to meet the increased demand for primary care services – while continuing to serve the uninsured – will be critical for access to care for vulnerable populations.  The full policy brief is available here.