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Q & A with Steering Committee Members of this New SIG






What is the goal of the Public Health/Health Care Delivery SIG?

SIG Chair Jayant Talwalkar MD, MPH: We’d like to bring together AASLD members who are interested in health services research and practice, including disease prevention and public health, access to care, population-based disease management, improving quality of health care delivery, health economics, and health policy.

Steering Committee member Fasiha Kanwal MD, MSHS: We want to cultivate professional relationships between members with shared interests in the above topics. We also want to maintain a program for the education of fellows and members on clinical aspects of population management and quality improvement, as well as health services research methods.

Steering Committee member Michael Volk, MD: Another goal is to establish a point of contact within the AASLD for partnerships with other organizations on health services topics of mutual interest. Examples include collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control on public health initiatives in liver disease, or partnership with the American Gastroenterological Association to promote liver disease quality measures via CMS/PQRS.

How did the idea of having a new SIG come about?

Dr. Volk: Several members with shared interests have always discussed that we didn’t really have a "home" within AASLD, so we joined together to form this new SIG.

What is happening with this SIG right now?

Dr. Talwalkar: Our main focus areas right now are Research Methodology and Quality Improvement. We will form a Research Methodology working group composed of at least one steering committee member and other AASLD members. This group will be responsible for developing educational programming, facilitating networking of members with shared interests, and posting resources on the SIG website such as ICD algorithms, statistical code, lists of relevant databases, survey questionnaires, and recommendations for standardization of methods in health services research.

We will also form a Quality Improvement working group composed of at least one steering committee member and other AASLD members. This group will be responsible for developing educational programming and posting resources on the website (e.g. a "how to" guide for members to meet the QI component of ABIM MOC). Importantly, this group can also interface with the American Gastroenterology Association and serve as AASLD representation to develop and validate performance metrics for cirrhosis.

What differentiates this SIG from other AASLD SIGs?

Steering Committee member Amit Singal MD: Some SIGs focus only on research, while others focus on policy/practice. We seek to bridge clinical research with practice improvement and public health.

Who should join?

Dr. Kanwal: Anyone interested in health services research, public health, or quality improvement in liver disease.

SIG participation is a valuable part of your AASLD member benefits and members can belong to more than one SIG. Interested in getting in on the ground floor of the new Public Health/Health Care Delivery SIG? JOIN TODAY.