Laura A. Petersen, M.D., M.P.H. (VA Liaison)
Laura A. Petersen, M.D., M.P.H. is a Professor of Medicine, a Board certified internist, and Chief of the Section of Health Services Research at Baylor College of Medicine. She is the Director of the Houston Center for Quality of Care and Utilization Studies, one of the nation’s 13 health services research and development centers of excellence funded by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). This center grant was recently competitively renewed for a five year period.
Dr. Petersen completed her residency, fellowship, and public health training at Harvard University. She then spent five years on the faculty at Harvard Medical School and the VA in Boston, Massachusetts, prior to moving to Baylor College of Medicine in Houston in 1998. She is a graduate of the VA Health Services Research Career Development Award Program and was a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Generalist Physician Faculty Scholar. Dr. Petersen’s research interests focus upon the effects of health care policy and organization on the quality and safety of health care. For example, she published a systematic review of the scientific literature on pay for performance in the Annals of Internal Medicine. The review was excerpted as an appendix in the Institute of Medicine report, Rewarding Provider Performance. Her work was also highlighted in the Rice University/Baylor College of Medicine Health Policy Research Briefs and by the international SUPPORT collaboration. She is the principal investigator of a NIH RO1, a VA Merit Award (Investigator Initiated Research), a project award from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and an American Heart Association Established Investigator Award. She is carrying out a randomized controlled trial of the use of financial incentives to improve the quality hypertension care in the primary care setting. In recognition of her work, Dr. Petersen was named the Society of General Internal Medicine Outstanding Junior Investigator of the Year and received the American Heart Association Established Investigator Award.
Dr. Petersen has served in national leadership roles in the Society of General Internal Medicine Research Committee and the Executive Committee of the VA Ischemic Heart Disease Quality Enhancement Research Initiative (QUERI). She was recently appointed to the VA Quality and Safety Advisory Committee. The committee will create a blueprint for quality and safety assessment in the VA health care system, the largest integrated health care system in the U.S.