About the Division

At The Ohio State University Department of Neurology Division of Health Services Research, we are committed to efforts to optimize the health outcomes and well-being of people with neurological symptoms and disease. Our research aims to better understand health and health care delivery and to develop, evaluate, and implement interventions to improve both health and societal outcomes. We have experience in a variety of research methods including complex analyses of secondary data, development and evaluation of decision support tools, qualitative data acquisition and analyses, and randomized health services research clinical trials.

Goals and highlights

What is health services research (HSR)? 

Traditional biomedical research aims to determine what causes disease and how can it be treated or prevented.1

Health services research asks:

  • How does health care fit into people's lives in the real world? 
  • How do social determinants of health come into play?
  • What delivery systems are required?
  • How can delivery systems be designed to meet the needs of patients and providers?
  • How can we select the best treatments for individual patients?  
  • How do we help patients identify and follow the right treatment path, given their values and preferences?

The art of delivering health care is complicated. Health services research produces data, evidence, and tools to make health care accessible, affordable, effective, equitable, patient-centered, and safe. HSR seeks to facilitate getting the right care to the right people at the right time.

Why HSR in neurology?

  • HSR methods can be applied to any subspecialty within neurology.2 
  • HSR questions entail collaboration across various disciplines including emergency medicine, intensive care, primary care, physical therapy, psychology, and geriatrics.
  • HSR researchers pursue careers in many settings including academia; professional organizations; health policy groups; clinical settings; hospital administration; for-profit companies; and international, federal, state, and local agencies.

Welcome from the Division Co-Directors

Housed within the Ohio State Department of Neurology and CATALYST – the Center for the Advancement of Team Science, Analytics, and Systems Thinking in Health Services and Implementation Science Research – the Health Services Research Division is co-directed by Dr. Kevin A. Kerber and Dr. James Burke and supported by Research and Project Managers, data analysts, PhD researchers, and other faculty.

Jim Burke, MD

Jim Burke, MD, MS

Dr. Jim Burke trained in Neurology and Vascular Neurology at the University of Michigan, completed health services research training through the Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars Program, and served on the faculty of UM before joining Ohio State to co-direct the HSR Neurology Division.  Dr. Burke has been continuously funded by the National Institutes of Health, and his research has focused on a variety of topics including individualized treatment decisions, understanding racial disparities in stroke outcomes, and exploring how patient preferences affect health outcomes. Dr. Burke applies advanced statistical methodology to optimize diagnostic and treatment decisions for individual patients.

Dr. Burke’s research has addressed a variety of topics, such as how to best target treatment to individual patients, evaluating the value of neurologic care, understanding how end-of-life preferences influence care, understanding how race disparities emerge after stroke, and evaluating population-level outcomes of varying treatment strategies.

Kevin Kerber, MD

Kevin Kerber, MD, MS

Dr. Kerber trained in neurology at the University of Michigan and neurotology at the University of California, Los Angeles. He completed a master’s degree in Health and Healthcare Research at UM.  He was on the faculty of UM before joining Ohio State to co-found the HSR Neurology. His grant funding, from the National Institutes of Health and Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, has included projects about the clinical epidemiology of dizziness, clinical decision rule development to identify stroke in acute dizziness presentations, health services randomized clinical trials to implement evidence-based care practices in routine care emergency departments, and the development and evaluation of patient-oriented behavioral interventions. He is particularly interested in the development and management of patient-focused resources.

Dr. Kerber currently is collaborating with Kaiser Permanente Southern California on an NIH-funded clinical trial of a provider- and patient-based implementation strategy to optimize management and outcomes for ED dizziness presentations. He has also evaluated payment policies and collaborated with other investigators across a variety of topics including stroke epidemiology, geographic variation in neurologists and neurologic care, and the value of neurologic care. Dr. Kerber serves as a Vice-Chair of Clinical Operations and the Director of the Neuro-otology program.

Centers and clinics

CATALYST

CATALYST is a research center within The Ohio State University College of Medicine focused on advancing transformational research in the delivery of health services across the continuum of care using a team science approach in a dedicated command center. As an innovative and independent center, CATALYST provides a well-recognized hub for health services and implementation science research efforts.

CATALYST has welcomed the Neurology Health Services Research Division into the center, giving the Division access to the world-class expertise and infrastructure available amongst the distinguished and seasoned CATALYST researchers, post-docs, managers, analysts, and affiliated faculty.

Visit the CATALYST website to learn more

Programs and services

Training in health services research at Ohio State

With Dr. Ann Scheck McAlearney and Dr. Dan Jonas, Dr. Burke co-leads an HSR training program. This program delivers master’s-level training in health services research methods as part of a project-focused curriculum in combination with focused mentorship to a cohort of clinician trainees.

Other resources at Ohio State to support health services research 

  • The Ohio State University Department of Biomedical Informatics
  • Behavioral Measurement Shared Resource (The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute)
  • Biobehavioral Outcomes Core (Ohio State's Center for Clinical and Translational Science; Research Institute at Nationwide Children's Hospital)
  • Biostatistics Shared Resource (Ohio State’s Comprehensive Cancer Center – James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute and CCTS)
  • Ohio Supercomputer
This is about culture and system change, and the biggest thing we can do is to take it one conversation and one trainee at a time ... every idea, every discussion, and every trainee who takes part — these are the pieces to help us get there.” Dr. James Burke Co-Director of the Division of Health Services Research

Our Team

Research and clinical trials

Our funding portfolio consists of federally funded grants and foundation grants.

  • 5 R01 DC012760-10: DIZZiness Treatment through ImplementatioN & Clinical strategy Tactics (DIZZTINCT-2); 09/2020-08/2025. 
  • 5 RF1 AG068410-04: The Effect of Vascular Risk Factors on Risk of Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias after Stroke (STROKE COG); 09/2020-08/2024. 
  • 5 R01 AG059733-05: Understanding Implications of End-of-life Preferences to Optimize Advanced Care Planning Among Older Americans; 07/2018-06/2023.

Join us

We are deeply committed to mentoring, particularly ensuring a vibrant research environment aligned with our mentees’ goals.

Health Services Research is multidisciplinary research that draws on the expertise of neurologists, economists, biostatisticians, epidemiologists, sociologists data scientists, and a variety of disciplines. We welcome candidates from diverse training and experiential backgrounds.

If you are interested in learning more about training or faculty position opportunities, contact Jamie Turner at jamie.turner@osumc.edu.

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2 Dahodwala N, Meyer AC. Emerging subspecialties in neurology: health services research. Neurology. 2010 Mar 9;74(10):e37-9. doi: 10.1212/WNL.0b013e3181d31e6f. PMID: 20211903; PMCID: PMC2839192

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