Seattle to host premier health services research meeting

Thousands of national health care and policy experts will attend the 2018 AcademyHealth Annual Research Meeting. Submit abstracts by January 11.

2017 ARM attendees navigate the halls and chat with other attendees on their way to the next session | Photo Courtesy of AcademyHealth

On June 24–26, 2018, Seattle will be the nexus of cutting-edge research in health, health care, and policy. More than 2,500 experts will gather at the Washington State Convention Center, less than a 10-minute walk from Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute (KPWHRI). They’ll spend three days sharing ideas, new methods, and recent results in health services studies that are happening right now in the United States.

The occasion is the 2018 Annual Research Meeting (ARM18) of AcademyHealth, a national nonpartisan, nonprofit health services and policy research organization. The ARM cycles among six cities, and Seattle’s turn is next year. Attendees interested in presenting a poster or talk have until January 11, 2018 to submit an abstract.

Representing regional strengths

The ARM18 planning committee is chaired by Eric B. Larson, MD, MPH, vice president, research and health care innovation, Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of Washington, and KPWHRI executive director. These two positions and his own health services research give Dr. Larson unique strengths for planning the next ARM. “AcademyHealth is honored and I am personally excited that Eric Larson agreed to chair the ARM planning committee,” says AcademyHealth President and CEO Lisa Simpson, MB, BCh, FAAP. “We’re encouraging our members to collaborate with health care systems and Eric’s leadership and work sets an excellent example.”

Dr. Larson says the region is well represented. The planning committee includes Diana Buist, PhD, MPH, KPWHRI senior investigator and director of research and strategic partnerships; Janice Tufte, Hassanah Consulting, a patient partner on a KPWHRI project; and from the University of Washington Department of Health Services, Chair Jeffrey Harris, MD, MPH, MBA, and Professor Bryan Weiner, PhD.

Also on the committee is Executive Director of the Health Care Systems Research Network (HCSRN) Sarah Greene, MPH. “ARM 2018 is the meeting for anyone and everyone who wants to improve health care practice through research,” she says. “We’re featuring sessions on improving health care quality and value, health equity, patient-centered research, behavioral health, and translating results, to name a few. I encourage everyone in the HCSRN to submit their work and attend if they can.”

ARM18 answers from the planners

Drs. Buist and Larson recently talked with Chris Tachibana, KPWHRI science editor, about why researchers should attend ARM18 and what they should expect.

CT: What can attendees look forward to at ARM18?

Dr. Larson: This is the premier meeting for U.S. health services research. For 2018, we’ve got a great lineup of topics including pragmatic clinical trials, big data analytics, and learning health systems.

We’re encouraging people, especially at KPWHRI, to attend and submit an abstract by the January 11 deadline to present at the meeting. It’s a chance to meet face-to-face with collaborators across the country that maybe we usually just talk with on the phone.

Dr. Buist: ARM18 is the place to go and get your health services work out there and to network. We’ll also offer educational opportunities, similar to continuing medical education for physicians, but for researchers to build their skill sets. People will present about new methods and lead active discussions about them. It’s also a great place to recruit students, postdocs, and new faculty members.

CT: Many researchers will be attending the HCSRN meeting in Minneapolis in April 2018. Will the meeting content overlap?

Dr. Buist: ARM18 is complementary to HCSRN. Attendees of the HCSRN meetings are often collaborators and most of us work at research institutes associated with health systems. AcademyHealth ARM is bigger and more diverse. It has more people from universities, health care think tanks, and health policy research centers, like researchers who evaluate major policy initiatives such as Medicaid expansion. ARM18 is an opportunity to spread the word on the types of projects we’re doing at KPWHRI and in the HCSRN.

ARM18 will be a very large meeting with massive poster sessions. You’ll want to prepare by reading ahead and figuring out what you want to attend and who you want to connect with.

CT: Any other words of advice about ARM18?

Dr. Larson: It’s going to be a lively meeting. Expect to see old friends and meet new people. We’re planning lots of time for discussions and networking.

Dr. Buist: Submit an abstract and attend. It’s a great way to highlight your work to a national audience.