Acclaimed scientist recruited to develop next-generation health surveys to quantify outcomes

October 20, 2009

WORCESTER, Mass. – John E. Ware, Jr., PhD, an international leader in the field of health outcomes assessment, has joined the University of Massachusetts Medical School as professor and chief of Outcomes Measurement Science in the department of Quantitative Health Sciences (QHS). In his new role, Dr. Ware will collaborate with clinical scientists to develop standardized health surveys and technologies for the evaluation of disease burden and treatment effectiveness in population-based studies and in healthcare at-large.

“Dr. Ware will join in our mission to advance the understanding and application of patient-reported outcomes,” said Catarina I. Kiefe, MD, PhD, chair of QHS. “His team will be instrumental in the development of next-generation health assessment tools and application technologies that can be used to correlate outcomes with cost.”

Used in a wide variety of settings, patient-reported outcome (PRO) surveys provide quantitative information regarding the physical and mental well-being of patients and populations. As healthcare professionals search for methods and measures to interpret outcomes, the Division of Outcomes Measurement Science will be enhancing and standardizing these metrics. “Similar to how thermometers were standardized hundreds of years ago, outcomes metrics can provide a measurement scale for population survey results while studies of new treatments and patient health assessments in everyday medical care can be compared and interpreted,” said Ware.

Ware comes to UMass Medical School from QualityMetric Incorporated, which he founded in 1997 to expand the application and utility of health survey tools. During his 12-year tenure at QualityMetric, he served as CEO, chairman of the board and chief science officer. Under his direction, QualityMetric developed enhanced versions of various health and disease-specific outcomes survey instruments and improved technologies for survey administration and data reporting.

Prior to establishing QualityMetric, Ware served for 12 years as Senior Scientist at The Health Institute, New England Medical Center (NEMC), Boston, where he was principal investigator for the Medical Outcomes Study (MOS). During this time, he created the SF-36® Health Survey and other tools which are now widely used to document disease burden and treatment effectiveness across therapeutic areas. Since then, Ware’s novel work has had a substantial impact on the field of quality-of- life research, leading to the 2003 President's Award from the International Society of Quality of Life Research.

“I’m gratified to be joining an institution with an outstanding reputation for forward-thinking research,” said Ware. “In collaboration with UMass Medical School’s clinical scientists, we will be developing internet-based survey methodologies to assess the efficacy of clinical research and to offer healthcare the advantage of practical, consumer-focused health surveys.”

Ware is one of the most widely cited outcomes researchers and has published more than 400 peer-reviewed articles, receiving the “2003 Outstanding Article of the Year” Award from the International Society for Quality of Life Research. Prior to moving to Boston, Ware was senior research psychologist for 14 years at the RAND Corporation, where he developed health status measures for children and adults used in the Health Insurance Experiment conducted in the early 1990’s. Ware was among the first to apply new measurement methods to generic and disease-specific surveys, which cross-calibrate scores so results from different survey instruments could be compared. In 1996, he was elected into the Institute of Medicine, National Academy of Sciences.

His other awards and honors include Pepperdine University's 25th Annual Dolores Award to the outstanding graduate in psychology and education, Academy Health’s 1994 Distinguished Investigator Award for “significant and long-lasting contributions to the field of health services research,” the 1998 Novartis/Zitter Group Outcomes Leadership Award for advancing the science of outcomes research, and the 1999 Foundation for Accountability (FACCT) Ellwood Award, presented in recognition of his lifetime efforts to create “a consumer-focused, accountable healthcare system.” Ware was also the first recipient of the ISPOR Avedis Donabedian Outcomes Research Lifetime Achievement Award in 2002. He graduated from Pepperdine University with a PhD in psychology.

The Department of Quantitative Health Sciences fosters collaboration among existing clinical and basic science entities with the goal of shortening the time between laboratory breakthroughs and clinical and population health applications. Integral to UMass Medical School's research vision, the establishment of the QHS department aligns with a recently identified priority of the National Institutes of Health. The Department will serve a key function in providing methodological support and medical informatics expertise to collaborative projects across the medical school.

About the University of Massachusetts Medical School
The University of Massachusetts Medical School, one of the fastest growing academic health centers in the country, has built a reputation as a world-class research institution, consistently producing noteworthy advances in clinical and basic research. The Medical School attracts more than $200 million in research funding annually, 80 percent of which comes from federal funding sources. The work of UMMS researcher Craig Mello, PhD, an investigator of the prestigious Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI), and his colleague Andrew Fire, PhD, then of the Carnegie Institution of Washington, toward the discovery of RNA interference was awarded the 2006 Nobel Prize in Medicine and has spawned a new and promising field of research, the global impact of which may prove astounding. UMMS is the academic partner of UMass Memorial Health Care, the largest health care provider in Central Massachusetts. For more information, visit