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May 6, 2014

Under Secretary's Award in Health Services Research to Timothy J. Wilt, M.D., M.P.H.

The Under Secretary's Award for Outstanding Achievement in Health Services Research is the highest honor for VA health services researchers. Selected by a peer-review group, the awardee is an investigator who has significantly enhanced the understanding of factors affecting the health of America's Veterans, or conducted research that has led to a major improvement in the quality of Veterans' health care; inspired a new generation of investigators; and enhanced the visibility and reputation of VA research through national leadership in the research community.

Timothy J. Wilt, M.D., M.P.H. Timothy J. Wilt, M.D., M.P.H.
Director, Minneapolis VA-Evidence Synthesis Program,, and Core Investigator, Center for Chronic Disease Outcomes Research, Minneapolis VA Health Care System

Dr. Timothy Wilt is widely known for a keen ability to analyze, distill, and generate research evidence that provides needed clarity for health care decision-making. For example, his research team for the Prostate Cancer Intervention vs. Observation Trial (PIVOT) showed watchful waiting to be as effective as radical surgery for men with early stage prostate cancer. Funded by VA's Cooperative Studies Program, PIVOT is the largest clinical trial to date to compare both approaches, and has provided millions of Veterans and the male population at large with important evidence to support informed treatment choices. Similarly, Dr. Wilt led a team of experts in developing breast cancer screening recommendations that more carefully balance benefits against harms. Because of this work, an average-risk woman can now expect to substantially reduce diagnostic- and treatment-related harms while maintaining health benefits by delaying her first mammogram to age 50 rather than age 40.

Dr. Wilt also identified high-value diagnostic and treatment approaches for those with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; established a more targeted role for antiviral therapy in individuals with chronic Hepatitis B infection; and determined there was insufficient evidence to support routine screening for delirium in hospitalized Veterans.

To learn more about Dr. Wilt and his work:

Wilt: " VA has provided me with numerous opportunities to improve the lives of Veterans through a collaborative combination of intellectually challenging and enjoyable primary clinical care, teaching, research and health policy work. Lessons learned from day-to-day encounters with Veterans generate key clinical questions that lend themselves to answers derived from relevant multidisciplinary and multimethod health services research in order to identify, communicate and implement high-value health care particularly in the areas of prevention, detection and treatment of chronic diseases in older adults."

To learn more about the Under Secretary's Award, or for a list of previous recipients, see www.hsrd.research.va.gov/for_researchers/awards/under_secretary/awardees


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