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Department of Population Health Sciences

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Department Chair :
H. Lester Kirchner, PhD :
570-214-8688

The Department of Population Health Sciences works to discover novel ways to prevent disease and promote health, with a focus on the health conditions that most impact Geisinger patients, health plan members, and communities. We conduct innovative research to understand the risk factors of the disease and develop strategies to improve healthcare delivery. Our interdisciplinary faculty study a range of health conditions, collaborating with Geisinger clinicians and community partners and leveraging extensive data resources, including longitudinal electronic health records and insurance claims, geocoded data on the social and physical environment of communities, and genotyped and whole-exome sequencing data.

Core focus areas include:

  • Epidemiology: Examining the extent and distribution of the health conditions that most impact our patients and communities and identifying the factors that put populations at risk for disease
  • Biostatistics: Applying advanced quantitative analysis to observational data to draw valid conclusions from research studies, application of machine learning for the development of predictive models, and linking health and genomic data to understand the genetic architecture of complex diseases
  • Health and behavioral outcomes research: Detecting, preventing and controlling chronic conditions through the study of health-related behaviors, healthcare practices and health-related quality of life
  • Environmental health: Evaluating how the surrounding built, natural and social environment impacts health and enables or constrains the influence of healthcare
  • Health economics: Conducting comparative effectiveness research to identify the healthcare interventions that offer the greatest benefit at the lowest cost

Chair

H. Lester Kirchner, PhD

Faculty

Lisa Bailey-Davis, DEd, RD
Joseph Boscarino, PhD, MPH
Alexander Chang, MD, MS
Tullika Garg, MD, MPH
Jamie A Green, MD, MS
Jing Hao, PhD, MD
Annemarie G Hirsch, PhD, MPH
Yirui (Iris) Hu, PhD
Anne Justice, PhD
Sean O’Dell, PhD
Melissa N. Poulsen, PhD, MPH
Brian S. Schwartz, MD, MS
Erin Van Enkevort, PhD
Brent Williams, PhD

Staff scientists

Geetha Chittoor, PhD

 

Recent publications

Recent publications

Hirsch AGPoulsen MN, Nordberg C, Moon KA, Rebman A, Aucott J, Heaney CD, Schwartz BS. Risk factors and outcomes of treatment delays in Lyme disease: A population-based retrospective cohort study. Frontiers in Medicine, 2020 (in press). PMCID:  PMC6009554.

Hirsch AG, Carson AP, Lee NL, McAlexander T, Mercado C, Siegel K, Black NC, Elbel B, Long DL, Lopez P, McClure LA, Poulsen MNSchwartz BS, Thorpe LE. The Diabetes Location, Environmental Attributes, and Disparities Network: Protocol for Nested Case Control and Cohort Studies, Rationale, and Baseline Characteristics. JMIR Res Protoc, 2020; 9(10): e21377. doi: 10.2196/21377.

Lisa Bailey-Davis, G. Craig Wood, Adam Cook, Krystal Cunningham, Scott Jamieson, Jacob Mowery, Allison Naylor , David D. Rolston, Christopher Seiler, Christopher D. Still. Communicating personalized risk of diabetes and offering weight reduction program choice: Recruitment, participation, and outcomes. doi: 10.1016/j.pec.2020.10.17.

Chang AR, Kramer H, Wei G, Boucher R, Grams ME, Berlowitz D, Bhatt U, Cohen DL, Drawz P, Punzi H, Freedman BI, Haley W, Hawfield A, Horwitz E, McLouth C, Morisky D, Papademetriou V, Rocco MV, Wall B, Weiner DE, Zias A, Beddhu S; SPRINT Research Group. Effects of Intensive Blood Pressure Control in Patients with and without Albuminuria: Post Hoc Analyses from SPRINT. Clin J Am Soc Nephrol. 2020 Aug 7;15(8):1121-1128. doi: 10.2215/CJN.12371019. Epub 2020 Jul 15. PMID: 32669306.

This article selected as “Best of the American Society of Nephrology Journals” session for the ASN Kidney Week 2020

Shin JI, Sang Y, Chang AR, Dunning SC, Coresh J, Inker LA, Selvin E, Ballew SH, Grams ME. The FDA Metformin Label Change and Racial and Sex Disparities in Metformin Prescription among Patients with CKD. J Am Soc Nephrol. 2020 Aug;31(8):1847-1858. doi: 10.1681/ASN.2019101119. Epub 2020 Jul 13. PMID: 32660971.

Sumida K, Nadkarni GN, Grams ME, Sang Y, Ballew SH, Coresh J, Matsushita K, Surapaneni A, Brunskill N, Chadban SJ, Chang AR, Cirillo M, Daratha KB, Gansevoort RT, Garg AX, Iacoviello L, Kayama T, Konta T, Kovesdy CP, Lash J, Lee BJ, Major RW, Metzger M, Miura K, Naimark DMJ, Nelson RG, Sawhney S, Stempniewicz N, Tang M, Townsend RR, Traynor JP, Valdivielso JM, Wetzels J, Polkinghorne KR, Heerspink HJL. Conversion of Urine Protein-Creatinine Ratio or Urine Dipstick Protein to Urine Albumin-Creatinine Ratio for Use in Chronic Kidney Disease Screening and Prognosis: An Individual Participant-Based Meta- analysis. Ann Intern Med. 2020 Jul 14. doi: 10.7326/M20-0529. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 32658569.

Qiao Y, Shin JI, Chen TK, Inker LA, Coresh J, Alexander GC, Jackson JW, Chang AR, Grams ME. Association Between Renin-Angiotensin System Blockade Discontinuation and All-Cause Mortality Among Persons With Low Estimated Glomerular Filtration Rate. JAMA Intern Med. 2020 May 1;180(5):718-726. doi: 10.1001/jamainternmed.2020.0193. PMID: 32150237; PMCID: PMC7063544.

Titan SM, Laureati P, Sang Y, Chang AR, Evans M, Trevisan M, Levey AS, Grams ME, Inker LA, Carrero JJ. Bisphosphonate utilization across the spectrum of eGFR. Arch Osteoporos. 2020 May 9;15(1):69. doi: 10.1007/s11657-020-0702-2. PMID: 32385586.

Juraschek SP, Kovell LC, Appel LJ, Miller ER 3rd, Sacks FM, Christenson RH, Rebuck H, Chang AR, Mukamal KJ. Associations Between Dietary Patterns and Subclinical Cardiac Injury: An Observational Analysis From the DASH Trial. Ann Intern Med. 2020 Jun 16;172(12):786-794. doi: 10.7326/M20-0336. Epub 2020 May 19. PMID: 32423348; PMCID: PMC7388686.

Juraschek SP, Miller ER 3rd, Chang AR, Anderson CAM, Hall JE, Appel LJ. Effects of Sodium Reduction on Energy, Metabolism, Weight, Thirst, and Urine Volume: Results From the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension)-Sodium Trial. Hypertension. 2020 Mar;75(3):723-729. doi: 10.1161/HYPERTENSIONAHA.119.13932. Epub 2020 Jan 20. PMID: 31957521; PMCID: PMC7278848

Garg T, McMullen CK, Leo MC, O'Keeffe-Rosetti MC, Weinmann S, Nielsen ME. Predicting risk of multiple levels of recurrence and progression after initial diagnosis of nonmuscle-invasive bladder cancer in a multisite, community-based cohort. Cancer. 2020 Nov 4. doi: 10.1002/cncr.33300. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 33146913.


 

Full publications

Publications 2020

Hirsch AGPoulsen MN, Nordberg C, Moon KA, Rebman A, Aucott J, Heaney CD, Schwartz BS. Risk factors and outcomes of treatment delays in Lyme disease: A population-based retrospective cohort study. Frontiers in Medicine, 2020 (in press). PMCID:  PMC6009554.

Hirsch AG, Carson AP, Lee NL, McAlexander T, Mercado C, Siegel K, Black NC, Elbel B, Long DL, Lopez P, McClure LA, Poulsen MNSchwartz BS, Thorpe LE. The Diabetes Location, Environmental Attributes, and Disparities Network: Protocol for Nested Case Control and Cohort Studies, Rationale, and Baseline Characteristics. JMIR Res Protoc, 2020; 9(10): e21377. doi: 10.2196/21377.

Lisa Bailey-Davis, G. Craig Wood, Adam Cook, Krystal Cunningham, Scott Jamieson, Jacob Mowery, Allison Naylor , David D. Rolston, Christopher Seiler, Christopher D. Still. Communicating personalized risk of diabetes and offering weight reduction program choice: Recruitment, participation, and outcomes. doi: 10.1016/j.pec.2020.10.17.

Chang AR, Kramer H, Wei G, Boucher R, Grams ME, Berlowitz D, Bhatt U, Cohen DL, Drawz P, Punzi H, Freedman BI, Haley W, Hawfield A, Horwitz E, McLouth C, Morisky D, Papademetriou V, Rocco MV, Wall B, Weiner DE, Zias A, Beddhu S; SPRINT Research Group. Effects of Intensive Blood Pressure Control in Patients with and without Albuminuria: Post Hoc Analyses from SPRINT. Clin J Am Soc Nephrol. 2020 Aug 7;15(8):1121-1128. doi: 10.2215/CJN.12371019. Epub 2020 Jul 15. PMID: 32669306.

This article selected as “Best of the American Society of Nephrology Journals” session for the ASN Kidney Week 2020

Shin JI, Sang Y, Chang AR, Dunning SC, Coresh J, Inker LA, Selvin E, Ballew SH, Grams ME. The FDA Metformin Label Change and Racial and Sex Disparities in Metformin Prescription among Patients with CKD. J Am Soc Nephrol. 2020 Aug;31(8):1847-1858. doi: 10.1681/ASN.2019101119. Epub 2020 Jul 13. PMID: 32660971.

Sumida K, Nadkarni GN, Grams ME, Sang Y, Ballew SH, Coresh J, Matsushita K, Surapaneni A, Brunskill N, Chadban SJ, Chang AR, Cirillo M, Daratha KB, Gansevoort RT, Garg AX, Iacoviello L, Kayama T, Konta T, Kovesdy CP, Lash J, Lee BJ, Major RW, Metzger M, Miura K, Naimark DMJ, Nelson RG, Sawhney S, Stempniewicz N, Tang M, Townsend RR, Traynor JP, Valdivielso JM, Wetzels J, Polkinghorne KR, Heerspink HJL. Conversion of Urine Protein-Creatinine Ratio or Urine Dipstick Protein to Urine Albumin-Creatinine Ratio for Use in Chronic Kidney Disease Screening and Prognosis: An Individual Participant-Based Meta- analysis. Ann Intern Med. 2020 Jul 14. doi: 10.7326/M20-0529. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 32658569.

Qiao Y, Shin JI, Chen TK, Inker LA, Coresh J, Alexander GC, Jackson JW, Chang AR, Grams ME. Association Between Renin-Angiotensin System Blockade Discontinuation and All-Cause Mortality Among Persons With Low Estimated Glomerular Filtration Rate. JAMA Intern Med. 2020 May 1;180(5):718-726. doi: 10.1001/jamainternmed.2020.0193. PMID: 32150237; PMCID: PMC7063544.

Titan SM, Laureati P, Sang Y, Chang AR, Evans M, Trevisan M, Levey AS, Grams ME, Inker LA, Carrero JJ. Bisphosphonate utilization across the spectrum of eGFR. Arch Osteoporos. 2020 May 9;15(1):69. doi: 10.1007/s11657-020-0702-2. PMID: 32385586.

Juraschek SP, Kovell LC, Appel LJ, Miller ER 3rd, Sacks FM, Christenson RH, Rebuck H, Chang AR, Mukamal KJ. Associations Between Dietary Patterns and Subclinical Cardiac Injury: An Observational Analysis From the DASH Trial. Ann Intern Med. 2020 Jun 16;172(12):786-794. doi: 10.7326/M20-0336. Epub 2020 May 19. PMID: 32423348; PMCID: PMC7388686.

Juraschek SP, Miller ER 3rd, Chang AR, Anderson CAM, Hall JE, Appel LJ. Effects of Sodium Reduction on Energy, Metabolism, Weight, Thirst, and Urine Volume: Results From the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension)-Sodium Trial. Hypertension. 2020 Mar;75(3):723-729. doi: 10.1161/HYPERTENSIONAHA.119.13932. Epub 2020 Jan 20. PMID: 31957521; PMCID: PMC7278848

Garg T, McMullen CK, Leo MC, O'Keeffe-Rosetti MC, Weinmann S, Nielsen ME. Predicting risk of multiple levels of recurrence and progression after initial diagnosis of nonmuscle-invasive bladder cancer in a multisite, community-based cohort. Cancer. 2020 Nov 4. doi: 10.1002/cncr.33300. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 33146913.

B T Keenan, H Kirchner, O J Veatch, K M Borthwick, V A Davenport, M Gendy, F Pack, L Sirikulvadhana, B A Malow, T I Morgenthaler, P C Zee, J D Robishaw, S F Derose, A I Pack. Multi-Site Validation of a Simple EHR-based Algorithm for Obstructive Sleep Apnea. JCSM (in press) *co-lead authors

DOI: 10.5664/jcsm.8160


Publications 2019

Schmidlen T, Schwartz M, DiLoreto K, Kirchner HL, Sturm AC. Patient Assessment of Chatbots for the Scalable Delivery of Genetic Counseling. J Genet Couns (in press)

PMID: 31549758

Hirsch AG, Nordberg C, Bandeen-Roche K, Tan BK, Schleimer RP, Kern RC, Sundaresan A, Pinto JM, Kennedy TL, Greene SC, Kuiper JR, Schwartz BS. Radiologic sinus inflammation and symptoms of chronic rhinosinusitis in a population-based sample. Allergy. 2019. In press. 
PMID: 31713250

Hirsch AG, Nordberg C, Tan BK, Schleimer RP, Kern RC, Sundaresan AS, Pinto J, Kennedy TL, Greene S, Kuiper JR, Schwartz BS. Prevalence of sinus CT opacification in a population-based sample. Allergy 2019; in press.
DOI: 10.1111/all.14106

Carruth ED, Young W, Beer D, James CA, Calkins H, Jing L, Raghunath S, Hartzel DN, Leader JB, Kirchner HL, Smelser DT, Carey DJ, Kelly MA, Sturm AC, Alsaid A, Fornwalt BK, Haggerty CM. Prevalence and Electronic Health Record-Based Phenotype of Loss-of-Function Genetic Variants in Arrhythmogenic Right Ventricular Cardiomyopathy-Associated Genes. Circulation: Genomic and Precision Medicine (in press); 
PMCID: PMC6726131


 

Department news

Recent Grants: 

Melissa Poulsen, PhD, MPH – National Institutes of Health K01 award, “Understanding the role of community determinants in opioid use disorder and program implementation factors influencing patient adherence to opioid agonist therapy,” awarded July 1, 2020

Geisinger receives $3.8 million in funding support to study childhood obesity. https://fox56.com/news/local/geisinger-receives-38-million-in-funding-support-to-study-childhood-obesity