Investigators and staff of the Health Decision Sciences Center (HDSC)
Health Decision Science Center Team
Left to right: Karen Sepucha, Lauren Leavitt, Sarah Hewitt, Sharon Floramo, Sandra Feibelmann, Emma Jeffries, Mahima Mangla, Leigh Simmons
Karen Sepucha, PhD
Dr. Sepucha is the director of the Health Decision Sciences Center in the General Medicine Division at Massachusetts General Hospital and an assistant professor in Medicine at Harvard Medical School. Her research and clinical interests involve developing and implementing tools and methods to improve the quality of significant medical decisions made by patients and clinicians. Dr. Sepucha was the medical editor for a series of five breast cancer patient decision aids (PtDAs) developed by the not-for-profit Foundation for Informed Medical Decision Making. The PtDAs have won seven media awards and Dr. Sepucha has led the dissemination of these programs to dozens of academic and community cancer centers across the country. She is also responsible for efforts to implement shared decision making tools into primary and specialty care at Mass General. Her recent research has focused on the development of instruments to measure the quality of decisions. The decision quality instruments have been used in a national survey of medical decisions, and a subset of the items is being evaluated for use in CAHPS as part of the primary care medical home certification. Dr. Sepucha has been active in local, national and international efforts to improve decision quality, including the International Patient Decision Aids Standards collaboration. She has her Ph.D. in Engineering-Economic Systems and Operations Research at Stanford University with a focus in decision sciences.
Dr. Simmons is an internal medicine physician at Massachusetts General Hospital. Her research interests include patient engagement in care and shared decision making. Dr. Simmons is on the staff at the John D. Stoeckle Center for Primary Care Innovation and the MGH Health Decision Sciences Center where she studies the use of decision aids to help patients and clinicians in the shared decision making process. Her clinical practice is with the Internal Medicine Associates at Massachusetts General Hospital. In addition to her clinical and research interests, Dr. Simmons is a medical student educator and directs the internal medicine clerkship for Harvard Medical School students at Massachusetts General Hospital.
Sorapop Kiatpongsan, MD
Dr. Kiatpongsan is a research specialist at the HDSC. He is currently a PhD. candidate in Health Policy concentrating in Decision Sciences at Harvard University’s Interfaculty Initiative in Health Policy. He is an obstetrician-gynecologist and a faculty member at Faculty of Medicine, Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok, Thailand. He is interested in applying behavioral economics, decision analysis, decision modeling and decision psychology to address challenges in science, medicine, business and public policy. His current research projects are on shared decision making, decision making for medical innovations, and health and socioeconomic inequalities. Dr. Kiatpongsan was the George Bennett Fellow of the Informed Medical Decisions Foundation from 2011 to 2013. His research won the Lee Lusted Award from the Society for Medical Decision Making for best paper in Decision Psychology and Shared Decision Making in 2012. Dr. Kiatpongsan currently serves on the International Engagement Committee and the Policy Committee of the Society for Medical Decision Making. He leads the Asia-Pacific Regional Community of the Society for Medical Decision Making. He obtained his M.D. (First class honors) from Chulalongkorn University in 2001. He was a postdoctoral fellow at Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School and at Harvard Kennedy School from 2006-2009.
Ms. Feibelmann is the program manager with the HDSC. She helps analyze data from the various decision quality instrument (DQI) field tests as well as maintains updates to the DQIs. She also manages an orthopedic study sponsored by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation as well as helps implement and manage the Breast Cancer Initiative. She has a Masters in Public Health from Boston University.
Ms. Leavitt is a Program Manager at the HDSC. She manages the implementation of patient decision aids through various research projects and quality improvement activities within MGH and its affiliated community health centers. She also helps to design and present clinician training promoting shared decision-making communication skills. Lauren holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication from UMass Amherst and a Masters of Arts degree in Health Communication from Emerson College.
Ms. Hewitt is a research coordinator with the HDSC. She manages the Breast Cancer Initiative, contributes to implementation of decision aids across primary and specialty care, and assists with other decision quality projects. Sarah has a Bachelor of Arts in Public Health from Simmons College. She is working on completing a Masters in Public Policy with a concentration in healthcare at Simmons College.
Ms. Mangla is a research coordinator with the HDSC. She helps manage an orthopedics study sponsored by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation which seeks to assess the decision-making process for patients considering surgery for hip and knee osteoarthritis, spinal stenosis, or herniated disc. She also assists with other HDSC projects pertaining to decision quality and shared-decision making. Mahima has a Bachelor of Arts from New York University and a Masters in Public Health from the Boston University School of Public Health.
Ms. Jeffries is a research coordinator with the HDSC and the Stoeckle Center for Primary Care Innovation. Her primary role is to recruit patients for an orthopedics study sponsored by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation. She also works on several Stoeckle Center research grants and educational programs. Emma has a Bachelor of Science from MIT in Brain & Cognitive Sciences.
Following 15 years of service as an administrative assistant at MGH, Ms. Floramo is delighted to have joined the Health Decision Sciences Center as part of a dual role in the General Medicine Division. She plays an integral role in the distribution of decision aids.