Health System Innovation & Research (HSIR) Division

The Division of Health System Innovation & Research (HSIR) promotes the right care for every patient by enhancing the efficiency, value, and quality of care delivered by health care systems and clinicians. HSIR works within the University of Utah Health System to create a virtuous learning cycle that enables collaborators to develop and evaluate innovations that improve the quality of patient and population-orientated care. HSIR partners with community, clinical, and academic stakeholders to facilitate the implementation and dissemination of these unique developments in order to effect change to health systems and the delivery of care worldwide.

Health System Innovation & Research Program

University of Utah Health
HSIR conducts research to help improve the health of our population, with an eye towards creating and supporting a learning health systems. Some examples of work currently ongoing in HSIR include Practice-Based Evidence studies, decision-support implementations, patient-reported outcomes and quality of life, behavioral tele-helath interventions, and infrastructure development for pragmatic trials and observational studies.

Health System Innovation & Research Faculty

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Rachel Hess, MD, MS

Division Chief & Professor

Research Interests:

  • Patient-centered outcomes
  • Health-related quality of life
  • Interventions to improve the delivery of health care

Email: rachel.hess@hsc.utah.edu

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David Wetter, PhD, MS

Professor

Research Interests:

  • Eliminating inequities in health-related behavior through translational research
  • Theoretical models of addictive and cancer risk behaviors - assessment approaches include on-body human sensing technologies, ecological momentary assessments, and implicit cognition
  • Development and evaluation of theoretically-based interventions - treatment approaches include smartphone apps, motivational enhancement therapies, mindfulness meditation, and cognitive behavioral interventions
  • Translational research to implement and disseminate interventions in real world settings

Email: david.wetter@hci.utah.edu

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Fernando Wilson, PhD

Professor

Research Interests:

  • Immigrant disparities in health
  • Traffic safety research
  • Teleheatth

Email: fernando.wilson@utah.edu

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Roger Altizer, PhD

Associate Professor

Research Interests:

  • Developing and studying medical games and apps
  • Inductive and qualitative design methods
  • Virtual and augmented reality
  • Media Law as it pertains to virtual property
  • Avatars as tools in healthcare
  • Innovation and applied research
  • Synergistic interdisciplinary collisions of health and non-traditional methods
  • Playful approaches to health

Email: roger.altizer@utah.edu

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Adam Bress, PharmD, MS

Associate Professor

Research Interests:

  • Prevention & treatment of cardiovascular disease
  • Genetic ancestry & racial/ethnic differences in antihypertensive medication responses
  • Population-level impact and generalizability of intensive blood pressure treatment

Email: adam.bress@hsc.utah.edu

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Jacob Kean, PhD

Associate Professor

Research Interests:

  • Development and refinement of clinical and outcome measures
  • The implementation of evidence-based practices in real-world practice setting

Email: jacob.kean@hsc.utah.edu

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Sarah Shizuko Morimoto, PsyD

Associate Professor

Research Interests:

  • Major depressive disorder in late-life
  • Age-related cognitive impairment
  • Plasticity in the aging brain
  • Intervention development
  • Digital medicine development

Email: sarah.morimoto@hsc.utah.edu

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Elissa Ozanne, PhD

Associate Professor

Research Interests:

  • Decision analytic modeling
  • Cost effectiveness analysis
  • Developing and evaluating risk assessment and communication strategies
  • Developing and evaluating methods to improve patient and provider decision making

Email: elissa.ozanne@hsc.utah.edu

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J.D. Smith, PhD

Associate Professor

Research Interests:

  • Implementation science
  • Trial design and measurement for implementation research
  • Family-based preventive interventions
  • Obesity prevention and management
  • Mental health
  • HIV/AIDS

Email: jd.smith@hsc.utah.edu 

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Cho Lam, PhD

Research Associate Professor

Research Interests:

  • Smoking cessation

Email: cho.lam@hci.utah.edu

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Melissa Watt, PhD

Research Associate Professor

Research Interests:

  • Behavioral Interventions
  • HIV
  • Mental Health
  • Health Disparities
  • Global Health
  • Qualitative Methods

Email: melissa.watt@hsc.utah.edu

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Jordan King, PharmD, MS

Assistant Professor

Research Interests:

  • Improving how cardiovascular medications are used in ambulatory settings using pharmacoepidemiology, health services research, and computer simulation methods
  • Clinical reseach focus points: heart failure, atrial fibrillation/anticoagulation, hypertension, and atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease

Email: jordan.king@hsc.utah.edu

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Matt Davis, PhD

Adjunct Associate Professor

Research Interests:

  • Increasing the effectiveness of social services using evidence-based training and implementation science
  • Current content areas focus on Child Welfare, Juvenile Justice, and peer approaches to Substance Use.

Email: matt.davis.@hsc.utah.edu

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Megan Vanneman, PhD, MPH

Adjunct Assistant Professor

Research Interests:

  • Healthcare value, access, coverage, and disparities
  • Health policy
  • Health insurance
  • Mental health
  • Substance abuse
  • Prevention

Email: megan.vanneman@hsc.utah.edu

Division Chief



Rachel Hess, MD, MS