Paul Cleary Is Appointed the Lauder Professor

Paul D. Cleary, the newly named Anna M.R. Lauder Professor of Public Health, has devoted much of his career to understanding how to improve the quality of patient care.

Cleary, who is the dean of the School of Public Health and director of the Center for Interdisciplinary Research on AIDS (CIRA), is interested in developing better methods for using patient reports about their care and health status to elevate the quality of medical care. He also studies the relationships between clinician and organizational characteristics and the quality of medical care.

His recent research includes a study of how organizational characteristics affect the costs and quality of care for persons with AIDS; a national evaluation of a continuous quality improvement initiative in clinics providing care to HIV-infected individuals; and a study of the long-term impact of patient-centered hospital care.

He is the principal investigator of one of the Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems grants funded by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality to develop surveys for collecting information from consumers regarding their health plans and services. He also is leading a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation project to facilitate and stimulate research on public health systems.

Cleary’s work with people infected with HIV dates back to the 1980s. His first study in this area was a randomized trial of an education and support program for blood donors discovered to be infected with HIV. Since that early study, he has continued to investigate the ways in which infection affects people’s lives and the factors affecting the quality of medical care they receive.

Cleary earned his B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Wisconsin. He taught there and at Rutgers University before joining the faculty at Harvard Medical School, where he was a professor of medical sociology in the Departments of Health Care Policy and Social Medicine. He received Harvard University’s A. Clifford Barger Award for Excellence in Mentoring in 1997. He joined the Yale faculty in 2006.

Cleary has been a member of the Institute of Medicine since 1994. He was selected as a distinguished fellow of the Association for Health Services Research in 1996 and in 2002 received the Distinguished Investigator Award from the Academy of Health Services Research and Health Policy.

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