PCORnet Executive Committee


Rachael L. Fleurence, PhD

Committee Chair


Rachael Fleurence

Rachel Fleurence is a Program Director at the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI). She joined PCORI in April 2012. She leads PCORI’s initiative to build the National Patient-Centered Clinical Research Network, or PCORnet, a transformational effort to engage patients and leverage electronic health data to improve the speed and efficiency of clinical research in the United-States. In this capacity, she chairs the PCORnet Executive Committee and co-chairs the PCORnet Council. PCORnet is a 330 million dollar investment involving 130 health institutions across the country and 20 patient powered research networks. Dr. Fleurence is currently serving on the National Medical Device Evaluation System Planning Board. A health economist and health services researcher by training, Dr. Fleurence previously worked in the private sector outcomes research. Dr. Fleurence received a BA from Cambridge University (United-Kingdom), a MA in business management from ESSEC-Paris (France), and a MSc and PhD in health economics from the University of York (United-Kingdom).


Chris Forrest, MD, PhD 

Chris ForrestDr. Forrest is Professor of Pediatrics and Health Care Management at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) and the University of Pennsylvania. He is the Director of the CHOP Center for Applied Clinical Research, which is devoted to advancing multi-institutional clinical and health services research in routine pediatric healthcare settings. Dr. Forrest serves as the Principal Investigator of PEDSnet, a national consortium of children’s hospitals that conducts patient-centered outcomes research among children and youth. He is the Chair of the Research Committee for PCORnet, the national clinical research network funded by PCORI. He also chairs the Steering Committee for the National Institute’s of Health (NIH) Validation of Pediatric Patient-Reported Outcomes in Chronic Disease (PEPR), which evaluates patient-reported outcome measures for children with chronic conditions. Dr. Forrest received his BA and MD degrees from Boston University and completed his PhD in Health Policy and Management at Johns Hopkins School of Public Health.


Adrian F. Hernandez, MD, MHS, FAHA

Adrian HernandezDr. Hernandez, Professor of Medicine at Duke University Medical Center, is a cardiologist with extensive experience in clinical research ranging from clinical trials to outcomes and health services research.  He is the Faculty Associate Director of the Duke Clinical Research Institute and Director of the Health Services and Outcomes Research Domain. He has led several research grants funded to address issues in clinical care, health policy, quality of care, and outcomes. He is the Coordinating Center Principle Ivestigator of multiple large studies and networks including the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) Heart Failure Research Network, PCORI’s PCORNet and the NIH’s Collaboratory. A central aim of these networks is to transform clinical research uniting patients, clinicians, health systems and electronic health data to establish national systems of evidence generation to improve population health and decision making.

Dr. Hernandez has over 300 published articles in high-tier journals on cardiovascular outcomes including the New England Journal of Medicine, Journal of the American Medical Association, and Lancet. He is an Associate Editor for JAMA Cardiology and serves on the leadership of several national committees for professional societies such as the American Heart Association and American College of Cardiology. He has been recognized for his research through numerous awards and was elected to the American Society of Clinical Investigation in 2012. He has mentored over 30 students, residents, fellows and faculty and has been a recipient of the Robert M. Califf Mentorship Award.


Peter Margolis, MD, PhD

Peter Margolis is the Co-Director of the James M. Anderson Center for Health Systems Excellence at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center and the Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Cincinnati.  Dr. Margolis’ work encompasses the application and study of quality improvement methods in a broad range of areas including primary and sub-specialty care, communities and public health settings to improve the health outcomes of children, families and communities. In 2006, he joined Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center to create a new center focused on Health Care Quality.  Dr. Margolis has worked extensively with the certifying Boards and Specialty Societies to assist them in designing programs that will enable physicians to meet new Maintenance of Certification requirements focused on systems thinking and performance in practice. He is Principal Investigator of an NIH Roadmap transformative research grant on redesigning systems for chronic illness care, as well as grants from the Agency For Healthcare Research and the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute aimed at developing learning health systems and transforming the infrastructure for research in the US.  He currently serves as the Chair of the PCORNet Council.


Elizabeth A. McGlynn, PhD

Dr. McGlynn, the Principal Investigator of the Kaiser Permanente & Strategic Partners Patient Outcomes Research To Advance Learning (PORTAL) Clinical Data Research Network, is the director of Kaiser Permanente’s Center for Effectiveness & Safety Research (CESR). She is responsible for the strategic direction and scientific oversight of CESR, which is designed to improve the health and well-being of Kaiser’s more than 10 million members and the public by conducting comparative effectiveness and safety research and implementing findings in policy and practice. Dr. McGlynn is an internationally known expert on methods for evaluating the appropriateness and quality of health care delivery. She has also led major initiatives to evaluate health reform options under consideration at the federal and state levels. Dr. McGlynn is a member of the National Academy of Medicine. She is vice chair of the American Board of Internal Medicine Foundation Board of Trustees, chairs the National Advisory Council for the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, chairs the Institute for Healthcare Improvement’s Scientific Advisory Group, co-chairs the Coordinating Committee for the National Quality Forum’s Measure Applications Partnership, and serves on and the NAM Board on Health Care Services.


Peter A. Merkel, MD, MPH

Dr. Merkel is the Chief of Rheumatology and a Professor of Medicine and Epidemiology at the University of Pennsylvania. He is the Co-Principal Investigator of the Vasculitis Patient-Powered Research Network within PCORnet and the Principal Investigator of the NIH-Sponsored Vasculitis Clinical Research Consortium. Dr. Merkel is an internationally recognized research and clinical expert in vasculitis and scleroderma, two diseases he has studied for over 20 years, and is an author on over 200 scientific publications. Dr. Merkel’s research focuses on clinical trial design and conduct, outcome measure development, clinical epidemiology, genetic epidemiology, and biomarker discovery. Dr. Merkel has also conducted substantial research in scleroderma with a focus on outcome measures and clinical trial design.

Dr. Merkel received his MD from Yale University, his MPH from Harvard University, completed his residency training at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and his fellowship at the Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School.


Richard Platt, MD, MSc

Richard Platt, co-Principal Investigator of PCORnet’s Coordinating Center, is Professor and Chair of the Harvard Medical School Department of Population Medicine, at the Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute. He is Principal Investigator of the FDA Sentinel System, co-leads the coordinating center of the NIH Health Care System Research Collaboratory and leads a CDC Prevention Epicenter. He co-chairs the CER Innovation Collaborative of the IOM Roundtable on Value and Science-Drive Healthcare, and is a member of the American Medical Colleges Advisory Panel on Research.


Russell L. Rothman, MD, MPP

Dr. Rothman is a Professor of Internal Medicine, Pediatrics and Health Policy, and the Vice President for Population Health Research at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. He is the Director of the Vanderbilt Center for Health Services Research and is Chief of the Internal Medicine/Pediatrics Section. Dr. Rothman’s research focuses on improving care for patients with diabetes, obesity and other chronic diseases. He is the Principal Investigator of Mid-South CDRN which engages over 50 hospitals and 1,000’s of ambulatory practices from Vanderbilt, the Vanderbilt Health Affiliated Network, Meharry Medical Center, Greenway Health, Duke, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and Health Sciences of South Carolina. He serves on the PCORI Health Disparities Advisory Board, PCORnet Executive Committee, and is the Co-Chair of the Steering Committee of the ADAPTABLE study. He is also the PI of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) funded Mid-South Practice Transformation Network which is engaging 4,000 clinicians in quality improvement.


Joe Selby, MD

After obtaining his MD Degree from Northwestern, Dr. Selby moved to Northern California for internship and a family medicine residency and eventually an MPH at UC Berkeley. His fellowship project concerned Behavioral Factors in Cardiovascular Disease. He stayed in the bay area at Kaiser Permanente for 27 years, including 13 as Director of Research supervising up to 50 investigators and 500 staff members. He has had academic appointments at UC Berkeley, UCSF and Stanford. He has authored more than 200 peer reviewed articles on far ranging topics such as quality measurement and improvement, primary care delivery, colorectal cancer screening and many studies that could be classified under the heading of “comparative effectiveness” – largely in the areas of diabetes, HTN and cardiovascular disease. He has received honors from the Public Health Service, the American Epidemiological Society, Kaiser Permanente and in 2009 he was elected into the Institute of Medicine. In July 2011 Dr. Selby became the first Executive Director of the Patient-Centered Outcome Research Institute (PCORI). PCORI’s mandate is to improve the quality and relevance of the evidence available in order to help patients, caregivers, employers, insurers and policy makers make informed healthcare decisions.


Sharon F. Terry

 Sharon Terry is President and CEO of Genetic Alliance, a participatory enterprise engaging individuals, families and communities to transform health.  She cofounded PXE International, a research advocacy organization for the genetic condition pseudoxanthoma elasticum (PXE), in response to the diagnosis of PXE in her two children in 1994. With her husband, she co-discovered the ABCC6 gene, patented it to ensure ethical stewardship in 2000, and assigned their rights to the foundation. She subsequently developed a diagnostic test and conducts clinical trials. She is the author of 150 peer-reviewed papers, of which 30 are clinical PXE studies.  She is Co-PI of the PCORnet Coordinating Center and Chair of the PCORnet Engagement Committee. She is at the forefront of engagement in biomedical research, services and policy; she serves in a leadership role on many of the major international and national organizations, including PMI and Moonshot. Terry is an Ashoka Fellow.


Russ Waitman, PhD

Dr. Russ Waitman is Associate Professor of Internal Medicine, Director of Medical Informatics, and Associate Vice Chancellor for Enterprise Analytics at the University of Kansas Medical Center.  He served in the United States Air Force as a Medical Service Corps officer.  He received his masters and doctorate in biomedical engineering from Vanderbilt University conducting knowledge discovery research in critical care and perioperative environments.  As Vanderbilt biomedical informatics faculty, he led Computerized Provider Order Entry and inpatient clinical systems.  He currently leads biomedical informatics for KUMC’s Clinical and Translational Science Award, the PCORnet Greater Plains Collaborative Clinical Data Research Network, and chairs the PCORnet Data Committee.



Last updated on July 7, 2016