Next in our Health System Spotlight series, we spoke to Karina Davidson, who leads the Institute of Health System Science and Quantitative Intelligence within The Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research. Davidson is also the Senior Vice President of Research and Dean of Academic Affairsat Northwell Health. 

Tell us about yourself. Can you share a bit about your background?

I’m a licensed clinical psychologist with a Master of Applied Science in Industrial/Organizational psychology. My career has focused on advancing scientific, educational, and patient care missions through the generation and implementation of evidence-based practices. My current research concentrates on innovations in personalized trials to manage chronic disease and patient symptoms that incorporate patient preferences and values.

What have you learned as a researcher about the power and potential of data, particularly as it relates to psychology?

Over the course of my career, I have come to see that data is the backbone of everything we do and integral to research and psychology. The power and potential of data have grown and will continue to do so, which is why we have launched the Quantitative Intelligence at Feinstein Institutes of Medical Research here at Northwell Health. The goal of this group of data scientists, statisticians, and engineers is to centralize research data and analytics infrastructure to best support the data needs of all of our scientists. Partnering with Truveta is an important step in our journey to attaining accessible, real-time data to enable discovery, clinical trial conduct, and ultimately, better care.

What does Truveta’s vision — saving lives with data — mean to you? 

Truveta’s vision has a lot of meaning because it closely aligns with Northwell’s mission to Raise Health and our Feinstein research efforts to implement a Learning Health System. Leveraging data is the key to translating research findings into improved outcomes for our patients and moving discoveries into cures as rapidly as possible.

You serve on Truveta’s Clinical & Scientific Advisory Committee on the Board of Governors. What do you think is unique about Truveta’s approach?

Truveta’s approach is unique because the focus is on advancing care for all. Acknowledging outcomes related to patient care, including underrepresented and vulnerable populations at the data level is incredibly important and shows that Truveta is functioning with every patient in mind. Truveta’s Governance Model is also very inclusive, which is innovative and ensures the capture of a variety of strategic, scientific, and operational perspectives and specific areas of expertise.

As a leader at The MAVEN Institute, how do you feel about the outlook of increased health equity around the world?

MAVEN is a leadership educational initiative, funded by the NIH, specifically NIGMS, that provides training and resources to mid-career women scientists from underrepresented backgrounds to move into leadership positions in science and science policy. MAVEN consists of three critical components: the nationwide proactive selection process, an intensive skills development program that includes coaching and workshops, and a designed professional network that includes peers and role models. Increasing health equity around the world is important but complex. We believe that improving health equity includes the need for representative and diverse patient data and a more representative and diverse scientific leadership. Joining these elements together is a part of addressing the most pressing equity issues in healthcare.

What are you looking forward to next in the healthcare industry?

I am excited and energized by implementing innovative solutions to improve patient health and well-being through cutting-edge technology, novel precision medicine research methodology, and big data. I believe harnessing the power of data and leveraging it to improve outcomes is revolutionizing the healthcare industry.

The power of any change requires interdisciplinary, respectful, proactive teams, focused on the problem at hand. Truveta and Northwell have articulated an organizational culture to create these types of teams, and so are both poised for success.

Truveta is a collective of US health systems with a shared vision of saving lives with data. Truveta offers innovative solutions to enable researchers to find cures faster, empower every clinician to be an expert, and help families make the most informed decisions about their care. To learn more, follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter, and sign up for our newsletter.