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Helen Burstin, M.D., Named Director of AHRQ's Center for Primary Care Research (CPCR)

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Media Advisory Date: January 3, 2000

John M. Eisenberg, M.D., Director of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), formerly the Agency for Health Care Policy and Research (AHCPR), today announced the appointment of Helen Burstin, M.D., M.P.H., as the new director of AHRQ's Center for Primary Care Research (CPCR). She comes to this position from the Brigham and Women's Hospital, where she served as director of Quality Measurement and had an active primary care practice.

Dr. Burstin is a graduate of the State University of New York Health Science Center at Syracuse and the Harvard School of Public Health. After a primary care residency in internal medicine at Boston City Hospital, she was an Agency-funded postdoctoral fellow at Harvard Medical School. Her research has focused on such primary care topics as communication, access, quality, screening and patient satisfaction.

Dr. Burstin has served as regional co-chair of the Society for General Internal Medicine and is currently president of the Board of Directors of the American Medical Student Foundation and was the former national president of AMSA. For 10 years she has been a staff physician at a hospital-based practice as well as at a neighborhood health center in Boston, and has been medical director of the Partners in Health Program in Honduras.

"As a health services researcher, educator and practicing physician, Helen Burstin will bring a wealth of experience and knowledge to the Center for Primary Care Research," said Dr. Eisenberg. "We are very pleased that she is joining AHRQ to further our goal to improve the quality of primary care research and services."

As director of CPCR, Dr. Burstin will lead AHRQ's efforts to stimulate high-quality research in the primary care area, including evaluations of the quality, cost and effectiveness of primary care services and rural health care services and systems, and special populations. The appointment is effective January 3, 2000.

For more information, please contact AHRQ Public Affairs, (301) 427-1364: Nancy Comfort, (301) 427-1866 (; Karen Migdail, (301) 427-1855 (

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