2019 CTSC KL2 Awardees

Justin Choi, MD 

Assistant Professor, Internal Medicine, Weill Cornell Medicine

Dr. Choi's KL2 research project will investigate the diagnostic accuracy of Procalcitonin for urinary tract Infection in Hospitalized Older Adults. Urinary tract infection (UTI) is a leading cause of hospitalization among older adults in the United States. Despite the significant health care burden on the elderly, a universally accepted definition of symptomatic UTI in older adults does not exist, and its diagnosis remains both challenging and controversial among inpatient clinicians. The purpose of this research proposal is to determine the diagnostic accuracy of serum PCT for the diagnosis of symptomatic UTI in hospitalized older adults. We also seek to validate a point-of-care test (POCT) for PCT in this clinical setting. Our study may identify a new paradigm for managing hospitalized older patients with suspected UTI by using a biomarker to improve the diagnostic accuracy of symptomatic UTIs. To our knowledge, this study will be the first prospective study of serum PCT testing in the diagnosis of UTI in hospitalized older adults.

KL2 Research Mentors: Marshall Jay Glesby, MD, PhD, Infectious Diseases, Weill Cornell Medicine; and Saurabh Mehta, Epidemiology and Nutrition, MBBS, DSc, Cornell University; and Zhen Zhao, PhD, Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Weill Cornell Medicine.


Arnab Ghosh, MD

Assistant Professor, Internal Medicine, Weill Cornell Medicine

Dr. Ghosh's KL2 research project will investigate the influence of value based payment models on racial and socioeconomic disparities in hospitalized patients. The Affordable Care Act of 2011 created new models called Value-Based Payment Models (VBPMs) to manage healthcare costs while maintaining quality. The project’s long-term objective is to illuminate the unknown but manifold effects of VBPMs on healthcare disparities. The project’s specific aims seeks to explore VBPMs in the hospital setting: first, through the examination of large datasets to detect differences in healthcare outcomes between patients of different races/ethnicities and income levels, and second, through interviews and focus groups with key healthcare professionals whose decisions influence their patients’ healthcare use. This work is significant because hospitals, healthcare leaders, and policymakers need to understand whether and how institutional structures in the era of new payment models are influencing and potentially worsening existing healthcare disparities. 

KL2 Research Mentors: Said Ibrahim, MD, MPH, MBA, Healthcare Delivery and Innovation, Weill Cornell Medicine; Jessica Ancker, PhD, MPH, Healthcare Policy and Research, Weill Cornell Medicine; and Martin Wells, PhD, Statistics and Data Science, Cornell University.

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