— Thought-leaders in advancing the use of evidence in medical policymaking and practice to be honored at awards ceremony Thursday, October 4, 2012 in Cambridge, MA —

Boston, Mass., July 13, 2012 – The Institute for Clinical and Economic Review, a leading academic health policy institute based at the Massachusetts General Hospital’s Institute for Technology Assessment, has chosen Sean Tunis, MD, MSc, Founder, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Center for Medical Technology Policy (CMTP) and Daniel B. Wolfson, MHSA, Executive Vice President and COO of the ABIM Foundation as the inaugural recipients of the first annual Comparative Effectiveness Research National Leadership Award.  This award recognizes individuals who have been innovative leaders in advancing the methods and practical applications of comparative effectiveness research in the United States.

Dr. Tunis and Mr. Wolfson were chosen from a competitive pool of outstanding nominees all of whom have demonstrated a commitment to the rigorous conduct or implementation of comparative effectiveness research aimed at improving the quality and value of health outcomes.  Specifically, Dr. Tunis has leveraged the work of CMTP to harness the power of stakeholder engagement to improve the quality, relevance and efficiency of research for clinical and health policy decision making, while Mr. Wolfson led the development of the Choosing Wisely® campaign, a collaborative program among leading medical professional societies and consumer groups aimed at identifying potentially unnecessary care that may prove harmful or wasteful and that physicians and patients should discuss.
“Sean Tunis and Daniel Wolfson are outstanding exemplars of leadership in designing strategies to improve the use of evidence in our health care system,” stated Steven D. Pearson, MD, MSc, President of ICER.  “Through their significant contributions they are furthering the impact and relevance of CER while advancing the national conversation about how we use our healthcare resources most efficiently.”  
ICER is pleased to have the support of the following Gold Sponsors for the Awards Dinner: America’s Health Insurance Plans, Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts and the National Pharmaceutical Council.  ICER is actively seeking additional sponsors for the Awards Dinner in October.  Sponsorship includes tickets to the dinner, access to the VIP Pre-Reception and logo recognition at the event.  Please contact Sarah Emond for more information.
About Dr. Tunis
Dr. Tunis is the Founder and Director of the Center for Medical Technology Policy in Baltimore, Maryland.  CMTP’s main objective is to improve the quality, relevance and efficiency of clinical research by providing a neutral forum for collaboration among experts, stakeholders and decision makers.   Dr. Tunis was a member of the Institute of Medicine Committee on Initial National Priorities for Comparative Effectiveness Research.  Through September of 2005, Dr. Tunis was the Chief Medical Officer at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), where he had lead responsibility for clinical policy for the Medicare and Medicaid programs.  Previously he served as the Director of the Health Program at the Congressional Office of Technology Assessment and as a health policy advisor to the U.S. Senate, where he worked on pharmaceutical and device policy issues.  Dr. Tunis trained at the University of California in Los Angeles and the University of Maryland in Internal Medicine and Emergency Medicine. 
About Mr. Wolfson
Mr. Wolfson is Executive Vice President and COO of the ABIM Foundation, where he leads the Choosing Wisely campaign, a multi-year effort to promote conversations between physicians and patients about utilizing the most appropriate tests and treatments and avoiding care that may be unnecessary by identifying five tests or procedures commonly used in their field, whose necessity should be questioned and discussed.  Previously, Mr. Wolfson served for nearly two decades as the founding president and CEO of the Alliance of Community Health Plans (formerly The HMO Group), the nation’s leading association of not-for-profit and provider-sponsored health plans. During his tenure, Mr. Wolfson earned national recognition for spearheading the development of the Health Plan Employer Data and Information Set (HEDIS™), convening the RxHealthValue coalition to provide independent information on the pharmaceutical industry, and co-sponsoring with the American College of Physicians the journal Effective Clinical Practice.  Previously, Mr. Wolfson was the Director of Planning and Research at the Fallon Community Health Plan. During that time, he led the product development team that launched the nation’s first Medicare risk contract with the Health Care Financing Administration.  Mr. Wolfson received his master’s degree in Health Sciences Administration from the University of Michigan, School of Public Health.  Prior to graduate school, Mr. Wolfson worked in the Social Services Department of Massachusetts General Hospital, counseling and discharge planning for spinal cord patients, amputees and stroke patients.
About ICER
The Institute for Clinical and Economic Review (ICER), based at the Massachusetts General Hospital’s Institute for Technology Assessment (ITA) and an affiliate of Harvard Medical School, provides independent evaluation of the clinical effectiveness and comparative value of new and emerging technologies. Structured as a fully transparent organization, ICER seeks to achieve its ultimate mission of informing public policy and spurring innovation in the use of evidence to improve the value of health care for all.  For more information, please visit www.icer-review.org