PEOPLE

The PLACETM is staffed by an interdisciplinary team of clinicians, researchers, and staff from UCSF and partner organizations.

Find out more about individual team members below.

Renee Hsia, MD, MSc

Director, The PLACETM

Professor

UCSF Department of Emergency Medicine & Institute of Health Policy Studies
UCSF Profile

 

Renee Y. Hsia, MD, MSc is Director of The PLACETM, a Professor and Director of Health Policy Studies in the Department of Emergency Medicine at UCSF, and also a core faculty member of the UCSF Philip R. Lee Institute for Health Policy Studies (IHPS). She is also a member of the UCSF Center for Healthcare Value and the UCSF Global Health Economics Consortium. Dr. Hsia’s research is focused on increasing access to emergency care and the regionalization of care. Her work covers issues relating to population access to emergency departments and trauma centers in the U.S; the distribution of emergency care across income areas; factors associated with closure of emergency services (both emergency departments and trauma centers); how these closures affect patient outcomes, specifically focusing on patients with acute myocardial infarction, stroke, asthma/COPD, sepsis, and trauma; and the variation of costs and charges in the healthcare system. Her work has been funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. Dr. Hsia hopes that this work will help to inform policymakers on the monitoring and oversight of the equitable provision of critical services to patients across the country, and overall improvement of the system's ability to deliver healthcare.

Reena Duseja, MD, MS

Assistant Professor

UCSF Department of Emergency Medicine
UCSF Profile
 
Reena Duseja, MD, MS is an Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine at UCSF. She also holds an Adjunct appointment with Kaiser’s Division of Research in Northern California, and is a member of the UCSF Center for Healthcare Value (CHV). Dr. Duseja received her residency training at Boston Medical Center and obtained a Masters of Science in Health Economics from the Wharton School of Health Care Economics and Management. She completed her fellowship as a Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholar from the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Duseja’s broad research interests are in health services issues related to improving patient care and the value our health system delivers to patients. She currently is funded by the National Institutes of Health (Agency for HealthCare and Quality) to study transitions of care; focusing on revisits from the emergency department in the U.S. She employs a variety of mixed methods to understand this problem, including big data to understanding the factors leading to revisits; developing quality metrics using risk-adjustment methodologies for transitions of care from the emergency department; and qualitative and survey methodology. Her research focuses on developing outcome measures that can be used to measure variation, and then create interventions to improve patient care in the health system. She also focuses on healthcare costs and financing issues with regard to emergency care. Dr. Duseja's research has been widely publicized in print media, including the Associated Press, Forbes, Huffington Post, NY Times, as well as national network news and radio. Dr. Duseja is motivated in doing research in this area as she believes research should guide and inform decisions in improving the health care system.

Jahan Fahimi, MD, PhD

Assistant Clinical Professor

UCSF Department of Emergency Medicine
UCSF Profile
 
Jahan Fahimi, MD, PhD is an Assistant Professor of Clinical Emergency Medicine at UCSF. His primary research interest is in firearms injury prevention, particularly understanding risk factors for victimization and strategies for secondary prevention. He is on the Advisory Board for the National Medical Council on Gun Violence and speaks nationally on how a research agenda can aid clinicians to reduce and prevent firearm injuries. He also conducts research on healthcare utilization patterns and trends, including among those with mental illness and substance use. His clinical research interests are in rational use of imaging, including point-of-care ultrasound. Dr. Fahimi attended the New York University School of Medicine and obtained a Master of Public Health in Quantitative Methods from Harvard School of Public Health. He completed residency and chief residency at Alameda County Medical Center - Highland Hospital, followed by a research fellowship in Social Emergency Medicine with doctoral training in Epidemiology at UC Berkeley. Dr. Fahimi’s research has been published in journals including JAMA, Pediatrics, Annals of Emergency Medicine, and Injury Prevention, with media coverage in LA Times, San Francisco Chronicle, TheTrace.org, Medscape, and US News and World Report, among others.

Hemal Kanzaria, MD, MS

Assistant Professor

UCSF Department of Emergency Medicine
UCSF Profile
 
Hemal Kanzaria, MD, MS is an Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). Dr. Kanzaria practices clinically at San Francisco General Hospital (SFGH), where he teaches housestaff and helps direct emergency department lean improvement efforts. He holds a joint position with the San Francisco Health Network (SFHN), where he works within a multidisciplinary team to improve whole-person care for high-utilizers of health, behavioral, and social services. Dr. Kanzaria is also an Adjunct scientist at RAND Health and affiliated with the Center for Innovation in Access and Quality at SFGH, where his research and policy work focus on methods to increase the delivery of high-value, patient-centered, health care. His work has been published in several high-impact journals including JAMA, BMJ, The Lancet, Annals of Emergency Medicine, and Academic Emergency Medicine, and featured in Time Magazine, The Boston Globe, and national public radio. Prior to his current appointment, Dr. Kanzaria was a Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholar at UCLA. He completed his medical degree and residency at UCSF-SFGH, during which time he founded Remedy at UCSF to recover unused medical supplies for socially responsible redistribution. The organization has provided medical equipment to underserved communities both locally and globally, and has been instrumental in several disaster relief efforts.

Shannon McConville, MPP

Research Associate

Public Policy Institute of California
PPIC Profile
 
Shannon McConville is a research associate at the Public Policy Institute of California. Her research interests include health care access, utilization, and outcomes among vulnerable populations. Her current work focuses on examining safety net programs, health workforce training needs and capacity, and the effects of the Affordable Care Act in California, including the opportunities for and impact of health insurance coverage for the jail population. Before joining PPIC, she was a research training fellow in the Health Services and Policy Analysis doctoral program at the University of California, Berkeley; a senior research associate at the Department of Health Research and Policy at Stanford University; and a project manager at the Lewis Center for Regional Policy Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles. She holds an MPP degree from the University of California, Los Angeles.

Matthew Niedzwiecki, PhD

Assistant Professor

UCSF Department of Emergency Medicine
UCSF Profile
 
Matthew J. Niedzwiecki, PhD., is an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine at UCSF with an appointment in the Philip R. Lee Institute for Health Policy Research. He received a Ph.D. in Economics from UC San Diego and completed a two-year post-doctoral fellowship at UC Berkeley as a Robert Wood Johnson Scholar in Health Policy Research. Dr. Niedzwiecki’s research seeks to answer a broad array of health policy questions including how health insurance coverage affects access to hospital care among the newly insured; why patients with seemingly low acuity visits choose to seek care in the emergency department or primary care clinic; how permanent supporting housing affects medical and social service use for chronically homeless patients; and what drives frequent use of the emergency department by patients with mental illness. He hopes that his work supports evidenced-based policy at the local, state, and national level in order to improve healthcare access and health outcomes for disadvantaged populations.

Maria Raven, MD, MSc, MPH

Associate Professor

UCSF Department of Emergency Medicine
UCSF Profile
 
Maria Raven, MD, MPH, MSc, a practicing emergency medicine physician and health services researcher, is an Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine at UCSF. Prior to coming to UCSF in 2011, Dr. Raven had 10 years of experience in the New York City public hospital system where she completed her residency and a research fellowship, and went on to oversee one of six New York State Department of Health-funded Chronic Illness Demonstration Project for the New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation and New York State Medicaid. She currently works closely with the San Francisco Health Plan (SFHP), the largest Medicaid Managed Care Program in the City and County of San Francisco, on programs related to their highest cost members. Dr. Raven works clinically in the Emergency Department at Moffitt-Long, and conducts research related to emergency medicine payment policy and frequent users of the health system and social care system. She is the recipient of a patient centered outcomes research (PCOR) K12 award, a 2-year AHRQ-funded position working with San Francisco General Hospital, the city’s public hospital, to research issues of importance to the hospital and community it serves. She is the lead evaluator for Santa Clara County's innovative Chronic Homelessness Pay For Success Initiative.

Teri Reynolds, MD, MS

Associate Clinical Professor

UCSF Department of Emergency Medicine
UCSF Profile
 
Teri Reynolds, Scientist, WHO, leads the emergency and trauma care programme in the Department for the Management of NCDs, Disability, Violence and Injury Prevention. She was previously Associate Professor and Director of Global Health for the Department of Emergency Medicine University of California, San Francisco, and the director of the Emergency Medicine Residency and research programs at Muhimbili National Hospital in Tanzania. She serves as the Chair of the African Federation for Emergency Medicine (AFEM) Scientific Committee, Editor of the AFEM Emergency Care curriculum and directs the AFEM regional Trauma Data Project. She has served as an Associate Editor for BMJ Emergency Medicine Journal, and Department Editor for Annals of Emergency Medicine. She completed her MD, MS in Global Health Sciences, and fellowship in Emergency Ultrasound at UCSF; residency at Highland Hospital in Oakland, California; and PhD in literature at Columbia University in New York.

Robert Rodriguez, MD

Professor

UCSF Department of Emergency Medicine
UCSF Profile
 
Dr. Rodriguez attended Harvard Medical School and then completed a combined emergency medicine/internal medicine residency at UCLA Medical Center. His intrigue with the complex physiology of the critically ill patient led him to a two-year critical care fellowship at Stanford Medical Center. Dr. Rodriguez is board certified in emergency medicine and critical care medicine. His principal lines of research are 1) Development of decision instruments for trauma imaging, 2) Research regarding homeless, immigrant and other disenfranchised groups, and 3) Clinical presentations of patients with infectious diseases (especially injection drug users). Dr. Rodriguez has received grant funding from the Centers for Disease Control, the University of California Center for Health Quality Initiative, and from the University of California San Francisco School of Medicine. Beyond his projects, Dr. Rodriguez has mentored dozens of medical students, resident physicians and junior faculty in their research endeavors.

Peter Sokolove, MD

Chair

UCSF Department of Emergency Medicine
UCSF Profile
 
Peter Sokolove, MD, is the Chair of the Department of Emergency Medicine at UCSF. Dr. Sokolove’s research has focused on improving the accuracy of injury detection among pediatric trauma patients. He has published in the areas of clinical care, medical education, and health policy. He has lectured widely on a range of topics, and has been recognized with multiple national educational awards for his commitment to excellence in academic emergency medicine. He serves on the editorial board of Academic Emergency Medicine. Dr. Sokolove was a Robert Wood Johnson Health Policy Fellow and worked for the Committee on Finance in the US Senate, focusing on Medicare payment reform and meaningful use of electronic health records.

Anita Vashi, MD, MPH, MHS

Emergency Medicine Physician

VA Palo Alto
VA Profile
 
Anita Vashi, MD, MPH, MHS is a physician investigator at the Center for Innovation to Implementation at the VA Palo Alto Healthcare System, and an Assistant Professor in the Department of Emergency Medicine at UCSF. She completed a health policy and research fellowship as a Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholar at Yale University. Her background in public health, clinical training in a safety net hospital, and policy experience exposed her to the pressing gaps in emergency care and fueled her interest in conducting, implementing and disseminating research aimed at improving our understanding of acute care utilization, delivery and outcomes. Dr. Vashi has experience in mixed-method research, multi-site evaluations, and partnered research. Recent projects include directing a national, multi-site evaluation of Lean Transformation and developing quality of care measures during care transitions and for acute care episodes. Her work has been funded by the VA's Health Services Research and Development Service and VA Quality Enhancement Research Initiative.

Ralph Wang, MD, MS

Associate Professor

UCSF Department of Emergency Medicine
UCSF Profile
 
Ralph Wang, MD, MS is an Associate Clinical Professor of Emergency Medicine at UCSF. Dr. Wang received his residency training at Alameda County Medical Center and obtained a Masters of Science in Clinical Research from the University of California, San Francisco. Dr. Wang is interested in conducting clinical research to assess diagnostic testing in the Emergency Department. He currently is funded by the Agency for HealthCare and Quality to examine interventions to improve care for patients with suspected urolithaisis presenting to the emergency department. He has assessed a recently developed clinical decision rule for the presence of ureteral stone and is currently developing a clinical decision rule for clinically important ureteral stones. Dr. Wang has experience enrolling patients in randomized controlled trials and studies of diagnostic tests. He is familiar with a number of different research methodologies, including meta-analysis, determination of test characteristics, and analysis of randomized trial data. He has published a number of manuscripts in the Annals of Emergency Medicine, the highest impact journal for the field of emergency medicine, and hopes to continue to improve the care of emergency department patients presenting with common problems.

Ellen Weber, MD

Professor

UCSF Department of Emergency Medicine
UCSF Profile
 
Ellen Weber is Professor of Emergency Medicine and Vice Chair at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF). She received her MD degree from Harvard Medical School, completed her residency at UCSF, and is board certified in Emergency and Internal Medicine. She has practiced emergency medicine in both the community and teaching hospital settings since 1986. She served as Medical Director of the Emergency Department at UCSF Medical Center from 1992 through 2008,. This position stimulated her interest in health policy research, particularly in the areas of ED utilization, and systems improvement. Along with co-authors from UCSF and Robert Wood Johnson, she authored three papers demonstrating that most patients in emergency department have primary care physicians and insurance, that the rise in ED visits in the past decade was largely due to more insured patients presenting for care, and that so-called “frequent users” of EDs have poorer health status, and also use other parts of the health care system. These papers served to “normalize” the ED population so that more policy attention could be focused on ED issues such as quality and crowding. In 2008, Dr. Weber became a Visiting Professor at the School for Health and Related Research at the University of Sheffield in England and performed mixed methods studies on how UK hospitals implemented the four-hour throughput target for emergency department patients and the impact on staff and patients. After her return to UCSF, she continued her research in ED operations and quality and took on the role of the ED’s Lead Physician for the implementation of the hospital-wide EMR. As part of this, she implemented computerized version of the ESI triage algorithm which has reduced patient time in triage, allowing more high-acuity patients to be seen quickly. Most recently, she convened a multi-disciplinary team to implement decision support in the EMR for test ordering that is aimed at reducing unnecessary CT use. In 2013, Dr. Weber was appointed Editor in Chief of the Emergency Medicine Journal, published by the BMJ publishing group.