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U-M expands children’s health research with new gift

Child Health Evaluation and Research Center named in honor of Susan Meister, Ph.D.

ANN ARBOR, Mich. — A gift from University of Michigan alumni Susan and Paul Meister will expand the university’s impact on children’s health research.

The Child Health Evaluation and Research (CHEAR) Center at Michigan Medicine will now be known as the Susan B. Meister Child Health Evaluation and Research Center in honor of Dr. Meister, a respected health care policy expert.

Advancing Health Services Research for Children

Widely recognized as a model for working across disciplines, the newly named Susan B. Meister Child Health Evaluation and Research Center is a leader in advancing health services research to improve the lives of children and families. With 17 core research investigators and more than 40 research staff, fellows, and students, the Center is one of the largest of its kind focused on children. Center investigators lead research focused on child health outcomes and health policy across several core research themes: data science, emerging technologies, outcomes research, policy evaluation, and communications. The work of the Center is multidisciplinary, encompassing epidemiology, health policy, health services research, general pediatrics and pediatric subspecialties, and partnering with more than 10 schools across campus.

Since 1998, the center has brought together faculty, fellows, and staff from Michigan Medicine’s Department of Pediatrics, as well as other departments, schools and institutes across U-M. Together, they perform evidence-based research and evaluations aimed at improving the quality and efficiency of health care for children and their families.

In addition to providing operational funding, the gift from the Meisters will provide support to recruit and retain highly regarded innovators to bolster what is already one of the largest and most interdisciplinary group of academic researchers in the country studying how to improve child health.

The gift also will help launch a training program for postdoctoral fellows holding an M.D. or Ph.D., as well as provide seed funding for young researchers whose work focuses on improving the delivery of child health care, and enhancing the effectiveness and efficiency of public and private health care programs.

“The Meisters’ gift will expand and further the multidisciplinary research that is so critical to improve the lives of children,” says Marschall Runge, M.D., Ph.D., executive vice president for medical affairs at the University of Michigan. “Not only will this gift provide operational support, it will also support training programs for MD, PhD, and other fellows to ensure a pipeline of high caliber researchers to lead the future of children’s health research."

“Dr. Susan Meister has been a valued supporter and trusted advisor to our center for many years. Her dedication to improving the lives of children and their families has been integral to the groundbreaking research that is conducted daily at our Center,” says Lisa Prosser, Ph.D., the center’s director and a professor of pediatrics. “We are honored that she and Paul have chosen to convey their continued support and trust through this transformational gift that will fund research, recruitment, education and an operational structure necessary to ensure our continuing success and impact.”  

The gift first was announced at the 12th Annual Susan B. Meister Lecture in Child Health Policy, which brought together speakers from a variety of disciplines to explore important child health topics.

About the honoree and donors

Dr. Susan Meister has dedicated her career to clinical research and pediatric health care policy. She founded the Board of Advisors for the Child Health and Evaluation Research unit at Michigan Medicine and is actively involved in this work at organizations around the country.

Susan (BSN ‘74, PhD ‘82) and Paul (AB ‘74) Meister are active volunteers and ardent supporters of programs across the university, including Michigan Medicine, the Life Sciences Institute, and Engineering, among others. The Meisters serve on the Steering Committee of the Victors for Michigan campaign, both received the David B. Hermelin Award for Fundraising Volunteer Leadership in 2008.  Susan is a member of the President’s Advisory Group and Michigan Medicine Advisory Group in addition to other volunteer roles across the university. Together, the Meisters are co-chairs of the New England Campaign Leadership Council.

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