Muwaffak Abdulhak, MD serves as Project Director. Jason Schwalb, MD serves as Data Analysis Director. Victor Chang, MD serves as Associate Director, and David Nerenz, PhD serves as Associate Director of Registry. Lisa Pietrantoni is Project Manager, Kari Jarabek, BSN, RN is QI Nurse Leader, Jamie Myers, RN, BSN is Training & Auditing Specialist, Sharon Jones is Data Coordinator, and Christy Johnson is Special Project Coordinator. Lonni Schultz, PhD is Senior Biostatistician, Michael Bazydlo, MS is Biostatistician, Hsueh-han Yeh, is Biostatistician.
Muwaffak Abdulhak, MD, FRCS(C)
Dr. Abdulhak joined Henry Ford Hospital in July 2001 as Director of the Neurosurgery Spine Program. He was board certified in internal medicine before training in Neurosurgery. After completing his neurosurgery training at the University of Western Ontario in London, Ontario, he became a fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons of Canada. In addition, he completed a complex spine fellowship program at the Medical College of Wisconsin. Dr. Abdulhak is certified by the American Board of Neurological Surgery. He leads the Spine and Neuro trauma program at Henry Ford Hospital; a multi-disciplinary effort with a strong collaboration with the orthopedic department. Dr. Abdulhak has very extensive experience focusing on minimally invasive approach as well as complex and reconstructive/deformity correction spine surgery for degenerative, traumatic, as well as metastatic spine disease.
David R Nerenz, PhD.
Associate Director – Registry, Patient Reported Outcomes
Dr. Nerenz received his Ph.D. in Social Psychology from the University of Wisconsin in 1979. He served as Director of the VA’s Great Lakes Regional HSR&D Field Program in Ann Arbor from 1984 – 1986 and was Director of Henry Ford Health System’s Center for Health System Studies from 1987 – 1999. From 1999 to 2003, he was at Michigan State University, as Professor in the College of Human Medicine and as Director of the Institute for Health Care Studies from 2001 to 2003. He returned to Henry Ford Health System in 2003 and is currently Director of the Center for Health Policy and Health Services Research and Vice Chair of Research in the Department of Neurosurgery. He is also Director of Outcomes Research for the Neuroscience Institute at Henry Ford. In this role, he is responsible for fostering clinical research in several specific clinical areas (e.g., spine surgery), and supporting translational research of novel approaches to treatment developed by HFHS bench researchers. Dr. Nerenz’s own research has been in the area of health system performance measurement and elimination of racial/ethnic disparities in quality of care. He is also the site Principal Investigator on an AHRQ – funded back pain registry project. As CHPHSR Director, he currently oversees three NIH – funded projects with other PIs that involve some form of health system intervention in order to promote screening activities or chronic disease management activities in Henry Ford Medical Group primary care settings. In May of 2012, Dr. Nerenz was appointed to the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) as one of 17 Commissioners. MedPAC is a policy – setting body that advises Congress on a variety of payment issues in the context of the Medicare program.
Jason Schwalb, MD, FAANS, FACS
Chair, Publications Committee
Jason M. Schwalb, MD is the Surgical Director of the Movement Disorder and Comprehensive Epilepsy Centers at Henry Ford Health System and Clinical Professor of Neurosurgery at Wayne State University. He also holds an appointment as a Research Scientist in the Center for Health Policy and Health Services Research at Henry Ford.
Dr. Schwalb obtained his BA in Classical Greek summa cum laude from CUNY Brooklyn College. He obtained his MD from Yale University. He completed his surgical internship at Johns Hopkins University and his neurosurgical residency at the University of Pennsylvania with an infolded fellowship in spine surgery. He then completed a fellowship in Stereotactic and Functional Neurosurgery at the University of Toronto, during which time he also obtained additional training in epilepsy and peripheral nerve surgery.
He has served as the President of the AANS/CNS Joint Section on Pain and Section Editor for Pain for Neurosurgery. He is the current Vice President of the Michigan Association of Neurological Surgeons. He is a member of the AMA Pain Care Task Force and the National Quality Council for the AANS and CNS and serves on the Coding and Reimbursement Committee of the AANS and CNS.
Lisa has worked at Henry Ford Health System for a total of 14 years. From 1990 to 1999 she worked as a research Laboratory Manager for the Division of Neuropathology, and as a Project Coordinator for the Center for Health System Studies. Lisa spent 8 years at Wayne State University, as a project manager for the Institute of Environmental Health Science’s Community Outreach and Education Program, specializing in the development of web-based interactive environmental health curriculum for high school students, and biotechnology curriculum for graduate-level teachers. Since her return to HFHS, Lisa has served as a Multi-Site Clinical Research Projects Leader in the Neuroscience Institute, responsible for overseeing patient recruitment, data collection, database development, and protocol compliance for multiple clinical trials, observational cohort studies, and patient registries. Lisa earned her bachelors of science degree in Medical Laboratory Sciences from Oakland University, with certifications in Histotechnology by the American Society of Clinical Pathology, and Clinical Research Coordinator by the Association for Clinical Research Professionals.
QI Nurse Lead
Kari joined Henry Ford Health System September of 2016. She comes to us with a strong background in Patient Safety & Quality, program development, management, and regulatory agency compliance experience. Her background includes a working knowledge of the BCBSM Pay-for-Performance Program as a whole with special attention to the Collaborative Quality Initiatives (CQIs). Kari comes to us from Covenant HealthCare where she collaborated with medical staff and nursing regarding CMS Core Measures and Value-Based Purchasing. She also worked with the Covenant PHO as their Quality Administrator for several BCBSM PGIP Initiatives. Kari was responsible for the development and implementation of MSSIC at Covenant HealthCare and was the Collaborative Clinical Lead to assist other staff with process development and quality improvement for their particular CQIs and to support hospital administration in the tracking of all CQI goals. She has been involved with and has led several successful quality improvement initiatives and is Lean Healthcare certified through the University of Michigan. She prides herself on taking difficult concepts and transforming them to be practical and easy to understand. Kari’s advice for successful Quality Improvement: “Go to the people who do the work, where they do the work, and show them respect. They are the experts. They know what is happening, why it is happening, and they have the insight as to which interventions will work.” Kari graduated from Saginaw Valley State University where she earned her Bachelor of Science in Nursing.
Sharon has been with the Henry Ford Health System since 2004. She was an acute care medical transcriptionist for 4 years at Henry Ford Wyandotte Hospital, followed by 2 years in their Service Excellence Department as the Senior Administrative Secretary. There she facilitated the process of using survey results for process improvement by charting scores and creating presentation materials showing trends and goals for use by management and administration. In 2010 Sharon joined the Center for Health Policy and Health Services Research department in the role of Special Project Coordinator. There she designed and created data collection forms and databases to suit the needs of multiple clinic and research projects, as well as facilitating the data collection process with tracking tools, instructional materials, and quality check processes. Sharon earned her Associates of Applied Science in Computer Information Systems from Wayne County Community College, specializing in database administration.
Special Project Coordinator
Christy has been an employee with Henry Ford Health System since 2003. She was an Emergency Room Technician for 10 ½ years at HF Wyandotte Hospital, while studying Mortuary Science, completing her apprenticeship in 2005. Christy graduated with honors, receiving her Bachelor of Science in Health Services Administration from Baker College. Christy transitioned to Henry Ford Hospital obtaining a position in the Graduate Medical Education (GME) Department as a Human Resource Advocate for residents and fellows in sixteen different professional programs. Her human resource function for each resident and fellow included: coordination of benefits, salary distribution, promotions, leave of absence (LOA) and terminations. She was also responsible for submitting and reviewing license applications to the State of Michigan, Audited Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) for physician licensures and initiated all Visa processes through the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG). She was also the administrator for the Schwartz Center Rounds. Christy advanced her career by moving to the Corporate Office, One Ford Place as the Office Coordinator/Assistant Marketing Manager for Henry Ford ENHANCE, EAP. Christy many duties included coordinating referrals, database management, and billing. She was also responsible for running, distributing, collecting and monitoring all monthly, quarterly, annually reports. Christy maintains an updated CPR certification and is a certified notary.