Lown Institute Makes Fellow Appointments

Drs. Combs, Elshaug Join Inaugural Class of Lown Institute Fellows

July 1, 2014  (Boston, MA) – The Lown Institute, a non-profit organization dedicated to restoring the relationship between the doctor and patient and protecting patients from inappropriate tests and treatments, appointed two senior Fellows for an 18-month term. Brandon Combs, MD, FACP, assistant professor of Medicine at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, and Adam Elshaug, PhD, MPH, associate professor of Health Care Policy at The University of Sydney Medical School, are the first fellow appointments of the Lown Institute.

 “Drs. Combs and Elshaug were named fellows based on their outstanding record of scholarship and advocacy for compassionate, effective, and evidence-based medical care,” says Vikas Saini, MD, Lown Institute president. “Their work furthers our core mission of delivering right care that benefits patients, families, and communities.”

Dr. Combs is an assistant professor of Medicine at the University of Colorado School of Medicine and Fellow in the American College of Physicians (FACP). As a senior Fellow at the Lown Institute, he will develop tools that physicians can use to recognize the causes and consequences of inappropriate tests and treatments. As part of the Lown Institute’s Right Care Alliance, he will manage the broad implementation of the Do No Harm Project, a series of clinical vignettes written by trainees to improve recognition of harms caused by medical overuse, across the country. The Do No Harm Project was inspired by the Lown Institute’s 2012 Annual Meeting, Avoiding Avoidable Care. Dr. Combs co-founded the nationally-recognized Do No Harm Project in 2012, which has been recognized by the American Board of Internal Medicine Foundation and the American College of Physicians. He is also a section editor of “Teachable Moments,” a series in JAMA Internal Medicine inspired by the Do No Harm Project.

Dr. Combs is a primary care physician and general internist and is actively involved in medical student and resident education in both inpatient and ambulatory settings. His academic interests include medical education, evidence based medicine, decision-making around cancer screening, and improving value in health care.

Dr. Elshaug is an associate professor of Health Care Policy at the Menzies Centre for Health Policy, University of Sydney Medical School in Australia. He is an internationally-recognized researcher and policy advisor with expertise in reducing waste and optimizing value in health care. As Senior Fellow at Lown Institute, Dr. Elshaug is lending his expertise in addressing low-value health care to several Right Care Alliance initiatives. This includes identifying the needs in the area of low-value care and writing a research agenda on overuse and avoidable care, to name a few.

Dr. Elshaug works closely with the Australian government (including Medicare Australia) and third party payers in health care to design and implement reforms aimed at optimizing heath care safety and value. Previous roles include The Commonwealth Fund’s Inaugural Visiting Fellow in New York City, NHMRC Sidney Sax Public Health Fellow in the Department of Health Care Policy at the Harvard Medical School, and The Commonwealth Fund Harkness Fellow based at the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) in Washington, D.C.