10th ICHPS a Success Despite Shutdown
More than 260 statisticians, methodologists, and health policy experts gathered October 9–11, 2013, at The Palmer House Hilton Hotel in Chicago, Illinois, for the 10th International Conference on Health Policy Statistics (ICHPS), which was co-chaired by Xiao-Hua Andrew Zhou of the University of Washington and Donald Hedeker of the University of Illinois at Chicago.
The meeting’s theme, “Statistically Engaged Health Care Policy,” reflected the growing importance of the collaboration and engagement of statisticians in evaluating and improving health care policy in the United States and throughout the world.
Major presentations covered a range of topics, including comparative effectiveness research, causal inference, longitudinal data, missing data, propensity score methods, data synthesis, personalized medicine and dynamic treatment regimes, and methods for patient-reported outcomes. Keynote addresses included “The Reincarnation of Health Policy Statisticians,” by Seth Eisen of the Office of Research and Development of the Department of Veteran Affairs, and “Statistics and Health Policy in 2013—Progresses and Retreats,” by Sharon-Lise Normand of the Department of Health Care Policy at the Harvard Medical School. Also, Robert Gibbons of the departments of medicine and health studies and director of the Center for Health Statistics at The University of Chicago, gave the plenary address, “The Future of Mental Health Measurement.”
Due to the federal government shutdown in October, a number of government employees could not attend the conference. Indeed, Eisen could not attend the conference in person, but instead delivered his keynote over the phone with the help of co-chair Andrew Zhou. Also, several presentations and one workshop were cancelled, though the quality of the conference didn’t suffer.
The conference also included presentation of the Health Policy Statistics Section’s biennial awards. Honored with the Long-Term Excellence Award were Naihua Duan, professor emeritus of Columbia University, and Robert Gibbons of The University of Chicago. A mid-career award was presented to Susan Paddock of RAND Corporation, and 15 students received student travel awards for their presentations at the conference.
The Polkaholics, a band led by Don Hedeker, performed Thursday evening at Phyllis’ Musical Inn in the Wicker Park neighborhood. This performance was especially memorable since it featured Brad Carlin of the University of Minnesota, who joined the band on keyboards and vocals. As the band performed the hour-long set, several eminent statisticians were seen dancing to the crazy polka music!
The 10 conference workshops (attracting nearly 400 attendees) featured topics such as hierarchical models for longitudinal-survival data, missing data in longitudinal studies, causal inference, propensity score methods, and comparative effectiveness research. Zhou concluded the conference by leading an informative workshop on estimation of re-identification risk in de-identified data.
The 11th ICHPS—planned for October of 2015—will be co-chaired by Kelly Zou of Pfizer, Inc., and Recai Yucel of SUNY Albany. For more information, contact Zou at Kelly.Zou@pfizer.com or Yucel at email@example.com.