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Mason Health Policy Center Director Selected for New Innovation Advisors Program to Improve Care for Patients

January 9, 2012

Jan. 9, 2012

Media Contact: Leah Fogarty, 703-993-8781

Fairfax, Va.—George Mason University’s College of Health and Human Services is proud to announce that Len Nichols, director of Mason’s Center for Health Policy Research and Ethics (CHPRE), has been selected for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ (CMS) Innovation Advisors Program.

The initiative, launched by the CMS Innovation Center in October 2011, will help health professionals deepen skills that will drive improvements to patient care and reduce costs.

Nichols, who is also a professor of health policy in Mason’s College of Health and Human Services, is one of 73 individuals from 27 states and the District of Columbia participating in the Innovation Advisors Program. After an initial orientation phase, Innovation Advisors will work with the CMS Innovation Center to test new models of care delivery in their own organizations and communities.

The advisors will also create partnerships to find new ideas that work and share them regionally and across the United States. This work will build upon the partnerships that Nichols has already created in Fairfax, Va., Grand Junction, Colo., , and Rochester, N.Y., among others.

“I’m excited about this opportunity because it gives me a chance to further engage with the communities that I’ve already worked with,” Nichols says. “All of the advisors can learn from each other so we can make our health care system sustainable and affordable.”

The 73 individuals were selected from 920 applications through a competitive process, and include clinicians, allied health professionals and health administrators.

“We’re looking to these Innovation Advisors to be our partners-we want them to discover and generate new ideas that will work and help us bring them to every corner of the United States,” says Dr. Rick Gilfillan, CMS Innovation Center director.

By attending in-person and remote meetings to expand their skills and then applying what they learn, the advisors will be able to deepen their knowledge in health care economics and finance, population health, systems analysis and operations research.

“This really shows that researchers at CHPRE and at Mason are engaged in a serious way in health care delivery system reform,” says Nichols.

More information about the Innovation Advisors Program, including a fact sheet and a list of participants and their affiliated organizations, can be found here. More information about CHPRE can be found at

About George Mason University

George Mason University is an innovative, entrepreneurial institution with global distinction in a range of academic fields. Located in Northern Virginia near Washington, D.C., Mason provides students access to diverse cultural experiences and the most sought-after internships and employers in the country.  Mason offers strong undergraduate and graduate degree programs in engineering and information technology, organizational psychology, health care and visual and performing arts. With Mason professors conducting groundbreaking research in areas such as climate change, public policy and the biosciences, George Mason University is a leading example of the modern, public university. George Mason University—Where Innovation Is Tradition.