Jay Lusk

I am a dual-degree MD/MBA student who intends to pursue a career in neurology as a clinician-scientist. I am a Margolis Scholar in Medicine and American Heart Association Predoctoral Fellow, and my interests include the population health of chronic disease, particularly neurological conditions and cardiovascular disease, health policy and health systems transformation, and physician leadership of health systems. I am passionate about structural reform to improve health equity and am deeply interested in applying innovative, multidisciplinary approaches to decrease population-level morbidity and mortality from common chronic diseases, particularly cardiovascular disease, stroke, dementia, and other neurological conditions. I am also deeply interested in leveraging tools from health economics and population health to impact health policy, and have a particular academic focus in applying structural equation modeling (SEM) causal inference methods to clinical and public health problems. I am also interested in interdisciplinary health services research approaches to understand the intersecting contributions of health system, environmental, and patient factors to clinical and health system outcomes (e.g. quality, safety, and cost). I am involved in a broad range of high-level service to Duke University, and aspire to become a physician-leader in an academic medical system. 

Current Research Interests

I currently am engaged in a variety of research pursuits. My primary projects are as follows:

1) Structural Equation Modeling for Causal Inference in Cardiovascular Disease Burden Accumulation. I designed and am leading a project investigating the connection between psychosocial stressors, healthcare utilization, health behaviors, and cardiovascular health outcomes of patients in the Jackson Heart Study through an innovative structural equation modeling (SEM) approach. I also am applying SEM to the population level using Medicare claims data to characterize unique features of and disparities in cardiovascular disease progression over time for various incident cardiovascular disease states. I intend to apply SEM to diverse clinical problems where randomized controlled trials are impossible or unethical throughout my career. 

2) Disparities in Dementia and Parkinson's Disease Outcomes and Healthcare Utilization Patterns. I have led several studies investigating disparities in neurodegenerative disease outcomes and healthcare utilization using large Medicare claims datasets. We have specifically investigated racial disparities in receipt of high and low-value healthcare services. We aspire to develop interventional targets for policy and system intervention to promote health equity in the care of patients with neurodegenerative diseases. 

3) Impact of Neighborhood Socioeconomic Deprivation on Healthcare Outcomes and QualityI am leading several population-based studies investigating the association between neighborhood socioeconomic deprivation and patient outcomes as well as quality indicators for health systems. Our work lays the groundwork for policy and practice reform to improve socioeconomic and geographic disparities in healthcare quality. 

Current Appointments & Affiliations

Contact Information

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