Online Program

“Big Statistics” in Policy and Politics

Tuesday, November 3, 2015 : 12:30 p.m. - 1:15 p.m.

Sally Morton, PhD, Graduate School of Public Health, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA
Evidence-based policy, particularly in the age of big data, demands “big statistics.” Big statistics are created when statisticians not only contribute as scientists but also excel as leaders, communicators and collaborators. Utilizing case studies based on Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality evidence-based medicine systematic reviews, Institute of Medicine reports on healthcare reform topics, and Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute projects, I will demonstrate how statisticians can contribute to health policy by generating “big statistics.”  I will discuss how evidence may be assessed in the policy arena, giving particular attention to the potential impact of methodological standards for research. I will illustrate the importance of statistical science in policy, as well as underscore the need for statisticians to engage decision-makers and communicate information from a policy perspective while being mindful of the political realities surrounding that communication.

Learning Areas:

Biostatistics, economics
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
Describe the importance of leadership, communication, and collaboration skills for statisticians in health policy.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been invited by the Applied Public Health Statistics section to give this lecture. I am a faculty member of the University of Pittsburgh's Graduate School of Public Health, and I have previously worked as the vice-president of statistics at RTI international and head of the RAND Corporation's Statistics Group. Research interests include comparative effectiveness research, in which two different treatment options are compared to each other to determine effectiveness, benefits and harm.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.