Davene R. Wright, PhD
Associate Professor of Population Medicine at Harvard
Decision Scientist and Child Health Care Researcher
Career Development Mentor
I am an Associate Professor in the Department of Population Medicine, a research and academic partnership between the Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute and Harvard Medical School. There, I am the Associate Director of the Division of Child Health Research and Policy.
I am a decision scientist, interested in the study of how stakeholders make decisions and how they can make better decisions in the presence of uncertainty, complexity, and competing values. The overarching goal of my research is to improve the demand for and supply of effective and efficient health care for patients with chronic diseases with a focus on obesity and diabetes. I specialize in leading interdisciplinary studies that link a variety of decision sciences methods and related techniques including stated preference elicitation, economic evaluation, simulation modeling, health services research methods, and qualitative research. I am committed to using my methodological toolkit to design health care interventions and policies that will have high uptake and high potential to improve population health.
Sample research questions I seek to answer
What health insurance plans do people chronic conditions think will work best for them? Were they right?
Do interventions designed based on quantitatively elicited patient preferences improve adherence to recommended health care?
How do parents and adolescents make decisions about adolescent health care together?
What is the business case for health care payers to sponsor financial incentive interventions for chronic disease management?
Do (and if so, how do) parents think about their child's long-term obesity trajectory and related health risks?
How can we ensure equitable access to effective, but expensive new technologies for managing pediatric chronic conditions?
What are efficient policy levers for reducing the prevalence of childhood obesity?
Mentoring and service
My research is enhanced by my effort devoted to teaching and mentoring trainees and junior faculty. I offer career development workshops for early career researchers. Moreover, I engage in diversity, equity, and inclusion activities nationally and locally to improve the recruitment and retention of academic scholars from underrepresented backgrounds.
selected RESEARCH TALKS
Teens just wanna have funds: Developing a financial incentives intervention for adolescents with type 1 diabetes
University of Michigan
Panel Study of Income Dynamics User Conference
Healthy, wealthy, and wise? Exploring optimism bias in parent predictions about a child’s future health and socioeconomic expectations
Tufts University Medical Center
Parent-Perceived Important Topics for Childhood Obesity (PPITCH): Hitting the right note for effective health risk communication
Massachusetts General Hospital