University of Vermont

College of Medicine

Department of Medicine

General Internal Medicine Research



Research Day

Our General Internal Medicine Research faculty work on projects that cover the broad range of non-biological science relevant to health and health care.




Research Programs

Automated systems to enhance patient and provider engagement

Unit faculty have devised novel methods to use medical information to increase the quality of care, improve outcomes, and reduce costs. These methods are being applied to diabetes and chronic kidney disease in primary care practices across the country. Benjamin Littenberg, M.D., Charles MacLean, M.D.

GEOMed: The effect of the built environment on clinical outcomes, including obesity, cancer and heart disease

This work seeks to use large data sets to identify factors in the environment immediately around one’s home (such as roads, land cover, food sources and recreation opportunities) that influence physical activity and health. Faculty collaborators include Lisa Aultman-Hall (UVM Engineering), Dori Rosenberg (Group Health Research Institute, Seattle, WA), Austin Troy (UVM School of Natural Resources), , and Asim Zia (UVM Community Development & Applied Economics) are collaborating with our College of Medicine researchers Benjamin Littenberg M.D. and Brian Sprague, M.D.

Safe and effective use of medications in ambulatory settings

This group performs epidemiologic analyses of prescription claims data to identify problem areas in outpatient prescribing and tests systems-based approaches to mitigating those problems. It also developed a novel approach to provider education based on academic detailing:

Natural language processing of unstructured text for clinical analysis and epidemiology

In collaboration with computer scientists at UVM, unit faculty are developing and testing methods to extract analyzable information about clinical care, diagnosis, and social history from dictated notes and diagnosis lists. Elizabeth Chen, Ph.D.

Data mining for novel epidemiologic insights

By analyzing large secondary data sets of hospital discharges, unit faculty are uncovering previously unrecognized associations among diseases. Rhonda Kost, Elizabeth Chen, Ph.D., Benjamin Littenberg M.D.

Evaluation of novel and existing diagnostic tests

Blood and urine chemistries, imaging and audiological evaluations are currently under study, including mammograms, tests for diabetes and chronic kidney disease, and dichotic listening tests for auditory processing disorders. Kairn Kelley, Benjamin Littenberg, M.D., Charles MacLean, M.D.

Integration of mental health, substance abuse and behavioral health services into primary care

The unit is actively involved in implementing novel services in this domain as well as leading national efforts to evaluate different models of integration. Connie van Eeghen, Rodger Kessler, Ph.D., Benjamin Littenberg, M.D.

Quality Improvement tools for primary care settings

Techniques that have revolutionized manufacturing, hospitality, transportation and even some aspects of health care, have not been widely successful in primary care. This work seeks to understand the barriers to wider deployment of LEAN and other quality improvement techniques and develop strategies to deploy them effectively. Connie van Eeghen

Last modified November 14 2013 10:26 AM