Danielle Whicher is a doctoral candidate in Bioethics and Health Policy in the Department of Health Policy and Management. Her research and public health interests lie at the intersection of the growing field of comparative effectiveness research (CER) (or patient centered outcomes research), ethics, and public policy. Since a key function of the field of public health is improving the health and well-being of communities through research, it is critical to ensure that this growing field of CER is carried out in both morally and socially appropriate ways and is conducted efficiently so that the results are available to aid in clinical and health policy decision-making. Understanding how to balance concerns about protecting and respecting individuals who might be asked to participate in CER trials with the public health goal of generating evidence to improve health and well-being is the tension Ms. Whicher will address through her dissertation work. Specifically, Ms. Whicher’s dissertation work seeks to understand whether traditional means of individual, prospective, signed, written informed consent should always be required for low risk CER studies designed to compare similar therapies already proven to be effective. Ms. Whicher received an Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality Dissertation Award to support this work.
Prior to coming to Hopkins, Ms. Whicher was a project manager at the Center for Medical Technology Policy in Baltimore, MD. In this role, Ms. Whicher managed a number projects designed to engage stakeholders in discussions about the design of comparative effectiveness research studies as well as in activities that aimed to develop prioritized research agendas for different high priority research topics. Ms. Whicher received her M.H.S. from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and her B.A. from Colgate University.