School of Public Health (SPH) Professor Douglas Wholey received the Provan Distinguished Scholar Award from the Health Care Management Division of the Academy of Management in Atlanta on Aug. 8. This award from the nation’s premier management research organization recognizes investigators who have a significant career record of high-quality scholarly research in health care management.
The Academy of Management recognized Wholey’s work for his health care management research, which is reflected in his lengthy publication record. Within the field, Wholey, along with colleague Rob Burns from the Wharton School, was one the first investigators to empirically study how doctors utilize hospital services. He also studied health maintenance organization formation, failure, and performance with his SPH colleagues Professors Jon Christianson and Roger Feldman. Additionally, Wholey co-founded the Organization Theory in Health Care Association.
“Studying health care organization and management allows the examination of two substantial and ongoing changes in the workplace: the increasing use of inter-professional teams and the increasing diversity of occupations and professions,” says Wholey. “Studying these issues in the public health and health care sectors at multiple levels provides the opportunity to do research that can improve population health, as well as contribute to organizational theory.”
Other areas of Wholey’s research include rural health care organization and the organization of public health systems — studied with SPH Professor Ira Moscovice and adjunct faculty Walter Gregg — and clinic and care team organization done in collaboration with Drs. David Knoke and Michael Finch from the University of Minnesota, and Xi Zhu from the University of Iowa. As an educator, Wholey was a key developer of the school’s Public Health Informatics program and serves as director of the MS in Health Services Research Policy & Administration degree.