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Historic ACMI Biography

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After obtaining a PhD in industrial engineering from the University of Minnesota, Dr. Gustafson has spent his entire professional career at the University of Wisconsin. His research has been at the forefront of our emerging discipline for the last three decades. ACMI can illustrate the diversity, influence, and sustained consistency of his work by citing a few examples. In the 1970s, he and his colleagues developed a computer-based system for interviewing patients reporting suicidal thoughts and then used a Bayesian statistical model to predict the likelihood of suicide. In the 1980s, he led the development and testing of the Body Awareness Resource Network (BARN), a system to help teenagers address issues of smoking, alcohol and other drugs, sexual activity, and stress; it has been used in 16% of middle and high schools nationwide. In the 1990s, his team developed and tested the Comprehensive Health Enhancement Support System (CHESS), a program that provides information, plus emotional and decision support, to people facing life-threatening illness. Dr. Gustafson is also known for his rigorous evaluation studies. For example, he has published on the acceptability and effectiveness of systems in populations with less education and less familiarity with computer systems such as black, unemployed, poorly educated patients with breast cancer. He was one of the founders of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, where he developed innovative techniques for understanding the needs of consumers and identifying evidence-based principles for improving their health. He is now the National Program Director for a Robert Wood Johnson program applying systems engineering principles to enhance substance abuse treatment. Dr. Gustafson is among that small group of specialists in the field of industrial engineering and operations research who have helped create an awareness of the importance of these disciplines to the future of sound public policy and operational management in health care. He has shown his informatics colleagues how senior academic scholars can contribute to the development of younger professionals.


The American College of Medical Informatics

ACMI is a college of elected Fellows from the U.S. and abroad who have made significant and sustained contributions to the field of medical informatics. It is the central body for a community of scholars and practitioners who are committed to advancing the informatics field.

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