Kern Health Care Delivery Scholars Program

The Kern Health Care Delivery Scholars Program trains and mentors the next generation of clinically trained, doctoral-level fellows and junior faculty in health services research. The program was established in 2010 and is sponsored by center benefactors Robert D. and Patricia E. Kern.

There is a critical need for a specialized Mayo Clinic workforce dedicated to conducting high-quality, practice-based health services research to improve the delivery of health care. Such an effort requires highly motivated, exceptionally trained, practicing clinicians with robust research skills, protected time and demonstrated scholarly track records. To address this need, Mayo Clinic established the Kern Health Care Delivery Scholars Program with the goal of transforming health care delivery for improved patient-centered outcomes.

Providing evidence-informed and patient-centered health care requires assessing existing health care delivery systems, rigorously testing different care models and applying best practices to improve those systems. Health services research harnesses the disciplines of the social sciences, including epidemiology, statistics and sociology, to achieve these objectives.

The Kern Health Care Delivery Scholars Program furthers Mayo Clinic's strategic goals:

  • To transform the health care delivery process by using evidence-based knowledge and information to provide solutions.
  • To remain trusted and affordable to patients.
  • To sustain a scholarly workforce relevant to recent health care reform legislation.

Kern Health Care Delivery Scholars are not only building their own knowledge, but also enabling others to improve the delivery of health care wherever they are.


Cassie C. Kennedy, M.D.

Felicity T. Enders, Ph.D.

Aaron C. Spaulding, Ph.D.

Kern Health Care Delivery Scholars

New scholar cohorts begin every year in July. Each scholar is asked to share something about themselves and their motivations for the program. Those interviews are linked to their names below.

  1. Yan Bi, M.D., Ph.D.

    Consultant, Gastroenterology and Hepatology

    Observing cancer disease progression using wearable devices and artificial intelligence to monitor biometrics; developing a real-time scoring system to quantify pancreatic cancer risk in the general population

  2. Gustavo A. Cortes Puentes, M.D.

    Consultant, Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine

    Studying changes in pulmonary function in gender-affirming therapy; finding personalized approaches to pulmonary function testing in transgender and gender diverse patients

  3. Urshila Durani, M.D., M.P.H.

    Senior Associate Consultant, Hematology

    Using a mixed methods approach to evaluate and address the financial toxicity of chimeric antigen receptor (CAR)-T cell therapy for lymphoma survivors

  4. Khushboo S. Gala, M.B.B.S.

    Fellow, Gastroenterology and Hepatology

    Addressing obesity through development and validation of a shared decision-making tool for holistic weight management

  5. Jacob C. Jentzer, M.D.

    Consultant, Cardiology

    Developing novel artificial intelligence algorithms for early detection of hemodynamic instability and shock in patients in the intensive care unit to facilitate timely, optimal therapy delivery

  6. Timothy D. Lyon, M.D.

    Consultant, Urology

    Identifying and addressing barriers in access and suboptimal outcomes for patients with bladder cancer

  7. Eleshia J. Morrison, Ph.D., L.P.

    Consultant, Psychology

    Delivery of an eHealth intervention for underresourced adult patients with chronic pain

  8. Yewande E. Odeyemi, M.B.B.S.

    Consultant, Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine

    Individualizing corticosteroid use in pneumonia and acute hypoxic respiratory failure

  9. Surbhi Shah, M.B.B.S., M.D.

    Senior Associate Consultant, Hematology-Oncology

    Creating a learning health system for implementing anticoagulation stewardship with a focus on direct oral anticoagulants

  10. Kevin M. Wymer, M.D.

    Fellow, Urology

    Using cost-effectiveness data to create a decision aid for the surgical management of kidney stones