Davene Wright, PhD

Davene Wright PhDDavene Wright, PhD
Assistant Professor of Population Medicine, Harvard Pilgrim Healthcare, department of Population Medicine, Harvard Pilgrim Health care Institute

Division Chief: Ann C. Wu, MD, MPH, Ruth Sager Endowed Associate Professor, Department of Population Medicine, Harvard Medical School; Pediatrician, Boston Children’s Hospital

Mentors: Ann C. Wu MD, MPH, Ruth Sager Endowed Associate Professor, Department of Population Medicine, Harvard Medical School; Pediatrician, Boston Children’s Hospital
Laura A. Hatfield, PhD, Associate Professor of Health care Policy (Biostatistics), Department of Health Care Policy, Harvard Medical School

Project Title: “Developing a Model to Optimize Intergenerational Decision Making”

Project Description: Traditional decision-making research focuses on individuals. While intergenerational relationships between family members play an essential and role in medical decision making, consideration of how values and preferences for multiple decision-making parties is complex and has therefore not received much attention in research. Decision-making with multiple stakeholders who aim to maximize multiple objectives can be challenging conceptually and protocols can be challenging to enact. Related to child health in particular, the role children play and the weight their preferences hold in decision making can change as children develop and mature.
Some researchers have qualitatively explored how parents and adolescents divide decision making roles regarding adolescent health, but there is little quantitative research that explores this concept. In this study, we will develop mathematical models to maximize utility for multiple stakeholders, obtaining optimal decisions. We will apply this utility function to a large, longitudinal secondary data set that supports the study of health and welfare within families. The results of this pilot work will be used to design an intervention to improve intergenerational decision making regarding adolescent health that will be evaluated in a mixed methods interventional study.

Biography:  Davene R. Wright, PhD is a health care researcher who uses decision sciences methodologies to design interventions and promote policies that can improve the management of pediatric chronic diseases. Dr. Wright is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Population Medicine, a research and academic partnership between the Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute and Harvard Medical School. There, she is part of the Center for Healthcare Research in Pediatrics and the Division of Chronic Disease Across the Lifecourse and she is on faculty in the Harvard PhD Program in Health Policy. Until 2019, Dr. Wright was an Assistant Professor in the University of Washington Departments of Pediatrics and Pharmacy.           Dr. Wright received a BS in Polymer and Textile Chemistry from the Georgia Institute of Technology where she was a President’s Scholar and ORISE Fellow. She earned her PhD in Health Policy and Decision Sciences from Harvard University in 2012 where she was a recipient of the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship. Dr. Wright is a Trustee of the Society for Medical Decision Making (SMDM), the co-Chair of the Decision Sciences for Child Health Collaborative, is on the Oversight Advisory Committee for the American Heart Association Strategically Focused Children’s Research Network, and is a Statistical and Methods Reviewer for JAMA Network Open. She is a recipient of the Harvard Medical School Diversity, Inclusion, and Community Partnership Faculty Fellowship.             Dr. Wright’s research aims to improve the supply of and demand for efficient health care that can improve the management of pediatric chronic diseases with a focus on childhood obesity. In her work, she utilizes conjoint analysis, economic evaluation, simulation modeling, health services research, and behavioral economic research methods. Dr. Wright’s work has been funded by NIH, the American Heart Association, and the American Diabetes Association. You can find her on Twitter @WrightCensored.