Liver Disease Foundation Awards Dr. Archita Desai $150K for Predictive Care Needs Research

Dr. Archita Desai and Jil Tardiff at DOM Research Seminar, 05/11/2017Dr. Archita Desai (on left at podium) with Dr. Jil Tardiff, DOM vice chair for research, May 11 at the DOM Research Seminar where Dr. Desai was a presenter.

Archita Desai, MD, a University of Arizona assistant professor in the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology and research associate with the UA Liver Research Institute, won a two-year, $150,000 grant from the American Association for the Study of Liver Disease Foundation to fund her project, “The Intersection of Precision Medicine and Population Health to Improve Health Equity in Liver Disease.”

Archita Desai, MDA modified form of the topic—“Can Patient Reported Outcomes Inform Healthcare Utilization?”—was the subject of her presentation May 11 at the DOM Research Seminar. The lectures pair a junior and senior faculty member from the UA Department of Medicine to showcase innovative research under way within the department. 

Cover image of gallery from DOM Research Seminar, 05/11/2017, with Drs. Archita Desai and Bhaskar BanerjeeFor the seminar, Dr.Desai was paired with Bhaskar Banerjee, MD, a professor of medicine, optical sciences and biomedical engineering who spoke on “Optical and Engineering Solutions for Clinical Needs in Gastroenterology.” Archived video of the seminar is available here. For a photo gallery from the event, click here [PDF] or on the image at the right.

Dr. Desai’s grant is the AASLD Foundation’s 2017 Clinical and Translational Research Award in Liver Disease. With it, she hopes to examine health care utilization by advanced liver disease patients to better determine points where that care can be better managed for more optimal outcomes and potentially at lower costs over the long term.

In this context, she’ll be looking at liver patient clinic visits, hospital admissions, how long they stay when they’re in the hospital and the type of care and procedures that care required.

“This grant is about how to predict those who will use a lot of health care, trying to predict them early so that you can create mechanisms to handle that,” Dr. Desai said. “The future studies would be on how to intervene on those people in the best way.”

A 2011 insurance claims study at Detroit’s Henry Ford Hospital, reported by AASLD, noted that monthly health care costs were 32 and 247 percent higher for patients with compensated cirrhosis and end-stage liver disease, respectively, compared to those without cirrhosis, with results independent of age—and similar trends for those suffering from chronic hepatitis. Meanwhile, a 2016 article in Family Practice News reported nonalcoholic fatty liver disease affects 64 million people in the United States, with medical costs exceeding $100 billion annually.

Drs. Mike Fallon and Beth Calhoun, University of ArizonaDr. Desai's mentors on the grant are hepatologist Michael B. Fallon, MD, FACP, a professor of medicine and inaugural chair, Department of Medicine, UA College of Medicine – Phoenix, and Elizabeth A. Calhoun, PhD, MEd, a professor of community, environment and policy with the UA Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health, UA Health Sciences associate vice president of population and health sciences and executive director of the UAHS Center for Population Science and Discovery.

Dr. Desai completed her medical school degree at the University of California at San Francisco and her post-graduate training at the University of Chicago, where she was a fellow in both gastroenterology and transplant hepatology. She joined the UA faculty in August 2014. Her research interests focus on improving outcomes in patients with liver disease. In 2015, she was one of seven junior faculty to win a UA Health Sciences Career Development Award for her work on improving quality in the hospitalist-based health-care delivery model for cirrhosis.

"AASLD Foundation Commits $3.35M to 2017 Research and Career Development Awards" | Posted June 23, 2017
“2017 UAHS Career Development Award (CDAs) Application Deadline July 14” | Posted May 19, 2017
“Liver Disease and Advanced Endoscopy Topics for DOM Research Seminar Lectures, May 11” | Posted April 21, 2017
“COM – Phoenix Inaugural Department of Medicine Chair – Man on a Mission” | Posted Nov. 19, 2016
“Dept. of Medicine Puts Its Mark on Inaugural CDA Research Symposium” | Posted June 18, 2016
“Accreditation Alliance Allows Las Vegas GI Fellows to Learn about Liver Care at the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson” | Posted Dec. 2, 2015

Release Date: 
05/20/2017 - 6:15pm