Surgical Outcomes Research Group
To lead, conduct, and facilitate research in outcomes of surgical care, and generate evidence for the improvement of surgical care of patients in mid- to northern Michigan and beyond.

To serve as an educational resource for the improvement of patient care by the broader surgical community, and for the education of undergraduate medical students and residents in the surgery program of the Central Michigan University College of Medicine.

Guiding Principles:
The activities of the group will be guided by the following general principles:
  • Relevance – conduct research with a real or potential impact on direct patient care or surgical education, and identify opportunities for translational application (best practice, evidence-based guidelines)
  • Collaboration –  multidisciplinary, institutional (local, regional and national), and community
  • Accountability – appropriate and ethical use of data
  • Education - Provide research opportunities for students, residents, and faculty
  • Transparency – Encourage open and clear exchange of information for optimal collaboration and application of research, and to identify research opportunities and translational application of our research efforts (best practice, evidence-based)

Areas of Concentration:
The group will engage in research in the following areas:
  • Patient-centered outcomes
  • Patient safety
  • Clinical effectives research
  • Access to care and health care disparities
  • Clinical decision analysis
  • Surgical education
  • Other areas as identified by the group

The Team:
Susan Bertoia, RN
Performance Improvement Specialist
St. Mary’s of Michigan Medical Center
Peter Bistolarides, MD, FACS
Program Director, Surgical Residency
Department of Surgery

John M. Clements, MPA
Research Manager
Department of Research

Dawn Grauf, QI Specialist II
Department of Patient Safety & Quality
Covenant Healthcare

Leadon Hickman, PhD , MSc, MA
Cardiovascular epidemiology, clinical outcomes, and health services research
College of Medicine

Sandra Howell, MD, FACS
General and Breast Surgery
Department of Surgery

Aziz M. Merchant, MD, FACS
Laparoscopic and Bariatric Surgery
Department of Surgery

Evan Paulus, MS
Director of Performance Improvement
St. Mary’s of Michigan Medical Center