Two of the nation's preeminent health care research experts join Sutter Health this month to help launch an expanded Northern California-wide health research, development and dissemination (RD&D) function. The not-for-profit health care network plans to invest $20 million over the next three years to fund the program.

Sutter Health's new RD&D team's core work will focus on rapid cycle, value-added enhancements in health care such as: -- Inventing and launching new products -- Developing, testing and disseminating transformative care solutions and innovation emphasizing high-quality, patient-centric care "We will translate knowledge into proven solutions and adopt improvements as rapidly as possible in real practice and community settings," said Martin Brotman, M.D., senior vice president of education, research and philanthropy for Sutter Health. Formerly the longtime CEO of Sutter-affiliated California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco and most recently president of Sutter's West Bay Region, Brotman will oversee the new RD&D program. "Sutter Health has a unique opportunity to build a world-class, enterprise-wide, health care delivery RD&D capability that will create real value for patients," he added.

Watch more from Dr. Brotman Sutter Health President and CEO Pat Fry believes Sutter's clinical breadth and depth, size and Northern California location will allow the system to apply its research investment more effectively than most organizations. "With millions of patients, services in ethnically and demographically diverse communities and a robust network of excellent doctors and hospitals, Sutter Health is ideally positioned to lead health care R&D nationally," said Fry.

Respected Research Leaders Join Sutter Health Walter F. (Buzz) Stewart, Ph.D., who founded and directed the prestigious Geisinger Center for Health Research in Pennsylvania, joins Brotman's RD&D team as vice president and chief research and development officer. Also the founder of a research company known as IMR, Dr. Stewart is adjunct professor at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. He is the author of more than 300 published articles and book chapters.

Joshua Liberman, Ph.D., also joins the team as the executive director, research and development operations. Dr. Liberman brings more than 20 years of scientific and management experience to the team. Liberman was also a founder of IMR and has contributed to more than 20 publications in his long career.

With a focus on basic science and clinical and device trials, Sutter Health's existing research enterprise includes the California Pacific Medical Center Research Institute, the Palo Alto Medical Foundation Research Institute, Sutter Health Institute for Research and Education in San Francisco, Sutter Institute for Medical Research in Sacramento and The Jordan Research, Education and Institute in Berkeley.

Research leaders across Sutter Health welcome this newest step to even better align medical research activities across the not-for-profit health care system.

"Sustained innovation is the product of a focused, systematic and well-executed research and development endeavor. This investment will help to better integrate and leverage our existing work, transform our capabilities, improve value to our patients, and facilitate further research helping to improve the nation's health care," said Hal Luft, Ph.D., director of the Sutter-affiliated Palo Alto Medical Foundation Research Institute.

"Investing in research and applying our learnings in settings where people and patients can benefit is key to the transformation and advancement of health care. We're proud to be part of this initiative," said Michael Rowbotham, M.D., director of the California Pacific Medical Center Research Institute.

Watch more from Dr. Brotman Sutter Health's Research History The Sutter Health network has a long history of investing in research and innovation. Some recent research efforts include: -- Advanced Illness Management -- Health Care Payment Models -- Hepatitis C Viral Cure -- One of Its Kind Health Care Collaborative -- Patients Fear Being Labeled Difficult -- Sleep Disordered Breathing May Increase Risk of Dementia in Older Women About Sutter Health Serving patients and their families in more than 100 Northern California cities and towns, Sutter Health doctors, not-for-profit hospitals and other health care service providers share resources and expertise to advance health care quality and access. The Sutter Medical Network includes many of California's top-performing, highest quality physician organizations, as measured annually by the Integrated Healthcare Association. Sutter-affiliated hospitals are regional leaders in cardiac care, women's and children's services, cancer care, orthopedics and advanced patient safety technology.

For more information about the not-for-profit Sutter Health network, please visit| | | SOURCE Sutter Health -0- 06/05/2012 /CONTACT: Sutter Health Media Line, +1-916-286-6695 /Web Site: CO: Sutter Health ST: California IN: HEA SU: SVY PRN -- SF19406 -- 0000 06/05/2012 18:18:09 EDT http://www.prnewswire.c