Dr. Jennifer Taylor is a cognitive psychologist with expertise in the fields of gerontology and program evaluation. With Green Ribbon Health, Dr. Taylor connects leading academic institutions with corporate think tanks to develop strategic directions for healthcare today. "We develop research projects that help move the industry forward," Dr. Taylor says. "It's about how we can identify the right patient who needs the right services at the right time."
When asked if she feels her work offers hope for America's healthcare woes, Dr. Taylor is very optimistic. "What we do every day is trying to provide a much-needed service that you will get in the commercial world, but that until now, you wouldn't have received from one of the largest healthcare payers in the country, which is Medicare—so we're now providing that service for the first time. A lot of what I do on a daily basis is to help shape the program so we can better benefit the patient."
"I participate in negotiations with the government and their contractors as to whether their methodologies are appropriate for what they need answered. So in that way I feel like I get to contribute to directly shaping policy." Dr. Taylor has served as Green Ribbon Health's principle liaison to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services in developing the evaluation protocol for the programs authorized by the Medicare Modernization Act of 2003 to improve the quality of care and life for people living with multiple chronic illnesses.
Key to this effort is the hard-science, data-driven approach she acquired from her doctoral program. "My coursework in evaluation was really eye-opening. And the courses I took in statistics were invaluable. CGU trains you from a methodological standpoint to think about what the best way is to answer an applied research question. To be able to apply the methodological training, to be able to say for certain 'This approach is working' or 'This is not working,' that kind of training was definitely a positive for me."
She remembers her Ph.D. program at Claremont Graduate University as an experience both rigorous and nurturing. "Both [of my mentors, Drs.] Debbie [Burke] and Kathy [Pezdek,] were absolutely fantastic. Both very intense women who wanted to see me succeed—those were great relationships." Those connections led to on-site work with CGU faculty on a federal project studying elderly populations. "I signed on with Debbie Burke, working on an NIH grant working with older adults. If you think about the experience of being able to do germane research on older adults, and you think about the methodological training in program evaluation that I also got from CGU, and you combine the two together, the job I have now is the perfect job for someone with those qualifications."