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Center of Innovation for Complex Chronic Healthcare

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Sherri LaVela, PhD, MPH, MBA

Headshot of Sherri LaVela, PhD, MPH, MBADr. LaVela is a Research Scientist at the Center of Innovation for Complex Chronic Healthcare (CINCCH). She joined the Center in 1998 and is an active investigator within Health Services Research and Development and Rehabilitation Research. She is also a Research Professor in the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University.

Dr. LaVela has a continuous record as Principal Investigator on federal and private foundation grants, including Department of Defense, Department of Veterans Affairs, Paralyzed Veterans of America, Craig H. Nielsen Foundation, and the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. She has experience in quantitative and qualitative research design and methodology, implementation science, program evaluation, and quality improvement. Much of her research has focused on patient-centered care, equitable health care, and improving health outcomes and patient experience for special populations, including individuals with neurological conditions and/or physical disabilities (e.g., multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injuries and disorders), Veterans, women, and older adults.

Dr. LaVela has published 120+ articles in peer-reviewed journals and has given over 200 presentations at clinical or scientific conferences.  She has held leadership positions on multiple advisory boards and executive committees, for example the Paralyzed Veterans of America Board of Directors and is a longstanding Advisory Board member of the Midwest Regional Spinal Cord Injury Care System.  She has received multiple rehabilitation-related awards, including the American Psychological Association, Rehabilitation Psychology Harold Yuker Award for Research Excellence and the 2023 American Paraplegia Society Excellence Award.