Angela D. Thomas, DrPH, MPH, MBA, brings nearly 20 years of experience in the scientific and administrative leadership of translational and clinical research from Federal and non-Federal sponsors. She currently serves as the vice president of healthcare delivery research at MedStar Health Research Institute.
Dr. Thomas is responsible for leading a team of experts to apply rigorous scientific methods to enable next-generation healthcare delivery through quality, safety, innovation, health economics, payment reform, outcomes, health services research, data science, and health equity. This team of healthcare delivery experts lead, implement, and evaluate data-driven solutions that support policies and programs that improve healthcare in a manner that integrates science with the clinical and operational expertise required to meet patient and community needs. Dr. Thomas also ensures that these research activities leverage the collective leadership and unique strengths of MedStar Health and Georgetown University.
Dr. Thomas’ research interests focus on health equity and patient safety. In March 2020, the A. James & Alice B. Clark Foundation funded $27 Million of the $30 Million Safe Babies Safe Moms initiative. As the Executive Leader of this program, Dr. Thomas has overall responsibility for ensuring the development, implementation, and evaluation of an evidence-based program that will reduce disparities in maternal and infant mortality in Washington, DC. In addition, she contributes her research expertise in disparities, health equity, and patient safety to the initiative to uncover the contributing factors leading to disparities in maternal and infant harm. Through her previous work at the University of Michigan, Dr. Thomas served as a key member of the Pelvic Floor Research Group in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology where she published and presented, both nationally and internationally, on research related to urinary incontinence in women. Dr. Thomas gained valuable research expertise in using qualitative and quantitative survey methods to understand the context of racial disparities in urinary incontinence, which ultimately won an award from the International Continence Society. With a scientific and administrative career spanning nearly two decades, Dr. Thomas has extensive expertise executing all aspects of research projects, including retrospective data analysis, chart review and abstraction, recruitment and retention, and overall project leadership. She has hands-on experience with both qualitative and quantitative research methods as well as extensive experience analyzing user data from electronic health records, patient safety event management systems, AHRQ patient safety indicators, extraction of severe maternal morbidity cases, using the Institute for Healthcare Improvement’s Global Trigger method, statistical analyses, and disseminating research findings through journal articles, conference presentations, and technical reports. Dr. Thomas’ research has been funded by the Latham Foundation, published in several peer-reviewed academic journals, and covered by media outlets such as Modern Healthcare and WTOP.
Dr. Thomas received a Bachelor of Science in biopsychology and the cognitive sciences from the University of Michigan. She received a Master of Public Health in health behavior and health education, also from the University of Michigan. Later, she received her Master of Business Administration from the Walsh College of Accountancy and Business Administration and her Doctor of Public Health in Advanced Practice Leadership in Public Health from the University of South Florida.
Dr. Thomas's research interests include
- Health equity
- Patient safety
- Maternal and infant health
Selected research studies
Identifying and Understanding Ways to Address the Impact of Racism on Patient Safety in Health Care Settings
Through a collaboration with RAND Corporation and other MedStar Health investigators, Dr. Thomas examined the intersection of patient safety and racism, focusing on patient safety and health equity from clinician leaders' perspectives. An overarching emphasis of the work concerned the impact of racism and other related factors (i.e., bias) on patient safety events and potential interventions or changes (such as creating a culture of speaking up about racism in care) that can help prevent such events.
Policy Changes To Address Racial/Ethnic Inequities In Patient Safety
In an article published to Health Affairs, Dr. Thomas argues that applying a health equity lens to patient safety reporting can help us better understand the extent of inequities, develop necessary interviews, and measure outcomes.
- Health EquityMaternal-Fetal/Women’s HealthPatient SafetyHealth Services/Quality/Outcomes