Goutham Rao, MD, FAHA, Appointed Newest Member of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force

CLEVELAND–The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (Task Force) announced the addition of Goutham Rao, MD, FAHA, to serve a four-year term, beginning this month. Dr. Rao will join fellow experts from primary care and prevention-related fields to rigorously review evidence and evaluate the benefits and harms of preventive services. The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) convenes the Task Force and provides scientific, administrative, and dissemination support.

Dr. Rao is the Chair of the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health, and Chief Clinician Experience Officer for the University Hospitals Health System. He practices family medicine and leads the medical obesity treatment program. He also serves as Division Chief of Family Medicine at UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital. In addition, Dr. Rao is the Jack H. Medalie Professor and Chairman of the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine.

Dr. Rao is a well-established health services researcher and directs UH’s Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ)-funded ADVANCE Center (Advancing Diagnosis through Validated Analytics and Novel Collaborations for Excellence). He also has considerable expertise in clinical epidemiology and biostatistics, being the author of the popular textbook, Rational Medical Decision Making: A Case-Based Approach, and having led the development of methodological standards for meta-analyses for the American Heart Association. He is the author of more than 100 publications, including four books, and has served as principal investigator on a number of federally funded research projects. He is a former Chair of the American Heart Association’s Obesity Committee.

“Congratulations to Goutham on this prestigious new appointment,” said Cliff Megerian, MD, FACS, Chief Executive Officer, University Hospitals, Jane and Henry Meyer Chief Executive Officer Distinguished Chair. “It truly demonstrates his commitment and experience in prevention and improving health care delivery. He has an outstanding combination of skills and experience in primary care, cardiovascular prevention, epidemiology, and research synthesis that make him a great addition to the Task Force. It is a great honor for UH to have Goutham as part of the Task Force.”

The Task Force is an independent, volunteer panel of 16 national experts in the fields of preventive medicine and primary care, including internal medicine, family medicine, pediatrics, behavioral health, obstetrics/gynecology, and nursing. Task Force recommendations are created for primary care professionals by primary care professionals. The team works to improve the health of people nationwide by making evidence-based recommendations about clinical preventive services such as screenings, behavioral counseling, and preventive medications.

“The Task Force has the most important role in the country of advising our population on proper prevention activities that are based on excruciatingly careful appreciation of the best available data,” said Stanton Gerson, MD, Dean and Senior Vice President for Medical Affairs at the Case Western Reserve School of Medicine. “They address complex topics of disease prevention and wellness practices that should be followed by everyone in the United States. Dr. Rao has exceptional competency in his appreciation of these complex issues and in how to advise the country on best practice.”

Task Force recommendations focus exclusively on preventive services offered in the primary care setting, or services that are referable by a primary care clinician, and apply to patients who have no obvious signs or symptoms of the disease or condition. The recommendations cover more than 80 preventive service topics for people across the lifespan—from vision screening in young children, to heart disease prevention in adults, to colorectal cancer screening in older adults. Recommendations are kept as current as possible through routine updates and new developments. To develop recommendations, the Task Force uses its own expertise rather than conducting research studies, and routinely invites the input of topic experts, specialists, stakeholders and the public.

“On behalf of the full Task Force, I welcome Dr. Rao,” said Task Force Chair Carol Mangione, MD, MSPH. “With his specialized knowledge in hypertension, obesity in children and expertise in evidence-based medicine and decision making, Dr. Rao will be a valuable addition to the Task Force.”

To learn more about Dr. Rao’s new role with the Task Force, visit: https://uspreventiveservicestaskforce.org/uspstf/sites/default/files/file/supporting_documents/new-tf-members-2023-bulletin.pdf

More information about the Task Force and a complete list of its members are available at: www.uspreventiveservicestaskforce.org.

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About University Hospitals / Cleveland, Ohio Founded in 1866, University Hospitals serves the needs of patients through an integrated network of 21 hospitals (including five joint ventures), more than 50 health centers and outpatient facilities, and over 200 physician offices in 16 counties throughout northern Ohio. The system’s flagship quaternary care, academic medical center, University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center, is affiliated with Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, Northeast Ohio Medical University, Oxford University and the Technion Israel Institute of Technology. The main campus also includes the UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital, ranked among the top children’s hospitals in the nation; UH MacDonald Women’s Hospital, Ohio’s only hospital for women; and UH Seidman Cancer Center, part of the NCI-designated Case Comprehensive Cancer Center. UH is home to some of the most prestigious clinical and research programs in the nation, with more than 3,000 active clinical trials and research studies underway. UH Cleveland Medical Center is perennially among the highest performers in national ranking surveys, including “America’s Best Hospitals” from U.S. News & World Report. UH is also home to 19 Clinical Care Delivery and Research Institutes. UH is one of the largest employers in Northeast Ohio with more than 30,000 employees. Follow UH on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. For more information, visit UHhospitals.org.

About Case Western Reserve University

Case Western Reserve University is one of the country’s leading private research institutions. Located in Cleveland, we offer a unique combination of forward-thinking educational opportunities in an inspiring cultural setting. Our leading-edge faculty engage in teaching and research in a collaborative, hands-on environment. Our nationally recognized programs include arts and sciences, dental medicine, engineering, law, management, medicine, nursing and social work. About 5,800 undergraduate and 6,300 graduate students comprise our student body. Visit case.edu to see how Case Western Reserve thinks beyond the possible.