News Release

University of Pennsylvania’s Dr. Kevin G.M. Volpp named one of seven Distinguished Scientists

American Heart Association Scientific Sessions 2022

Grant and Award Announcement

American Heart Association

Embargoed until 7 a.m. CT / 8 a.m. ET Friday, Oct. 28, 2022

DALLAS, Oct. 28, 2022 – The American Heart Association is presenting one of its 2022 Distinguished Scientist awards to Kevin G.M. Volpp, M.D., Ph.D., FAHA, of the University of Pennsylvania. The Association honors members who have significantly advanced the understanding of cardiovascular, stroke or brain health as Distinguished Scientists. Seven 2022 Distinguished Scientist awardees will be recognized during the Association’s Scientific Sessions 2022, which will be held in person in Chicago and virtually Nov. 5-7.

Early in his research career, Dr. Volpp explored how health policies and regulations affected cardiovascular outcomes in areas ranging from price competition between hospitals, financial stress in hospitals and duty-hour regulation for physicians in training. The work on duty-hours was particularly pivotal in informing current designs for duty-hours for physicians in training nationally.

Dr. Volpp is best known for developing the science of application of behavioral economics to health care settings. Among other contributions, his research found that patients who received a monetary incentive to quit smoking had nearly three times the success rate of patients who did not receive an incentive. His team conducted impactful studies that mapped out the effectiveness of financial incentives for medication adherence, physical activity and weight loss. His work has led directly to changes in benefit design at a number of large employers and insurers, as well as shifts in program offerings by large consumer companies to prioritize health by facilitating access to health-promoting employee engagement activities. He also helped lead the creation of the world’s first health system based “Nudge Unit,” which are focused on measuring behavioral health interventions, and the development of a software program, Penn Way to Health, that automates the conduct of randomized trials of behavioral interventions and has been used in hundreds of studies by investigators at more than 20 universities.

Dr. Volpp is the Mark V. Pauly President’s Distinguished Professor of Medicine at the Perelman School of Medicine and Health Care Management at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He is also the founding director of the Penn Center for Health Incentives and Behavioral Economics and division chief of health policy for the department of medical ethics and policy. Of note, Dr.Volpp is also cardiac arrest survivor, which has added unique depth and perspective to his work.

He earned a bachelor’s degree in biology from Harvard University and a Doctor of Medicine from the Perelman School of Medicine and a doctoral degree in applied economics and managerial science (health economics) from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

Dr. Volpp has published more than 300 peer-reviewed articles, commentaries, and editorials. He serves on the editorial boards of Healthcare: The Journal of Delivery Science and Innovation and the New England Journal of Medicine Catalyst.

Dr. Volpp’s work has been celebrated with several awards; some notable recognitions include receiving the 2005 Presidential Award for Early Career Scientist and Engineers from former President George W. Bush, the Mathilda White Award for contributions in Social and Behavioral Science from the National Institutes of Health and the John Eisenberg Award from the Society of General Internal Medicine. He was elected to the National Academy of Medicine in 2012.

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The Association receives funding primarily from individuals; foundations and corporations (including pharmaceutical, device manufacturers and other companies) also make donations and fund specific Association programs and events. The Association has strict policies to prevent these relationships from influencing the science content. Revenues from pharmaceutical and biotech companies, device manufacturers and health insurance providers and the Association’s overall financial information are available here

The American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2022 is a premier global exchange of the latest scientific advancements, research and evidence-based clinical practice updates in cardiovascular science. The 3-day meeting will feature more than 500 sessions focused on breakthrough cardiovascular basic, clinical and population science updates occurring Saturday through Monday, November 5-7, 2022. Thousands of leading physicians, scientists, cardiologists, advanced practice nurses and allied health care professionals from around the world will convene virtually to participate in basic, clinical and population science presentations, discussions and curricula that can shape the future of cardiovascular science and medicine, including prevention and quality improvement. During the three-day meeting, attendees receive exclusive access to more than 4,000 original research presentations and can earn Continuing Medical Education (CME), Continuing Education (CE) or Maintenance of Certification (MOC) credits for educational sessions. Engage in Scientific Sessions 2022 on social media via #AHA22.

About the American Heart Association

The American Heart Association is a relentless force for a world of longer, healthier lives. We are dedicated to ensuring equitable health in all communities. Through collaboration with numerous organizations, and powered by millions of volunteers, we fund innovative research, advocate for the public’s health and share lifesaving resources. The Dallas-based organization has been a leading source of health information for nearly a century. Connect with us on heart.orgFacebookTwitter or by calling 1-800-AHA-USA1.


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