News & Updates

Back to All News

Lankenau Institute for Medical Research and Thomas Jefferson University collaborate to launch new Population Health Research Center

August 31, 2016 Research News

Norma A. Padrón appointed associate director of the center

With a focus on improving the health management of the diverse communities served by Main Line Health, the Lankenau Institute for Medical Research (LIMR) recently launched the Population Health Research Center, in collaboration with Thomas Jefferson University.

“We are breaking new ground by creating a nationally visible research Center focused on population health,” said David B. Nash, MD, MBA and Dean of the Jefferson College of Population Health (JCPH). “The research we conduct here will directly influence and inform the delivery of health care on a local, regional and national level. We are excited to have this unique opportunity.”

The mission of the new Main Line Health Center for Population Health Research at the Lankenau Institute for Medical Research is to advance the health and wellness of the Main Line Health patient community through impactful research studies of population health management and health outcomes assessment. The Center will spearhead studies that explore the unique features of the patient population served by Main Line Health, including research that will help the organization enhance current care models through a better understanding of the underlying social and economic challenges inherent or under-addressed in the community.

“Our new Center will help us to close care gaps and address disparities in our communities’ health management—especially those that may not be fully understood or even identified yet,” said George Prendergast, PhD, CEO and president of LIMR, part of Main Line Health. “We look forward to furthering our expertise in this important field of research.”

Norma A. Padrón, PhD, MPH, who has been named associate director of the center, comes to LIMR from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai University in New York City, where she served as an assistant professor of health economics. She also served as an economist research scientist at the New York Academy of Medicine. Dr. Padrón was awarded her doctoral degree in Health Economics and Policy from Yale University. She earned a master’s degree in Public Health from Universitat Pompeu Fabra, in Barcelona, Spain, and a master’s in Economics from Duke University in North Carolina. Her academic and professional training in economics and public health, as well as her upbringing in the Rio Grande Valley in Texas, enables her to bring a unique perspective to the financial and social impacts associated with a community’s health care.

“The socioeconomic and demographic conditions in the Philadelphia area present unique challenges to the delivery of care and overall health outcomes in our community. Through our research, we will incorporate the clinical, social and economic evidence, while making use of local data to understand how to address these challenges,” said Dr. Padrón. “I look forward to building the new program into one that offers comprehensive and relevant data and evidence to the research community—research that can help improve individuals’ well-being and quality of life in our community and across the country.”

Dr. Padrón’s research has been funded by government agencies, including the National Science Foundation, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, and private foundations, including the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, WT Grant Foundation and NYS Health Foundation. In particular, her research focuses on the novel use of data and methodologies to design care delivery and payment models. She has worked with multidisciplinary teams in the settings of maternal and infant health, as well as diabetes and other chronic conditions. Her main goal is to translate her work and research into actionable strategies that contribute to the improvement of care delivery and outcomes for patients. She will be presenting her current work at several upcoming conferences, including Academy Health’s Concordium Conference and the American Public Health Association annual meeting in Denver this fall where she will discuss her work on data mining and classification methodologies to improve population health research. In addition to her new role at LIMR, Dr. Padrón will also have a faculty appointment at JCPH. She and the JCPH faculty will work closely with Main Line Health clinicians and researchers to develop a robust research agenda for the Center. Faculty at JCPH are recognized thought-leaders in their fields who engage in research and scholarly activities in various aspects of population health. Topics of research include health care quality and safety, health economics and health outcomes, public health, comparative effectiveness, and health services research, especially as it pertains to social determinants of health.

About Jefferson College of Population Health (JCPH)

The Jefferson College of Population Health was established in 2008 as part of Thomas Jefferson University in Center City Philadelphia. It is the only College of its kind, providing graduate education in population health, public health, health policy, health care quality and safety, and applied health economics and outcomes research supported by evidence-based research, scholarship, and publications. Dedicated to exploring the policies and forces that define the health and well-being of populations, JCPH prepares leaders with the global vision to examine the social determinants of health and to evaluate, develop and implement health policies and systems that will improve the health of populations and thereby enhance the quality of life.

About Main Line Health

Founded in 1985, Main Line Health is a not-for-profit health system serving portions of Philadelphia and its western suburbs. Main Line Health’s commitment—to deliver advanced medicine to treat and cure disease while also playing an important role in prevention and disease management as well as training physicians and other health care providers—reflects our intent to keep our community and ourselves well ahead. A team of more than 10,000 employees and 2,000 physicians care for patients throughout the Main Line Health system.

At Main Line Health’s core are four of the region’s most respected acute care hospitals—Lankenau Medical Center, Bryn Mawr Hospital, Paoli Hospital and Riddle Hospital—as well as one of the nation’s recognized facilities for rehabilitative medicine, Bryn Mawr Rehabilitation Hospital.

The Main Line Health system also includes Mirmont Treatment Center for drug and alcohol recovery; Main Line Health HomeCare & Hospice, which includes skilled home health care, hospice and home infusion services; Main Line Health Centers, primary and specialty care, lab and radiology, and other outpatient services located in Broomall, Collegeville, Concordville, Exton and Newtown Square; Lankenau Institute for Medical Research, a biomedical research organization; and Main Line HealthCare, one of the region’s largest multispecialty physician networks.

Main Line Health is the recipient of numerous awards for quality care and service, including System Magnet® designation, the nation’s highest distinction for nursing excellence, the Mid-Atlantic Alliance for Performance Excellence (MAAPE) Excellence Award, and recognition as among the nation’s best employers by Forbes magazine. Main Line Health is committed to creating an environment of diversity, respect and inclusion and has proudly embraced the American Hospital Association’s #123forEquity Pledge to Act to eliminate disparities in care. We are dedicated to advancing patient-centered care, education and research to help our community stay healthy.

About Lankenau Institute for Medical Research

Lankenau Institute for Medical Research (LIMR) is a nonprofit biomedical research institute located on the campus of Lankenau Medical Center and is part of Main Line Health. Founded in 1927, LIMR’s mission is to improve human health and well-being. Faculty and staff are devoted to advancing innovative new approaches to formidable medical challenges, including cancer, cardiovascular disease, gastrointestinal disorders and autoimmune diseases, such as diabetes and arthritis. LIMR’s principal investigators conduct basic, preclinical and translational research, using their findings to explore ways to improve disease detection, diagnosis, treatment and prevention. They are committed to extending the boundaries of human health through technology transfer and training of the next generation of scientists and physicians.


Mary Kate Coghlan
Communications Specialist
Office: 484.580.1028
Cell: 610.308.6675