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CHEPA founder David Feeny wins quality of life research award

18 Nov 2010

David Feeny, a founding member of CHEPA, has been honoured with a prestigious award for his decades of work studying health-related quality of life.

Feeny, an emeritus member of CHEPA who is now senior investigator and assistant program director at the Kaiser Permanente Northwest Center for Health Research in Portland, Ore., received the 2010 International Society for Quality of Life (ISOQOL) President’s Award, which recognizes outstanding contributions to the advancement of the quality of life field. The award was presented at the recent 17th Annual ISOQOL Research Conference in London.

Health-related quality of life research involves a qualitative approach that assesses how people feel and how they are functioning, to provide a scientific method for capturing the subjective judgments of patients. The goal is to measure how well people are doing, and find out what makes them feel better or worse.

Among the hallmarks of Feeny’s extensive career focused on this type of research was the development of the Health Utilities Index (HUI), a widely used tool that allows health-related quality-of-life assessment across diverse populations. He developed the HUI with colleague George W. Torrance, also a founding member of CHEPA, while both were professors at McMaster University.

Feeny, who was at McMaster from 1976 to 1998, visited the University in September, to deliver a seminar on a study that examined the changes in body mass index and health related quality of life.

In addition to his work at McMaster and CHEPA, Feeny has served as a consultant to various health agencies in Canada. He was a professor at the University of Alberta before moving to his current role in Portland. His specific bi-cultural knowledge has made him an expert in the comparative economics of health care in the United States and Canada.

During his career he has conducted numerous research studies on health economics, health-related quality of life, health services, health technology assessment, health technology policy and institutional change.

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