Surgery faculty member talks about new role as Associate Director for Outcomes Research for the IU Health, Comprehensive Wound Center
Indiana University School of Medicine recently announced that Lava R. Timsina, PhD, has been named Associate Director for Outcomes Research for the IU Health, Comprehensive Wound Center which is a part of the Indiana Center for Regenerative Medicine and Engineering (ICRME).
Timsina has been an assistant professor with the Department of Surgery since 2018, joining the department in 2017 as a research data analyst for the Center for Outcomes Research in Surgery (CORES).
Eager to get started in his new post, Timsina spoke about what he hopes this role will bring to the IU School of Medicine community—and the surrounding Hoosier communities.
What will be your new responsibilities with this position?
This position will be responsible for overseeing outcome research within the wound center. We will be looking at wound-related outcomes on patients, helping faculty and research staffs with grant writing and outcome related research and studies. We will also be responsible for giving input on study design, database management, strategies for patient enrollment and engagement, and analyzing the wound related outcome data. Given my expertise in outcome related studies, I would be an important asset to the center in steering the science of social genomics and wound care/healing by exploring epigenetic variability to explain the dynamic relationship between human’s genetic background and the effect of the physical and social environments on wound care and wound healing outcomes.
What do you hope to accomplish in the new position?
I have extensive experience and expertise, as a biostatistician and an epidemiologist by my training and experience. As an epidemiologist, I have experience in designing studies, collecting, analyzing, and interpreting data using interviews, observations, surveys for observational studies as well as clinical trials. As a biostatistician, I will be mostly contributing to developing wound outcome research protocols, helping in sample size/study power calculations, advising, programming, and validating statistical analyses. Ultimately, I am hoping to contribute to filling in the gaps and create the infrastructure in research related to wound outcomes.
Why is it important for the Comprehensive Wound Center to have a position like this?
If you look at Indiana’s amputation rate, it’s really high—in 2015, as per Dartmouth it is 0.69/1000 medicare enrollees who are above the national average of 0.58. We are among the top 10 in the country when it comes to amputation rates. These amputations are mostly performed for complications due to diabetes and peripheral arterial disease. Since 2012 to 2014 there was an increase of 21.6 percent in the number of amputations in Indiana. Disparities in amputation exist by race, gender, and insurance status. The lifetime cost of care for a patient with amputation due to complications of a wound is also high. We are trying to create an infrastructure in wound care by identifying gaps in the advancement of wound related outcomes through evidence based research in Indiana. Ultimately we want to contribute to bringing the amputation rates in Indiana down.
What are you excited about starting this new position?
Initially, when I was talking with different wound experts and the CWC teams here, I was excited. I feel that there’s still a lot of gaps in terms of knowledge and practices when it comes to wound care and wound healing outcome research. So I’m excited about trying to discover these gaps in knowledge so that I might contribute to the advancement of wound care. I would want to help build on that knowledge, not just for my career, but to help on a state, and maybe even eventually a national, level.