Walter (Buzz) F. Stewart, PhD, MPH, is Vice President and Chief Research & Development Officer for Sutter Health, among the largest and most diverse regional healthcare systems in the United States. Buzz leads a new division of Research, Development & Dissemination (RD&D) that integrates system-level endeavors for rapid learning; sophisticated predictive analytics; development and testing of health care solutions with proven value; and the scaling and widespread implementation of successful solutions. He collaborates with clinical leaders and executives throughout the system to set the vision for transforming care for patients and families served in Sutter’s 119 healthcare organizations. Under Buzz’s leadership, RD&D investigators manage teams that invent and launch new health care service solutions that advance the efficiency and quality of care delivery.
Prior to Sutter Health, Buzz founded the Geisinger Center for Health Research in 2003, directing it until 2012. While at Geisinger, he inspired a shared vision and lead teams to evolve next-generation models for health care. The Center’s activities were strongly rooted in research and development principles and in engineering how to accelerate the translation of knowledge to practice in a highly collaborative learning health care system. These efforts, along with Buzz’s ability to communicate a compelling image of the future, challenge processes, and lead trans-disciplinary teams of clinical, operational, research, and health plan leaders, led to a number of new, sustainable approaches to transforming health care.
With more than 380 articles in peer reviewed journals (H-index = 70), Buzz has an extensive research portfolio, the preponderance of which has focused on different types of population-based, clinical, and health services research where he has frequently addressed questions to make research more directly relevant to patient and provider needs.” Since the mid-1980s, the US Government, foundations, and industry have invested more than $60 million dollars in his research.
From 1983-1995, Buzz was a full-time faculty member at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Department of Epidemiology. Later, from 1998-2002, he was Vice President of Research and Development at AdvancePCS. And, since 1992, he has founded and managed several successful companies, including Innovative Medical Research, Inc, a privately-held clinical trial and survey research firm, which he sold to AdvancePCS in 1998.
Dr. Stewart received his PhD in Epidemiology from Johns Hopkins University School of Hygiene and Public Health; his MPH from the Department of Epidemiology, School of Public Health, University of California, Los Angeles; and his BS in Psychobiology, University of California, Riverside.