VA Physician-Researcher Honored by Society for General Internal Medicine

Dr. Michael J. Fine

WASHINGTON – Veterans Affairs physician-researcher Dr. Michael J. Fine has received the 2011 John M. Eisenberg Award for Career Achievement in Research from the Society of General Internal Medicine.

“Dr. Fine’s work reflects great credit upon the VA health care system and our research program,” said VA Chief Research and Development Officer Dr. Joel Kupersmith. “Ensuring equal access to high-quality care is a vital part of VA’s mission, and researchers like Dr. Fine and his team at the VA Center for Health Equity Research and Promotion are essential to this effort.”

Fine directs the VA Center for Health Equity Research and Promotion (CHERP), based in Pennsylvania. He is also a professor at the University of Pittsburgh.

Over the past quarter-century, his innovative research has led to improvements in the clinical management of community-acquired pneumonia, a common and costly illness. The work has also helped shape national and international quality and efficiency standards in this area. In related work, Fine recently evaluated an initiative at several VA sites to reduce methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infections and boost providers’ use of alcohol-based hand rubs, which was recently recognized by the New England Journal of Medicine. He also led a major study aimed at shortening the duration of intravenous antibiotic therapy and hospital stays for people with pneumonia.

Fine is an accomplished mentor and international leader in health services research. He has helped launch the research careers of more than 50 trainees. He and his team at CHERP have developed a widely used conceptual framework for disparities research and conducted numerous studies to understand and reduce disparities in health care.

“I consider myself a very inquisitive and somewhat competitive and driven person, and I feel immensely fortunate to be able to apply my scientific knowledge of health services research to improve the quality and equity of health and health care for Veterans,” said Fine.

The Eisenberg award recognizes the career achievement of a senior Society of General Internal Medicine member whose innovative research has changed the way generalists care for patients, conduct research, or educate students. It is named for the late Dr. John M. Eisenberg, because of his exemplary role as a researcher, mentor and advocate for research in general internal medicine.

To learn more about CHERP, visit For more on VA’s overall research program, go to


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