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Nandita Khera, M.D., receives Cortese Innovation Award

Nandita Khera, M.D. (HEMO ’11), Division of Hematology and Medical Oncology at Mayo Clinic in Arizona, received the fourth annual Denis A. Cortese, M.D., and Donna H. Cortese Innovation Award in the Science of Health Care Delivery. Dr. Khera is an associate professor of medicine in the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science.

Dr. Khera proposes to examine the prevalence of financial hardship in Mayo Clinic patients who have cancer, and to explore the impact of the financial crisis brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic by examining monthly trends of the proportion of patients reporting financial hardship. In addition, she plans to study the association of sociodemographic and disease characteristics with financial hardship among Mayo patients with cancer.

Dr. Khera’s research with National Comprehensive Cancer Network member institutions showed that 94% of institutions agree on the need for better integration of financial advocacy into oncology practice, but limited staffing and resources, limited budgets, and lack of reimbursement are barriers.

Funding from the award will be used to support the data analysis for this research.

The Cortese family grant was established in 2017 by Denis Cortese, M.D. (I1 ’71, I ’72, THD ’76), and his wife, Donna, to develop, test and implement innovative solutions for health care delivery. Dr. Cortese served as Mayo Clinic CEO from 2003 to 2009.

The award was open to Kern Scholars Program alumni. Dr. Khera was a 2017–20 Kern Health Care Delivery Scholar and is the fourth and final recipient from this gift.

Previous Cortese award recipients are:

  • 2017: Juan Brito Campana, M.B.B.S. (CTSA ’14, ENDO ’14), Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Metabolism, Mayo Clinic in Rochester
  • 2018: John (Jack) O’Horo, M.D. (CCMI ’14, CTSA ’14, INFD ’17), Division of Infectious Diseases, Mayo Clinic in Rochester
  • 2019: Cassie Kennedy, M.D. (I ’03, CMR ’04, CI ’06, THDCC 08), Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Mayo Clinic in Rochester

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