Dr. Melanie Spencer is Executive Director of the Center for Outcomes Re-search and Evaluation (CORE) and Associate Professor of Outcomes Research at Carolinas HealthCare System (CHS), one of the largest public not-for-profit healthcare systems in the United States. Dr. Spencer’s scientific expertise is in the application of bacterial genomic analysis to problems in human health. To learn more, download her ROCC Star Profile.
My ringing phone startled me out of a pre-coffee, early morning stupor, and I raced across the room to answer it. Anyone responsible for elderly parents knows that receiving a landline call before 7 a.m. often means there is a crisis. This call produced a particular fear. The last time my phone rang this early was two weeks before when my father was frantically and unsuccessfully trying to revive my mother, who had suddenly collapsed. When I picked up the phone, I could hear the anxiety in Dad’s voice as he described a gastrointestinal bleed that I knew would need emergency treatment and lead to hospitalization. I did not foresee that this was just the beginning of a long summer of seemingly unrelated hospital stays that, in retrospect, might have been preventable.