As of July 1, 2017, Jose Zubizarreta becomes the newest statistician at the Department of Health Care Policy. Formerly assistant professor in the Division of Decision, Risk, and Operations at the Graduate School of Business and the Department of Statistics at Columbia University, Zubizarreta brings tremendous expertise in causal inference and impact evaluation.
Zubizarreta joins the health policy space after working with investigators in statistics and operations at Columbia, as well as researchers in the health and social sciences. In teaching MBA students, he became motivated to make his statistical work more meaningful and practical.
In his current work, Zubizarreta develops statistical methods to draw causal inferences from observational data in ways that provide clarity and integration into research. More specifically, he is interested in using modern optimization to develop matching and weighting methods as more transparent alternatives to regression methods. He is also interested in experimental design, study generalizability, and computational scalability. Zubizarreta hopes to extend these methods to big data.
In focusing more on health policy, Zubizarreta is excited to assess the quality of care provided by hospitals and physicians using health outcomes and operations measures. He is also interested in health disparities, comparative effectiveness research, and health program impact evaluation.
Zubizarreta completed his PhD in statistics at The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in 2013, focusing on optimal designs for observational studies using mathematical programming, with applications to health care and policy. He originally hails from Chile, where he received his BS in engineering at the Universidad Católica and his MA in economics at the Universidad de Chile.
Zubizarreta joins Sherri Rose, Laura Hatfield, Mary Beth Landrum, Sharon-Lise Normand, and Alan Zaslavsky as biostatisticians and statisticians at HCP. His work will bring him in contact with each faculty member, and he hopes to help answer critical health policy questions with them.
Zubizarreta said, “This is a unique opportunity to join a great team of scientists and statisticians working on important questions in health care policy. I am looking forward to working with and learning from them, and hopefully making a positive impact in the real world.”