Surgical Health Scientists Aligning Research with Patient Priorities



Our current healthcare system measures providers based on a set of standardized outcomes that may not reflect what patients truly want from their health care, especially for patients with complex medical needs. As a result, patient and provider priorities may not always align, leading to discordant care. The Surgical Health Scientists Aligning Research with Patient Priorities (SHARPP) Program at CSPH believes that the priorities of the patient matter, and that not only should these priorities be incorporated into the standards by which providers are measured, but also that patients should play a central role in the decision-making process regarding their care. This approach allows patients to assess the outcomes and goals they hold for themselves, and surgeons to provide care that aligns with their patient’s priorities.


The SHARPP Program conducts patient-centered research focused on surgical patients with serious illnesses facing complex surgical procedures. The vision of the SHARPP Program is to create an internationally renowned group of clinician-scientists and health services researchers who conduct patient-centered research in all phases of surgical care The SHARPP Program aims to accomplish this through unparalleled leadership in the following ways: making significant contributions to the scientific evidence base, developing and implementing novel programs, and by engaging key stakeholders in surgical care to influence health policy.


With a team that includes more than a dozen researchers and collaborators, The SHARPP Program’s project portfolio continues to expand, covering a wide range of research topics and implementation strategies dedicated to making surgical care more patient-centered and developing protections for vulnerable groups. Projects include: a pilot study on collecting patient-reported outcome measures for older Emergency General Surgery (EGS) patients; secondary data analysis to describe the 12-month healthcare trajectory and hospice utilization among older trauma and EGS patients; identifying best practice guidelines for older injured adults; developing Quality of Life and functional measures for older patients and incorporating them into the National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (NSQIP); and ensuring that shared decision making is routinely incorporated into the Perioperative Medicine Curriculum during anesthesia residents’ Weiner Center rotation at BWH.

Affiliate Faculty

Alex Arriaga, MD, MPH, ScD

Deborah Culley, MD

David Hepner, MD, MPH

Charlotta Lindvall, MD

Richard Urman, MD, MBA

Nicholas Sadovnikoff, MD

Daniel Weiner, MD

Joel Weissman, PhD


Steven Senglaub, MS – Project Manager


Katherine Lee, MD, MSc

Brooks Udelsman, MD, MHS

Beyond 30 Days: Identifying the palliative care needs of older adults who undergo emergency general surgery

Development of Best Practice Guidelines for the Treatment of Older Injured Patients [Geriatric]

Perioperative Decision Making: Preparing Surgical Patients’ Families for the Surrogate Role

End-of-Life Outcomes After Malignancy- Associated Bowel Obstruction: A Population- Based Comparison of Surgery, Venting Gastronomy, or Medical Management

Navigating High Risk Surgery: Empowering Older Patients to Ask Questions that inform Decisions about Surgical Treatment

Determining Standards of the Delivery of Goal Concordant Surgical Care for Older Patients