Patricia Franklin, MD, MPH, MBA
Sr Scientific Director
For over two decades, Franklin's research has designed and implemented diverse methods to capture patient-reported health outcomes from national samples of patients, integrated these data with clinical and administrative data, and transformed data to real-world evidence. Longitudinal patient-reported data augment clinical data to create a learning health system integrating research, healthcare delivery, and quality improvement to improve health outcomes.
Dr. Franklin currently serves as Professor of Medical Social Sciences and MPI for the K12 in Learning Health Systems at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. Her career includes leadership in health system quality improvement as well as outcomes research. In the last decade, Dr. Franklin serves as Principal Investigator of the AHRQ P50; FORCE-TJR (2010-2015) for comparativeeffectiveness research in total joint replacement (TJR). The FORCE-TJR cohort includes 30,000 aging adults in 28 states with knee and hip osteoarthritis who report longitudinal pain and physical function. Early patient reported data (PROs) were collected on more than 80% of patients. Collection of 5-year outcomes was recently completed. A 2018 National Academy of Medicine report highlights FORCE-TJR as a patient-centered “learning health system” that supports federally funded ancillary research while serving quality initiatives for clinicians and health systems.
Franklin's ongoing research includes tailored predictive outcome reports to inform shared decisions for knee and hip arthritis in a cluster randomized trial of 6000 patients (Franklin, PI; PCORI); predictive analytics of real-world physical therapy interventions to achieve optimal TJR outcomes (Franklin, PI; NIAMS R01); sociodemographic and geographic predictors of variation in TKR use (coI; NIAMS R01); pragmatic trial of comparative effectiveness of three anti-thrombotic medications in TJR (coI; PCORI); use of opioids following TJR (coI; NIAMS R01) and cultural adaptation of arthritis assessments for Vietnamese immigrants (coI; NIAMS R21).
David Ayers, MD
Sr Orthopedic Director
David Ayers is Arthur M. Pappas Professor of Orthopaedics, Chair of the Department of Orthopedics and Physical Rehabilitation, Medical Director of the Musculoskeletal Center of Excellence, as well as, Orthopedist-in-Chief at University of Massachusetts Memorial Health Care System in Worcester, MA. With Dr. Franklin, he led the development of several department-based clinical registries that uniquely include patient-reported outcomes in TJR, Spine, and Hand and upper extremity.
Hua Zheng, PhD
Director of IT and Informatics
Hua Zheng, PhD leads FORCE-TJR IT and Informatics team. She is also an Assistant Professor of Orthopedics and Physical Rehabilitation at University of Massachusetts Medical School.
After completing a PhD in computer science and engineering, she completed a post-doctoral fellowship in clinical informatics supporting the outcome registries at UMass and the FORCE-TJR national database. Her innovative work focuses on user interface design and database function to process and present real-time data to inform clinical practice.
I.T. Systems Lead
Michael has worked for FORCE-TJR for over 3 years to support the I.T. infrastructure. In addition to managing our I.T. systems to meet our member’s needs, he provides customer support for technical issues, and assists with data integration and analysis.
Before joining the FORCE-TJR team, Michael served in the United States Navy as an Aviation Electronics Technician for 4 years. Afterwards he pursued his degree in Computer Science while working as an I.T. intern at UMASS Medical School.
Betsy Costello, BS
Patient Outcomes Coordinator
Betsy has been with FORCE-TJR since the beginning in 2010. She brings expertise in patient engagement, contributing to FORCE-TJR high recruitment and follow-up PRO data collection rates. Prior to joining FORCE-TJR, Betsy worked as research coordinator on several projects, including the Women’s Health Initiative- a multisite national study looking at major health issues causing morbidity and mortality in postmenopausal women.
Betsy received a bachelor’s degree at Worcester State College with a major in health studies and minor in physical education. In her spare time, Betsy enjoys participating in many sports including competitive tennis and recreational golf. She also spends lots of time having fun with her family including her new granddaughter.
Jasmine Marin, BS
Clinical Research Assistant
Jasmine joined the team in June 2021 as a Clinical Research Assistant. She graduated from Umass Boston with a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology. In her last semester, she took on a research apprenticeship, which led to her current position at Umass.
In her spare time, Jasmine enjoys hanging out with family, watching movies, and practicing her guitar.
Data Entry Clerk
Annabelle first joined FORCE-TJR as a high school senior for a short Co-Op Senior Project. She has since continued her work on the study, handling data entry amongst other tasks, while pursuing a bachelor's degree in both Neuroscience and Psychology at the College of the Holy Cross.
In her spare time, Annabelle is a competitive rower for the Varsity Women’s Rowing team at the College and a team liaison between the current student-athletes and alumni. She also serves as her team’s representative on the Student Athlete Advisory Committee where she is Co-Head of the Alumni Relations Branch.