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Current Research

When compared to other industrialized countries, the U.S. healthcare system consistently ranks at the bottom with respect to quality and cost.  Our healthcare system consumes 18% of the U.S. Gross Domestic Product (GDP),  yet that consumption does not lead to better care for the American population. It has been estimated that 55% of Americans regularly take an average of four prescription medications and in 2008, it was estimated that more than half of Americans take chronic medications.  Much of the non-optimal patient care in the U.S. is related to the misuse, underuse, and overuse of medications.

To address these complex problems, healthcare is undergoing a shift to strive toward the triple aim, which includes a focus on better care for patients, better health for communities, and lower costs. Along with the private sector, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has led the charge to transform our system into one that is focused on quality care and improved health outcomes – for patients and communities – at lower costs (commonly referred to as value-based healthcare).

The Center for Medication Optimization (CMO) was established in 2015 with the mission to bring together healthcare stakeholders to create impactful real-world research, generate evidence, disseminate best practices, and advance education that integrates medication optimization into value-based care delivery and payment models.

The center’s research focuses on the positive impact of medication optimization on patient care and health care quality and on reducing the total cost of care. One of our key objectives is to educate policymakers, payers and health care systems on the impact of new pharmacy models in ambulatory care, community pharmacy and transitions of care. We are also committed to educating students on how policy shapes health care so we can better prepare them for these new delivery models while also developing leaders to advocate for positive change.

Carrie Blanchard

“Driving Quality and Engagement Across a Comprehensive Medication Management Provider Network via a Novel Pay-for-Performance Strategy”

Melanie Livet

  • “Optimizing medications for complex patients: Scaling CMM to specialty clinics”
  • “Evaluating a CMM telepharmacy model: A new frontier for providers and patients in rural communities”

Jon Easter and Melanie Livet

  • “Evaluating patient-centered, quality-driven care interventions in community pharmacy settings”
  • “Expanding TeleHealth Services to Prevent COVID-19 in Rural NC”

Jon Easter, RPh


Carrie Blanchard, PharmD, MPH


Melanie Livet, PhD

  • Livet, M., Blanchard, C., Sorensen, T.D., & Roth McClurg, M. (2018, in press). An implementation system for medication optimization: Operationalizing Comprehensive Medication Management Delivery in Primary Care. Journal of American College of Clinical Pharmacy.
  • Livet, M., Haines, S.T., Curran, G., Seaton, T., Ward, C., Sorensen, T., & McClurg, M.R. (2018). Implementation science to Advance Care Delivery: A Primer for Pharmacists and Other Health Professionals. Pharmacotherapy, 38, 490-502https://doi.org/10.1002/phar.2114 
  • Livet, M., & Fixsen, A. (2018). Adapting a technology-based implementation support tool for community mental health: Challenges and lessons learned. Health Promotion Practice, 1-1110.1177/1524839917749468
  • Livet, M., Yannayon, M., Sheppard, K., Kocher, K., Upright, J., & McMillen, J. (2017). Exploring provider use of a digital implementation support system for school mental health: A pilot study. Administration and Policy in Mental Health and Mental Health Services Research, 1-19. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10488-017-0829-7.
  • Blanchard, C., Livet, M. Ward, C., Sorge, L., Sorensen, T., & McClurg, M.R. (2017). The Active Implementation Frameworks: A roadmap for advancing implementation of CMM in Primary Care. Research in Social and Administrative Pharmacy, 13, 922-929https://doi.org/10.1016/j.sapharm.2017.05.006
  • Livet, M., Yannayon, M., Kocher, K., & McMillen, J. (2017). Intent to sustain use of a mental health innovation by school providers: What matters most?. Advances in School Mental Health Promotion10(2), 127-146http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/1754730X.2017.1295814
  • Livet, M., Courser, M., & Wandersman, A. (2008). The Prevention Delivery System: Organizational context and use of comprehensive programming frameworks.  American Journal of Community Psychology, 41 (3-4), 361-378.
  • Livet, M., Richter, J., Ellison, L., Dease, B., McClure, L., Feigley, C., & Richter, D. (2005). Emergency preparedness academy adds public health to readiness equation. Journal of Public Health Management and Practice, Nov Supplement, 4-10.
  • Richter, J., Livet, M., Stewart, J., Feigley, C.E., Scott, G., & Richter, D. (2005). Coastal terrorism: Using tabletop discussion to enhance coastal communities infrastructure through relationship building. Journal of Public Health Management and Practice, Nov Supplement, 45-49. 
  • Hoffman, Y., Everly, G.S., Werner, D., Livet, M., Madrid, P.A., Pfefferbaum, B., & Beaton, R. (2005). Identification and evaluation of mental health and psychosocial preparedness resources from the centers for public health preparedness. Journal of Public Health Management and Practice, Nov Supplement, 138-142.
  • Keener, D.C., Snell-Johns, J., Livet, M., & Wandersman, A. (2004). Lessons that influenced the current conceptualization of empowerment evaluation: Reflections from two evaluation projects. In Fetterman, D., and Wandersman. A. (Eds), Empowerment Evaluation Principles in Practice. Guilford Publications.
  • Livet, M., & Wandersman, A. (2004). Organizational functioning: Facilitating effective interventions and increasing the odds of programming success. In Fetterman, D., and Wandersman. A. (Eds), Empowerment Evaluation Principles in Practice. Guilford Publications.
  • Wandersman, A., Snell-Johns, J., Keener, D.C., Livet, M., Fetterman, D., Lentz, B., Imm, P., & Flaspohler, P. (2004). Principles of Empowerment Evaluation. In Fetterman, D., and Wandersman. A. (Eds), Empowerment Evaluation Principles in Practice. Guilford Publications.
  • Wandersman, A., Keener, D. C., Snell-Johns, J., Miller, R., Flaspohler, P., Dye (Livet), M.L., Mendez, J., Behrens, T., & Bolson, B. (2004). Empowerment evaluation: Principles and Action. In Jason, L. A., Keys, C. B., Suarez-Balcazar, Y., Taylor, R. R., and Davis, M., (Eds.). Participatory community research: Theories and methods in action. American Psychological Association: Washington, D.C.

Ben Urick, PharmD, PhD