Dr. Nakela Cook
Executive director, Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute
Cook, a cardiologist and health services researcher, has filled the top job at PCORI since 2020. Under Cook’s oversight, in March it announced 42 health systems that will participate in the Health Systems Implementation Initiative, designed to accelerate adoption of PCORI-funded research findings. Together, the participants represent 800 hospitals serving 79 million patients in 41 states and the District of Columbia. The institute also this year launched an initiative to help small organizations build the capacity to fully participate in comparative clinical effectiveness research and funded the first studies in its Science of Engagement initiative, aimed at demonstrating how best to engage patients, caregivers and others. Before PCORI, Cook was senior scientific officer and chief of staff at the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.