Health Systems Science

Dr. Heidi Nelson has expertise in clinical epidemiology and population health, screening and prevention, women’s health, and healthcare guidelines and delivery. Her work connects research and clinical practice through methods of systematic review, clinical guideline development, and evidence-based healthcare. Dr. Nelson has led nearly 100 systematic reviews and meta-analyses for the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, HRSA-sponsored Women’s Preventive Services Initiative, NIH, AHRQ, VA, and other partners for over 20 years including a review on achieving health equity for preventive services for the NIH published in 2020. This work has led to clinical practice guidelines, health policy, and coverage decisions affecting millions of Americans including innovative recommendations on contraceptive care, and screening for breast cancer, domestic violence, osteoporosis, newborn hearing, and anxiety, among many others.

Dr. Nelson’s previous work as a medical director for women’s health and cancer prevention and screening in a large multi-state health system included developing patient data registries, and planning, implementing, and evaluating health care programs and practices across the system. She has served on influential national panels including the Institute of Medicine Committee on Prevention Services for Women, Women’s Preventive Services Initiative, PROSPR Committee for the National Cancer Institute, and NIH Advisory Committees; and was an investigator for the Study of Osteoporotic Fractures, Breast Cancer Surveillance Consortium, Breast Pathology Study, and Melanoma Pathology Study. As a medical educator, she directed a women’s health training fellowship; developed and directed Scholarly Projects, a 4-year curriculum to guide over 500 medical students in their undergraduate research projects; and currently develops and teaches a new medical school curriculum in health systems science.

A headshot of Heidi D. Nelson, MD, MPH, MACP, FRCP