Andrew M. Evens will lead an innovation and data analytics initiative to improve patient care

Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences’ Office of Clinical and Health Affairs has appointed Andrew M. Evens, professor of medicine at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, associate director of clinical services for Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey and medical director of the oncology service line at RWJBarnabas Health as associate vice chancellor for Clinical Innovation and Data Analytics, a new initiative harnessing evidence-based practices and artificial intelligence to identify patient needs, enhance clinical innovation and improve health outcomes.

Andrew Evens
Andrew M. Evens

As associate vice chancellor, Evens will lead a multidisciplinary team of analytic experts, epidemiologists, decision scientists, statisticians, translational researchers, hospital and practice administrators, and clinicians, all while he completes his MBA at Rutgers Business School. They will combine clinical trial, healthcare utilization and “real world” patient data across RBHS and RWJBarnabas Health to better understand the full health continuum from disease presentation and diagnosis to help to determine the safest and most effective treatments for those with chronic conditions such as cancer, cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

The work, which will follow Institutional Review Board protocols and maintain strict patient privacy, will leverage dynamic and evidence-based computer algorithms to analyze population data at Rutgers, RWJBarnabas Health and with national and international collaborators. These methods, using predictive analytics and machine learning together with clinical artificial intelligence identifies, harmonizes and analyzes large volumes of information faster and with greater accuracy, which will improve clinicians’ decision-making capabilities at the bedside for improvement in health outcomes.

“Dr. Evens will help to foster a culture of innovation across multiple medical and health disciplines and provide leadership in the rapidly evolving clinical care landscape with an emphasis on operational data analytics and evidence-based clinical decision-making support systems,” said Vicente Gracias, senior vice chancellor for clinical affairs at RBHS, vice president of Health Affairs at Rutgers and chief academic officer at RWJBarnabas Health. “He will champion data analytics methodology and techniques that can complement the decision-making capabilities of clinicians and researchers and collaborate with health system medical leadership to determine the cost and value for data-driven health outcomes.”

Evens is a clinical expert in the field of lymphoid malignancies, especially towards prognostication, study of novel therapeutic agents, and the application of precision medicine. Nationally, he is a core member of the Hodgkin Lymphoma Working Group for the National Institutes of Health and the National Cancer Institute (NCI); vice chair of the Lymphoma Committee for the ECOG-ACRIN NCI research group; co-chair of the Big Ten Cancer Research Consortium lymphoma committee; a Board of Trustees member for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, New Jersey Chapter; and an elected member to the North American Scientific Advisory Board for the Lymphoma Research Foundation.

He is also co-founding principal investigator of the international consortium HoLISTIC, which consists of more than 70 worldwide clinical, epidemiologic, biology, imaging, health outcomes and decision-making experts harnessing multi-source data to enhance decision making and promote individualized care for Hodgkin lymphoma patients.

“Via strategic synthesis and analysis of multi-source data, including the integration of imaging and biologic information, we will produce robust decision models to help improve the acute and long-term health of our patients in a more precise and individualized manner. In addition, these analytics can enrich the design and delivery of healthcare with rapid diagnostics, risk prediction, simulation modeling and improved operational efficiency,” Evens said. “I look forward to working together with colleagues across RBHS, and in close collaboration with RWJBarnabas Health, to foster multidisciplinary clinical innovation and to harness data analytics and evidence-based practices for dynamic bedside decision support across the populations we serve and beyond.”

RWJBarnabas Health, in partnership with Rutgers University, are creating New Jersey’s largest academic health care system. The collaboration aligns RWJBarnabas Health with Rutgers’ education, research and clinical activities, including those at the Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey — the state's only NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center - and Rutgers University Behavioral Health Care.