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Center for Innovation to Implementation (Ci2i)


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Karl Lorenz, MD, MSHS

Dr. Karl Lorenz, MD, MSHS, is a general internal medicine and palliative care physician, and Section chief of the VA Palo Alto-Stanford Palliative Care Program. Dr. Lorenz has a degree in English literature from Davidson College (BA 1986) and completed his medical studies at the Medical College of Georgia (MD, 1991) and graduate studies in health services research at UCLA (MSHS, 1991).  Dr. Lorenz is both a general internist and palliative care physician who spent seven years on active duty with the United States Navy in San Diego where he was a Chief Resident and then served US Marines as a Navy physician at Naval Hospital Camp Pendleton. He spent 17 years in post graduate studies, and then as a faculty member at UCLA’s Division of General Internal Medicine and Health Services Research, on staff at the VA Greater Los Angeles, and as an Adjunct Affiliate faculty at the RAND Corporation. Dr. Lorenz has been a Professor at the Stanford School of Medicine and has directed palliative care research at the VA Center for Innovation to Implementation since 2015. He has served as a member of the VA’s national Hospice and Palliative Care Program (HPC) leadership team and as Director of the operational palliative care Quality Improvement Resource Center (QuIRC) since 2009.

Dr. Lorenz’s research interests include pain management and palliative care. His previous research encompasses evidence synthesis, and the development of measures and standards. He contributed pain and palliative care measures to the MDS 3.0. With Dr. Erin Krebs, he collaborated in development of the PEG for pain. He has led and collaborated in the development of many process and outcome measures for palliative care, work that he started as an HSR&D Career Development Awardee. He has led or collaborated in developing pain and palliative care measures including the CAHPS hospice measure, ACOVE, and Cancer Quality ASSIST measure sets. He has a strong interest in innovative, scalable models for general and specialty palliative care, and is collaborating with Stanford and VA colleagues to improve the evidence base for palliative care-surgical integration. Between 2007-2008 he worked as a Packer Health Policy fellow in Canberra, Australia, experiencing and studying aspects of cancer delivery and quality measurement in the Australian health care system. His current work and research include global cancer and palliative care, implementation science, and quality improvement including ongoing multisite collaborations in India and Australia.

Dr. Lorenz has a long avocational history as a singer and instrumentalist, and maintains a practice of volunteering and membership in a spiritual community. He maintains an active practice of writing for lay audiences including past publications in Newsweek, the Sacramento Bee, the Washington Post, and USA Today. He composes fiction and poetry, and is a member of the Stanford Pegasus writing program. His favorite food is authentic Carolina barbeque.

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