Mark Dobrow
Mark Dobrow
2008-09 Canadian Harkness Associate
Assistant Professor
Department of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation
University of Toronto
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Harkness Project Title: Shared Accountability for Performance: Comparison of Comprehensive Cancer Centers in the USA and Canada

Mentors: Peter Bach, M.D., MAPP; Terry Sullivan, Ph.D.

Biography at time of Harkness Fellowship: Mark Dobrow, Ph.D., a 2008–09 Canadian Harkness Associate in Health Care Policy and Practice, is is an assistant professor in the department of health policy, management and evaluation at the University of Toronto. He is the lead investigator on a project funded by the Canadian Health Services Research Foundation that examines the role of deliberative methods in the development of health policy guidance, and he currently leads another study, funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, that examines how financial incentives influence clinical accountability in cancer system contexts. His current research interests focus on optimizing decision-making by organizations that manage, organize, finance, and/or deliver health services, especially in the area of cancer care, and his research has been published in journals such as Social Science and Medicine and Healthcare Policy. He holds a Ph.D. in health services and policy research from the University of Toronto, a master's degree in epidemiology from the University of Edinburgh, and completed a postdoctoral fellowship in the department of public health an policy at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

Project: Mark Dobow examined how comprehensive cancer centers are defined and measured, how they are made accountable for performance, and how “shared accountability” for performance within cancer centers is perceived. He conducted key document analysis and informant interviews with executive leadership at comprehensive cancer centers in the U.S. and Canada.  

Career Activity since Fellowship:

  • Interim Vice President, Health System Performance (Secondment), Health Quality Ontario
  • Director of Analysis and Reporting, Health Council of Canada
  • Scientist, Cancer Services and Policy Research Unit, Cancer Care Ontario

Current Positions: (10/2017)

  •  Associate Professor, Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation, University of Toronto 

E-mail: mark.dobrow@utoronto.ca

Selected Publications


Gagliardi AR, Stuart-McEwan T, Gilbert J, Wright FC, Hoch J, Brouwers MC, Dobrow MJ, Waddell TK, McCready DR. How can diagnostic assessment programs be implemented to enhance inter-professional collaborative care for cancer? Implement Sci. 2014.

Burchett HE, Mayhew SH, Lavis JN, Dobrow MJ. When can research from one setting be useful in another? Understanding perceptions of the applicability and  transferability of research. Health Promot Int. 2013.

Burchett HE, Dobrow MJ, Lavis JN, Mayhew SH. The applicability and transferability of public health research from one setting to another: a survey of maternal health researchers. Glob Health Promot. 2013. 

Gauld R, Burgers J, Dobrow M, Luxford K, Minhas R, Wendt C, Cohen AB. “Quality improvement, information technology and primary care can improve healthcare system performance. But are policy makers promoting them?” Int J Clin Pract. 2012.

Geddie H, Dobrow MJ, Hoch JS, Rabeneck L. A prospective multiple case study of the impact of emerging scientific evidence on established colorectal cancer screening programs: a study protocol. Implement Sci. 2012. 

Gagliardi AR, Dobrow MJ. Paucity of qualitative research in general medicaland health services and policy research journals: analysis of publication rates. BMC Health Serv Res. 2011.

Dobrow M, Neeson J, Sullivan T. Canadian chief executive officers' prescription for higher quality: more clinical engagement, shared accountability  and capacity development. Healthc Q. 2011.

Burchett H, Umoquit M, Dobrow M. How do we know when research from one setting can be useful in another? A review of external validity, applicability and  transferability frameworks. J Health Serv Res Policy. 2011.

Gagliardi AR, Dobrow MJ, Wright FC. How can we improve cancer care? A review of interprofessional collaboration models and their use in clinical management. Surg Oncol. 2011.

Chafe R, Culyer A, Dobrow M, Coyte PC, Sawka C, O'Reilly S, Laing K, Trudeau M, Smith S, Hoch JS, Morgan S, Peacock S, Abbott R, Sullivan T. Access to cancer  drugs in Canada: looking beyond coverage decisions. Healthc Policy. 2011.

Dobrow MJ, Costa S, Israr S, Chafe R. Mapping health services and policy research settings in Canada: following the money, the publications and the interest. Healthc Policy. 2010.

Dobrow MJ, Paszat L, Golden B, Brown AD, Holowaty E, Orchard MC, Monga N, Sullivan T. Measuring Integration of Cancer Services to Support Performance Improvement: The CSI Survey. Healthc Policy. 2009.

Chafe R, Dobrow M. Health Services Researchers Working within Healthcare Organizations: The Intriguing Sound of Three Hands Clapping. Healthc Policy. 2008.

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