On The Cutting Edge – Azhar K. Qureshi, MD, DrPH

Senior Research Scientist at St. Joseph Health System

By: Pamela Austin, Project Mgr., OCHNA

As the Orange County Health Needs Assessment (OCHNA) telephone survey, which California State University, Fullerton has been conducting throughout this last summer, begins to wind down, our attention has turned to how to analyze the data. The good news is that we are gathering the most comprehensive primary data on health that has ever been done before in the history of Orange County. Of course quality data collection is a necessary and essential first step. But, with it comes the challenge of analyzing an enormous data base in a way that will yield the highest statistical integrity, combs out essential variables, and, in the end produces useable information that is simple to understand.

SY17962.WMF (8918 bytes)Such a complicated endeavor requires more sophisticated skill and knowledge than can normally be found (where is an Einstein when you really need him?). Just when we were thinking we would have to import such a cranial wizard, Azhar K. Qureshi, MD. DrPH, Senior Research Scientist of St. Joseph Health Systems, offered his support and expertise. Dr. Qureshi holds a Doctor of Medicine from Dow Medical College, University of Karachi, Karachi-Pakistan; a Masters of Public Health, California State University at Northridge and, a Doctor of Public Health, with a concentration in Cognate: Statistics (trust me - don’t ask), University of California at Los Angeles.

Dr. Qureshi is experienced in S-plus and SSS program languages; building epidemiologic models with case-control and cohort data; econometric models with cross-sectional, panel, and time series data; growth-curve models with random-effects; ARIMA models for forecasting; survival-time models with multiply events; design-effect adjusted models in survey research and meta analytic models. He also has computer-intensive expertise in statistical methods such as bootstrapping, randomization and Monte-Carlo simulation (No, I don’t think you can use that one in Vegas). Beyond reporting the general survey results in the standard format (cross tabbing the usual PE11518.WMF (18648 bytes)demographic and socio-economic variables to each survey question), Dr. Qureshi’s knowledge and technical skills will give us a unique opportunity. We will be able to take a few select variables from the survey data and apply the appropriate statistical formulas, to dig deeper into multivariable relationships and analyze any significant correlation’s and hopefully provide a clearer picture of what the health concerns are in our own backyard.

OCHNA would like to extend our thanks to St. Joseph Health System, a member of our steering committee, for generously supporting Dr. Qureshi’s interest and commitment to our project (and some people still wonder why I love collaborative projects). As I gloat over our exceptional find (a good-hearted genius, with social skills), Azhar reminds me that he is "a statistician, not a magician." But, I don’t know he may just be a really young Merlin reincarnated.

Blu_bar.gif (1358 bytes)

OCHNA Contact: Pamela Austin, MSW, Director
Site provided by: Joshua Wallingford - County of Orange
Copyright 1998, OCHNA, Joshua Wallingford