aubraJarrod Dalton proves that where you start in your career is not necessarily where you will end up. Dr. Dalton worked as a Summer Fellow in 2003 at CIGLR, then “CILER,” working to understand how best to measure sea surface temperatures. In his own words, he worked on “…applying my statistical skills to build a spatial model and associated visualizations for sea surface temperature, and, in general, scratching my atmospheric/bathymetric sciences itch even though that wasn’t specifically the career path I ended up choosing.” Almost 20 years later, Dr. Dalton is applying that same analytical mind to a new field: health services research.

As the director of Cleveland Clinic’s Center for Populations Health Research and a leader of a regional collaboration with MetroHealth, Dr. Dalton uses statistical tools to monitor neighborhood-level and population-level risk factors for cardiovascular health, myocardial infarction, and chronic illnesses. In a paper published in 2017, Dr. Dalton and his team studied the relationship between neighborhood disadvantage and the risk of cardiovascular disease, proving that a popular tool, the Pooled Cohort Equations Risk Model (PCERM) of the American College of Cardiology and American Heart Association, often overlooked cardiovascular risk in patients from disadvantaged communities. In another paper, he found that by using a multi-institutional electronic medical records (EMR) it is possible to track specific homeless individuals and their risk for chronic illness, paving the way for intervention with these often-overlooked communities.