Debra K. Litzelman, MA, MD, MACP

D. Craig Brater Professor of Global Health Education, Indiana University School of Medicine
Associate Director, Indiana University Center for Health Services and Outcomes Research
Associate Director, William M. Tierney Center for Health Services Research, Regenstrief Institute, Inc.
Director of Education, Indiana University Center for Global Health

   Dr. Litzelman is a Senior Research Scientist in Regenstrief Institute, Inc. with research interests in interprofessional education and practice, innovative health care system's workforce development, and patient-cen tered behavioral change strategies. As co-investigator on a CMS-funded project to expand the Aging Brain Center (ABC) collaborative care model to a wider number of older adult patients with cognitive and mood disorders and caregivers, Dr. Litzelman as led the Workforce Training Core, which developed and implemented innovative screening, hiring and training processes to prepare the ABC Care Coordinator Assistants. 

   Dr. Litzelman is currently the principal investigator on her second $1.5 million NIH Behavioral and Social Science Integrated Curricular Training grant for the Indiana University School of Medicine. As Director of Education for the Indiana University Center for Global Health, she focuses on bilateral exchange of ideas to improve health and well-being of the medically underserved across the globe. The ideas for creating a new workforce to care for vulnerable elders arose from her work in Kenya where community health workers are widely deployed to improve care of patients with chronic illnesses. 

   Dr. Litzelman also has research experience in organizational change interventions with primary care health care groups working to establish relational Patient Centered Medical Homes and with IU Health oncology care groups. Her research focuses on the impact of practical training to prepare interprofessional health care team members to optimally function within relational, collaborative models of care. As principal investigator of the IU Health Values Grand Challenge "Improving Infant Mortality Rates in Indiana" project, Dr. Litzelman, with interdisciplinary and community-based teams, will implement and evaluate this community-based population health initiative.

Dr. Litzelman is board certified in Internal Medicine and an attending physician in both Eskenazi Medical Center and Richard L. Roudebush VA Medical Center.

Indiana University Health Profile



  General Internal Medicine
  Health Services Research



Physician Group:  
     IU Health Physicians  
Hospital Privileges:  
     IU Health Methodist/IU Health University  



School of Medicine      University of Cincinnati College of Medicine
Fellowship      Indiana University Medical Center
Residency      University of Cincinnati School of Medicine

Active Projects

I.    National Institutes of Health  (2011-2016)

"Uniting the Formal and Informal Curriculum in a Behavioral and Social Science Integrated Curriculum (BASSIC II)" (PI)

Enabling Indiana University School and Medicine and Moi University School of Medicine to develop a student, physician, and institutional program of education that will improve the abilities of our physicians and health systems to provide care that is informed by the wide range of behavioral and social factors that influence patient health and illness


II.   American Medical Association – Accelerating Change Proposal (2013-2018)

“Transformative Power of EMR to Create Virtual Medical Education Laboratories using e-Patient Panels to Prepare Future Physicians to Excel in New Health Care Systems” (Co-PIs: ME Gusic, W Tierney)

Indiana's project will create a virtual health care system (vHS) and a teaching electronic medical record (tEMR) to ensure competencies in system-, team- and population-based health care, as well as clinical decision-making. (Role: Lead Evaluator)


Selected Publications                               |                              Go To PubMed List >>


1. Umoren RA, Einterz RM, Litzelman DK, Pettigrew RK, Ayaya SO, Liechty EA. Fostering reciprocity in global health partnerships through a structured, hands-on experience for visiting postgraduate medical trainees. Journal of Graduate Medical Education. 2014 Jun;6(2):320-5.

2. Cottingham AH, Alder C, Austrom MG, Johnson CS, Boustani MA, Litzelman DK. New workforce development in dementia care: screening for "caring": preliminary data. Journal of the American Geriatric Society. 2014 Jul;62(7):1364-8.

3. Litzelman DK, DiCorcia M, Cottingham AH, Inui, TS. Beyond the Traditional Curricula: Attending to the informal curriculum and educational theories foundational to learning social and behavioral science. In M Feldman, J Christensen, and J Satterfield (eds.) Behavioral Medicine: A Guide for Clinical Practice 4th ed. New York: McGraw Hill Medical 2014, 471-86.

4. Headrick LA, Litzelman DK. Educators’ Stories of Creating Enduring Change: Enhancing the Professional Culture of Academic Health Science Centers. EdsOxford, UK: Radcliffe Publishing 2013.

5. Headrick LA, Cottingham AH, Litzelman DK. Concluding Reflections on Creating Enduring Change. In Educators’ Stories of Creating Enduring Change: Enhancing the Professional Culture of Academic Health Science Centers.  Eds. Headrick LA, Litzelman DK. Oxford, UK: Radcliffe Publishing 2013, 223-242.

6. Litzelman DK-profiled. Career Stories.  In JD Engel, LL Pethtel, J Zarconi (eds.) Developing clinicians’ career pathways in narrative and relationship-centered care: footprints of clinician pioneers. Oxford, UK: Radcliffe Publishing 2012, 191-210.

7. Umoren RA, James JE, Litzelman DK. Evidence of Reciprocity in Reports on International Partnerships. Education Research International 2012; no. 603270: 1-7.

8. Westmoreland GR, Counsell SR, Wanzhu T, Wu J, Litzelman DK. Web-based training in geriatrics for medical residents: A randomized controlled trial using standardized patients to assess outcomes. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.  2010; 58:1163-9.

9. Glenda R. Westmoreland; Steven R. Counsell; Youcef Sennour; Cathy C. Schubert; Kathryn I. Frank; Jingwei Wu; Richard M. Frankel; Debra K. Litzelman; Stephen P. Bogdewic; Thomas S. Inui. Improving medical student attitudes toward older patients through a "council of elders" and reflective writing experience. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. 2009;57(2):315-320.

10. Ann H. Cottingham; Anthony L. Suchman; Debra K. Litzelman; Richard M. Frankel; David L. Mossbarger; Penelope R. Williamson; Dewitt C. Baldwin Jr.; Thomas S. Inui.  Enhancing the informal curriculum of a medical school: A case study in organizational culture change. Journal of General Internal Medicine. 2008;23(6):715-722.

11. Debra K. Litzelman; Ann H. Cottingham. The new formal competency-based curriculum and informal curriculum at Indiana University School of Medicine: Overview and five-year analysis Academic Medicine. 2007;82(4):410-421.


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