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Michael P. Cary, Jr. is an Associate Professor and the Elizabeth C. Clipp Term Chair of Nursing at the Duke University School of Nursing.

Dr. Cary’s research focuses on improving care delivery and health outcomes of older adults undergoing rehabilitation in post-acute care (PAC) settings following acute illness or injury. His research promoted self-care and mobility as more targeted quality measures of upper and lower extremity independence than the composite Functional Independence Measure, traditionally used in Inpatient Rehabilitation Facilities (IRFs). His contribution to early PAC demonstration projects supported by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services enabled a value-based paradigm shift in quality measurement and guided change in national payment policy: IRF providers now receive incentive payments based on improvements in patient self-care and mobility scores between admission and discharge.

Dually trained as a health services researcher and applied data scientist, Dr. Cary leverages big datasets and innovative machine learning approaches to predict populations at higher risk for rehospitalization and greater need for rehabilitation services. As one of the first nurse scientists to develop machine learning algorithms in PAC research, he expanded methodological approaches that investigate mortality following post-acute rehabilitation.

Dr. Cary is the inaugural Duke AI Health Equity Scholar, leading an interdisciplinary team to identify racial/ethnic bias in AI-enabled algorithms deployed across the Duke Health System, an initiative designed to advance health equity and eliminate health disparities.


Michael Cary


Associate Professor

Duke University

North Carolina

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