Nelda Wray

Nelda Wray, MD, MPH

Emeritus Professor of Surgery, Academic Institute
Full Emeritus Member, Research Institute
Houston Methodist


Dr. Nelda P. Wray joined Houston Methodist Research Institute in 2008 as a research scientist and full member. She is an award-winning researcher who has held numerous state- and federally-appointed advisory roles, including the National Advisory Council for the U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (appointed by Donna Shalala, Secretary of Health and Human Services) and the Texas Board on Aging (appointed by Governor George W. Bush). Dr. Wray has also been a member of the National Advisory Committees for the VA Health Services Research and Development Service and the Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars Program.

Dr. Wray's experience includes six years as Chief of General Medicine at VA Medical Center in Houston; eight years as Director, and an additional eight years as Director Emeritus, of the Houston Center for Quality of Care and Utilization Studies: a VA Health Services Research & Development Center of Excellence; Chief Research and Development Officer for the Department of Veterans Affairs in Washington, DC; and professorships in Medicine at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and Baylor College of Medicine, where she was also Chief of Health Services Research. In 2000, she received the VA Under Secretary for Health’s Award for Outstanding Lifetime Achievement in Health Services Research, and in 2002, the Michael E. DeBakey MD Award for Excellence in Research from Baylor College of Medicine.

Description of Research

Dr. Wray is an internationally recognized authority in health policy research, specifically for her use of electronic data to monitor and improve healthcare. Most recently, her work has been in the area of improving the evidence base for surgical procedures by exploring ways to foster rigorous collection of patient outcome data.

Areas Of Expertise

Health policy Electronic data Health outcomes
Education & Training

MPH, University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston

Effect of Chlorhexidine Bathing Every Other Day on Prevention of Hospital-Acquired Infections in the Surgical ICU: A Single-Center, Randomized Controlled Trial
Swan, JT, Ashton, CM, Bui, LN, Pham, VP, Shirkey, BA, Blackshear, JE, Bersamin, JB, Pomer, RML, Johnson, ML, Magtoto, AD, Butler, MO, Tran, SK, Sanchez, LR, Patel, JG, Ochoa, RA, Hai, SA, Denison, KI, Graviss, EA & Wray, NP 2016, , Critical Care Medicine, vol. 44, no. 10, pp. 1822-1832.

Optimizing evaluation of patients with low-to-intermediate-risk acute chest pain: A randomized study comparing stress myocardial perfusion tomography incorporating stress-only imaging versus cardiac CT
Nabi, F, Kassi, M, Muhyieddeen, K, Chang, SM, Xu, J, Peterson, L, Wray, N, Shirkey, B, Ashton, C & Mahmarian, J 2016, , Journal of Nuclear Medicine, vol. 57, no. 3, pp. 378-384.

The sepsis early recognition and response initiative (SERRI)
Jones, SL, Ashton, CM, Kiehne, L, Gigliotti, E, Bell-Gordon, C, Pinn, TT, Tran, SK, Nicolas, JC, Rose, AL, Shirkey, BA, Disbot, M, Masud, F & Wray, NP 2016, , Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety, vol. 42, no. 3, pp. 122-131.

Outcomes and resource use of sepsis-associated stays by presence on admission, severity, and hospital type
Jones, SL, Ashton, CM, Kiehne, LB, Nicolas, JC, Rose, AL, Shirkey, BA, Masud, F & Wray, NP 2016, , Medical Care, vol. 54, no. 3, pp. 303-310.

Reductions in Sepsis Mortality and Costs After Design and Implementation of a Nurse-Based Early Recognition and Response Program
Jones, SL, Ashton, CM, Kiehne, L, Gigliotti, E, Bell-Gordon, C, Disbot, M, Masud, F, Shirkey, BA & Wray, NP 2015, , Joint Commission journal on quality and patient safety / Joint Commission Resources, vol. 41, no. 11, pp. 483-491.

Systematic review of observational studies reveals no association between low back pain and lumbar spondylolysis with or without isthmic spondylolisthesis
Andrade, NS, Ashton, CM, Wray, NP, Brown, C & Bartanusz, V 2015, , European Spine Journal, vol. 24, no. 6, pp. 1289-1295.

The role of the USA food and drug administration in clinical research
Glasser, SP, Ashton, CM & Wray, NP 2014, . in Essentials of Clinical Research, Second Edition. Springer International Publishing, pp. 117-143.

Surgeon-specific performance reports in general surgery: An observational study of initial implementation and adoption
Yi, SG, Wray, NP, Jones, SL, Bass, BL, Nishioka, J, Brann, S & Ashton, CM 2013, , Journal of the American College of Surgeons, vol. 217, no. 4, pp. 636-647.e1.

Brody, B, Wray, N & Ashton, C 2013, , Journal of the American College of Surgeons, vol. 217, no. 1, pp. 172.

Are surgical trials with negative results being interpreted correctly?
Brody, BA, Ashton, CM, Liu, D, Xiong, Y, Yao, X & Wray, NP 2013, , Journal of the American College of Surgeons, vol. 216, no. 1, pp. 158-166.

Do surgical trials meet the scientific standards for clinical trials?
Wenner, DM, Brody, BA, Jarman, AF, Kolman, JM, Wray, NP & Ashton, CM 2012, , Journal of the American College of Surgeons, vol. 215, no. 5, pp. 722-730.

Trials and tribulations: The professional development of surgical trialists
Jarman, AF, Wray, NP, Wenner, DM & Ashton, CM 2012, , American Journal of Surgery, vol. 204, no. 3, pp. 339-346.e5.

Conflicts among Multinational Ethical and Scientific Standards for Clinical Trials of Therapeutic Interventions
Kolman, JM, Wray, NP, Ashton, CM, Wenner, DM, Jarman, AF & Brody, BA 2012, , Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics, vol. 40, no. 1, pp. 99-121.

A taxonomy of multinational ethical and methodological standards for clinical trials of therapeutic interventions
Ashton, CM, Wray, N, Jarman, AF, Kolman, JM, Wenner, DM & Brody, BA 2011, , Journal of Medical Ethics, vol. 37, no. 6, pp. 368-373.

A patient self-assessment tool to measure communication behaviors during doctor visits about hypertension
Ashton, CM, Holt, CL & Wray, NP 2010, , Patient Education and Counseling, vol. 81, no. 2, pp. 275-314.

A stories-based interactive DVD intended to help people with hypertension achieve blood pressure control through improved communication with their doctors
Ashton, CM, Houston, TK, Williams, JH, Larkin, D, Trobaugh, J, Crenshaw, K & Wray, NP 2010, , Patient Education and Counseling, vol. 79, no. 2, pp. 245-250.

Ethics and methods in surgical trials
Ashton, CM, Wray, NP, Jarman, AF, Kolman, JM, Wenner, DM & Brody, BA 2009, , Journal of Medical Ethics, vol. 35, no. 9, pp. 579-583.

Racial disparities in HIV virologic failure: Do missed visits matter?
Mugavero, MJ, Lin, HY, Allison, JJ, Giordano, TP, Willig, JH, Raper, JL, Wray, N, Cole, SR, Schumacher, JE, Davies, S & Saag, MS 2009, , Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes, vol. 50, no. 1, pp. 100-108.

Racial and ethnic differences in the treatment of seriously ill patients: A comparison of African-American, Caucasian and Hispanic Veterans
Braun, UK, McCullough, LB, Beyth, RJ, Wray, N, Kunik, ME & Morgan, RO 2008, , Journal of the National Medical Association, vol. 100, no. 9, pp. 1041-1051.

COPD education and cognitive behavioral therapy group treatment for clinically significant symptoms of depression and anxiety in COPD patients: A randomized controlled trial
Kunik, ME, Veazey, C, Cully, JA, Souchek, J, Graham, DP, Hopko, D, Carter, R, Sharafkhaneh, A, Goepfert, EJ, Wray, N & Stanley, MA 2008, , Psychological Medicine, vol. 38, no. 3, pp. 385-396.