MU professor awarded Goodeve Medal for work with Red Cross

Pasupathy's worked on a program to increase Red Cross efficiency.
Health management and informatics professor Kalyan Pasupathy was awarded the Goodeve Medal by the Operational Research Society in England. Pasupathy involved his students in developing a program to increase efficiency at The Red Cross. Courtesy of Kalyan Pasupathy

MU professor Kalyan Pasupathy, a member of the health management and informatics department, received the Goodeve Medal for his work on a project for The Red Cross.

Pasupathy spent the last six years working on the project, a program to increase the efficiency of the nationwide organization.

MU professor Grant Savage serves as the chairman of the HMI department, of which Pasupathy is a member.

"A program such as the one Kalyan has created, one to increase efficiency and make maximum use of resources, is especially important for an organization as expansive as The Red Cross," Savage said. "He has a unique approach that really gives him the ability to see things differently from the way other professors in the department might."

Savage said Pasupathy's research background also affects the way he deals with his projects.

"I think he provides a unique perspective because of his experience in operational research," Savage said.

The Goodeve Medal is awarded for the most outstanding work done in the field of operational research by the Operational Research Society, based in England.

Although Pasupathy couldn't attend the award ceremony in London last October, the project's co-author, Alexandra Medina-Borja, accepted the award. Pasupathy and Medina-Borja worked on the project together and published it in the Journal of the Operational Research Society.

Pasupathy's entry in the journal stated the project could save up to $700,000 for The Red Cross.

The project was developed to work with individual Red Cross chapters and consists of a formula, which translates data to tell chapters its potential according to the size of its staff and its number of resources.

The program also allows chapters to see how other chapters, similar in size and abilities, use their resources.

Pasupathy also involved several students in his work on the project, as well as colleagues from Virginia Tech University, his former school.

The program makes recommendations to Red Cross chapters based on three pieces of information that vary from chapter to chapter, customer satisfaction and program outcome surveys, financial records and service delivery data.

HMI group director Kenneth Bopp said this project isn't Pasupathy's first dealing with The Red Cross.

"Pasupathy was involved with The Red Cross before he ever came to the University of Missouri," Bopp said. "He's worked with them for many years and I believe he will continue to in the future."

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