Our Mission, Vision, & History


Our Mission

Arbor Research Collaborative for Health is committed to improving patient care through research that shapes medical policies and practice. In particular, Arbor Research conducts health outcomes research on chronic disease and end-stage organ failure, with expertise in biostatistical analysis, clinical practice, health economics, public policy, database management and integration, and project coordination. Through research projects that are national and global in scope, Arbor Research’s scientific collaborations provide valuable and timely information to the worldwide health care community.


Our Vision

Be the preferred research organization to generate evidence for decision-making and innovation that improves health care policy, health care delivery, and health outcomes


Our History

Arbor Research was founded as the University Renal Research and Education Association (URREA)* in Ann Arbor, Michigan in 1997. Our first president was Philip J. Held, PhD, a nationally recognized leader in the field of renal research who understood the power and potential of sound data collection and analysis. Dr. Friedrich K. Port, MD, MS, became URREA's second president when Dr. Held retired in 2002. Our research portfolio grew as close-knit teams of clinicians, biostatisticians, programmers, and other staff bid successfully on several large contracts for medical outcomes research, including expansion of the Dialysis Outcomes and Practice Patterns Study (DOPPS); the renewal of the US Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients (SRTR); and a Multiple Research and Demonstration contract with the US Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).

In 2006, URREA formally changed its name to Arbor Research Collaborative for Health to better reflect the breadth of its efforts to improve patient care and support the development of sound public health care policies. When, in 2009, Dr. Port was ready to transition into his current role as senior research scientist, Robert M. Merion, MD., a highly respected transplant surgeon, researcher, and colleague from the University of Michigan, joined Arbor Research as its third president. Today, Arbor Research is a thriving company of over 125 employees and more than $17 million in revenues. We continue to improve patient care through the identification of clinical best practices and support for health care policy development.

*Note: Before 2006 Arbor Research was known as the University Renal Research and Education Association (URREA); this overview uses the original name when appropriate.