Spring 2008
From the Director | Updates All Around
What's New | Fellows' State Visits
Job Notice | Current Opportunities
Where are they now? | Find out what your colleagues have been doing!

 

Capitol

 

 

Updates All Around

Amid all the excitement of the primaries leading to the upcoming Presidential election, the 2007-2008 RWJF Health Policy Fellows have secured exceptional work assignments, including placements in the offices of Senators Clinton and Obama.  I am glad to report that, once again, fellows are in both the House of Representatives and the Senate and, for the first time ever, the Congressional Budget Office. In addition to their day jobs on the Hill, the fellows have completed media training and two exciting back-to-back state site visits to Louisiana and Massachusetts. They are an enthusiastic, eager and talented lot who are as happy a group as I have ever seen.

This year we welcomed three new outstanding board members: former Congresswoman Nancy Johnson, former Georgetown Dean Judy Feder, who is running for Congress from Virginias 10th District, and program alumnus Dr. Kenneth Chance (RWJF/HPF Class of ’91-92) from the University of Kentucky. Under the Board’s leadership and in response to our recent program evaluation, we will be instituting a number of valuable program enhancements.  We will focus on expanded efforts in applicant recruitment, new opportunities for alumni to participate in the orientation and other fellowship events, and added support for those transitioning back to their sponsoring institution or to their next work assignment. Don’t forget that our alumni and supporters are our most effective recruiters and it is never too soon to begin identifying outstanding prospects for the program.

Please remember to mark the date for the upcoming Alumni Retreat and Annual IOM Meeting October 11-13, 2008. That meeting will be just three weeks before the November Presidential elections.  What a great time to come to DC for a health policy update! Personally, I can hardly wait to see the Capitol Steps, which is scheduled for the Saturday night of the Retreat. As we have in the past, we will get Capitol Step tickets for all those interested.

And with health care so high on the political agenda, this is the perfect year to link up with other RWJF Health Policy Fellow alums, and update your policy skills and expand your network. There is a lot to be done.

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Fellows' State Visits

 

Fellows Head to Louisiana and Massachusetts

This spring, the fellows went to Louisiana and Massachusetts to gain an understanding of the interaction between federal and state health policy as well as to observe the variation in how the two states implement that policy. During the four days of meetings, the fellows met with many key health leaders from numerous state organizations and government agencies. The 60 or so informal gatherings provided revealing and lasting assessments of particular conditions affecting developing health events in Louisiana and Massachusetts.

In Louisiana, the fellows received a comprehensive survey of the state’s health care and health policy systems, as well as a look at pre- and post-Katrina reform efforts. They spent a day in Baton Rouge and a day in New Orleans meeting with many of the individuals and groups who are stakeholders in Louisiana's health system. The trip concluded with a National Guard-led tour of the areas of New Orleans most affected by Hurricane Katrina.

Health Reform was the topic as the 2007-2008 Fellows traveled to Massachusetts. While there the fellows had an opportunity to meet with many of the legislators, executive staff, advocates and players involved in the the state's health reform process. A special thanks to alumnus Jay Himmelstein ('91-'92) and his staff for making this trip possible. This was the second trip in as many years that Jay put together for the fellows, and his effort is appreciated by the fellows and staff.

Reflecting on the visits, 07-08 Fellow Nancy Ridenour said, " State perspectives on health care reform are vital to inform any federal action. This trip provided on the ground experience with two very different approaches. It is very clear that providing coverage is not enough. Access to quality appropriate care is critical. The rising costs of health care make the process even more complicated."

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Jobs

For more information about these job announcements, please log in to the Alumni Only section of the website using your username and password. If you do not remember your username and password, please contact the program staff at 202-334-1506.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
The Division of Health Care Statistics, National Center for Health Statistics, seeks an Associate Director for Science who has responsibility for the scientific relevance and integrity of the Division’s publications and data analysis program.  The Division conducts nationally-representative surveys of health-care providers that collect data for policymakers and researchers to document management of specific medical conditions, assess quality of care and disparities, monitor medical-technology diffusion, assess resource use, and analyze policy changes. More information can be found by logging into our website.

Colorado School of Public Health Initiative
The Colorado School of Public Health Initiative is a joint endeavor among the University of Colorado Denver (UCD), Colorado State University (CSU) and the University of Northern Colorado (UNC) to open the region’s first and only school of public health in July 2008 and be accredited by 2010. Applications are being accepted for the position of Department Chair for the newly formed Department of Health Systems, Management and Policy in the Colorado School of Public Health. This is a 12-month tenure-track, Associate/Full Professor appointment with the primary academic appointment to be held at the University of Colorado Denver. Additional information can be found at the UCHSC website (PDF).

Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies
The Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies is seeking a Vice President of the Joint Center Health Policy Institute. The VP oversees the overall operations of the Institute, implements projects based on the established architecture of the Institute, and plans, develops, and directs programs and initiatives supporting HPI’s mission.  The VP reports directly to the President of the Joint Center.  This official will be responsible for the development of health research and policy initiatives as well as financial and administrative management of the organization as a whole.  The VP manages a budget of $4.5 million and supervises a staff of eight, including a Deputy Director, an Executive Director of the Sullivan Alliance, a Director of Operations and Outreach, a Senior Research Associate, a Policy Assistant, an Assistant to the VP, and two Administrative staff members. More information can be found by logging into our website.

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
RWJF is seeking to fill various program level positions and is asking your help in targeting appropriate applicants.  If you know anyone that would be a good fit and interested in any of these opportunities, please pass this information on to them. A full listing can be found by visiting the job opportunities section of RWJF's website at http://www.rwjf.org/about/joblisting.jsp.

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Michael Ashburn

 




Virginia Trotter Betts

Guy Clifton

Linda Degutis

Lou Diamond

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sarah England

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Karen Hein

David Michaels

Rita Redberg

 

Charles Rice

Eugene Rich

Steffie Woolhandler

David Altman
David Altman ('92-'93) reports that he recieved a $1.63 million grant from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation for the development and implemetation of a nurse documentation system that can be used in a safety net hospital as part of the work for creating a full electronic health record. 

Michael Ashburn
Michael Ashburn ('95-'96)
sends along an update on what he's been doing since his fellowship. He was an Associate Professor of Anesthesiology at the University of Utah when he did his fellowship.  In 2002 he left academics to work four-and-a-half years with ZARS Pharma, a pain specialty pharmaceutical firm that he co-founded.  During his time with ZARS he was responsible for clinical and regulatory affairs, and managed to get two drugs approved for marketing in the United States and one approved in Europe. Over time, he discovered that while he enjoyed industry, he really enjoyed direct patient care and teaching, and made the decision to return to academics.  After 20 years in Utah, moving from Salt Lake City to Philadelphia was a bit of a culture shock. He and his wife Carolyn love their new home, and he loves his new job. He finds his experiences in industry and as an RWJ fellow, make academic life rich.  

Virginia Trotter Betts
Virginia Trotter Betts ('87-'88) was named President of the National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors in January. You can read the full press release (PDF) for additional information.

 

 


Guy Clifton
Guy Clifton ('06-'07) has a new grandson, Henry "Danger" Clifton. Guy has a new position as a Senior (but vigorous) Scholar at the New America Foundation. Rutgers will publish Clifton's book, Flatlined: Resuscitating American Medicine, in the Fall of 2008. Watch for it in bookstores.

 

Linda Degutis
Linda Degutis ('96-'97) began her term as President of the American Public Health Association in November. You can read the press release by going to APHA's website.

 

 

Lou Diamond
Lou Diamond ('90-'91) recently became President of the American College of Medical Quality and Chair-Elect of the Quality Measurement, Research and Improvement Council at the National Quality Forum.

 

 

Chester Douglass
Chester Douglass ('75-'76) will be retiring as Chair of the Department of Oral Health Policy and Epidemiology at Harvard School of Dental Medicine and as Professor of Epidemiology at Harvard School of Public Health, positions he has held for 30 years since being an RWJF Health Policy Fellow in 1975-76. The Harvard search committee is looking for an endowed professorship and assistant professor (both funded by Delta Dental of Massachusetts on whose Board Chet has served for 25 years). Chet is also retiring as Chief of the Dental Service of the Cambridge Health Alliance, a one day a week community dentistry position he assumed 12 years ago when the Department had only one dentist. The Cambridge Health Alliance search committee is looking for a full time Chief of Dentistry who will now be responsible for administering three community dentistry clinics, a GPR program with 6 positions, 9 full and part time dentists, 12 allied dental care providers, and 11 front office staff, along with school-based and geriatric dentistry outreach programs. Two search committees are looking for 3 people to replace Chet at Harvard. Chet will continue as Professor Emeritus to write and teach health policy in the Dental School, Epidemiology in the Public Health School, and leadership in Minority Health Policy at Harvard Medical School.

Sarah England
Sarah England ('05-'06) sent an update on life in Iowa. This past year, she was appointed to the new leadership team at the University of Iowa that oversees the recently reorganized UI Health Care organization. In her new capacity, she advises Dr. Robillard, Vice President for Medical Affairs, on various health policy matters and makes recommendations regarding opportunities for pursuing strategic initiatives.  Sarah also works with faculty to translate their academic interest into policy.  She has a wonderful assistant, Kathryn Rarick, an economist who used to work at the Congressional Budget Office and Blue Cross Blue Shield.  Her policy position is only 20% time since she still has her laboratory and is working towards full professorship.  She will likely expand this when she reaches full professor. You can find additional information about the new structure here. Other than that, it has been very busy juggling the lab, the diversity program, the policy office, and working with the Clinton campaign when they were in Iowa.

Susan Gallagher
In September Sue Gallagher ('03-'04) made a switch from the non profit world to academia.  She accepted a position as Director of the Masters of Science Program in Health Communication in the Department of Public Health and Family Medicine at Tufts Medical School. The 14 year old practice-based program prepares graduates for jobs with hospitals, community health programs, the media, bio tech firms, medical journals, national organizations and state and federal government.  Sue has always loved working with graduate students and there is the challenge of updating and expanding the program.  Sue plans to develop a course on effective communication with policy makers and impart some of the knowledge and skills she received as an RWJ Fellow. 

Karen Hein
Karen Hein ('93-'94) is living in Vermont, doing what we can, as Gandhi said, “to be the change you wish to see in the world.”  She is actively involved as a board member of 10 non-profits, with deep participation in  phenomenal international NGO’s  including IRC (International Rescue Committee Overseers), ChildFund International/CCF, RAND Health Advisory Board and domestically, helping shape Consumers Union’s health care reform major initiative as their Board leader for this priority issue for them, for us, and for the country.

 

David Michaels
David Michaels ('93-'94) notes that in May, Oxford University Press will be publishing his first book - Doubt is Their Product: How Industry's Assault on Science Threatens Your Health.

 

 


Rita Redberg
Rita Redberg ('03-'04) is currently working on the ACC ‘s Presidential Task Force on Health System Reform, and in California politics for Jackie Speier in her bid for Tom Lantos congressional seat. She recently published an article in the Archives of Internal Medicine titled Variations Between Clinical Trial Participants and Medicare Beneficiaries in Evidence Used for Medicare National Coverage Decisions.

 

Charles Rice
Chip Rice ('91-'92) went to Afghanistan to evaluate the airevac system and enroute care; see first hand the front line care at hospitals and forward operating bases; and to meet with our alumni. He's fairly certain that he's the only health
sciences university president to meet with alumni in a combat zone! Dr. Rice's oldest son Aaron is in a post-doctoral fellowship at Cornell University in Ithaca, NY. His younger son, Patrick, is flying the F/ A18 E/F Super Hornet at NAS Oceana, VA, in VFA-106. Patrick was recently engaged to Lucy Kuykendal who will receive her MD from the University of Tennessee College of Medicine in May.

Eugene Rich
Gene Rich ('06-'07) recently participated in a special Health Affairs Blog series on Medicare physician compensation and the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR). You can go the Health Affairs website to read his blog entry. He is currently working at the National Institutes of Health.

 


Steffie Woolhandler
Steffie Woolhandler ('90-'91) thought the alums might be interested in this op-ed on health care reform which she wrote for the New York Times. She says she's still churning out health policy research, teaching, supervising research fellows, and trying to get non-profit single-payer national health insurance for the U.S. Her family is all well. Gracie, who was three weeks old when she started her RWJ  fellowship, just got accepted to college (Stanford).  Kayty (a toddler during her fellowship year) is about to graduate from Yale. Maroje, her god-son who lived with her during the fellowship, is now the head of research for the central bank of Croatia, with a son of his own.  Time flies!

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© 2006 The RWJ Health Policy Fellowships Program
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