Philip R. Lee Institute for Health Policy Studies

Joanne Spetz Selected as New IHPS Director!
We are pleased to announce the appointment of Joanne Spetz, PhD, as the new director of the Philip R. Lee Institute for Health Policy Studies (IHPS). Please join us in welcoming Joanne as the new director!
Ask the Policy Doctor
"Ask the Policy Doctor" with IHPS Professor Emeritus, Jim Kahn, MD, MPH. A new 9-week blog and live Zoom series focused on health policy and the upcoming election.
Current COVID-19 Related Research and Initiatives
IHPS faculty are responding to policy challenges raised by the COVID-19
 pandemic with rapid-cycle research and technical assistance.
National Clinician Scholars Program
Based at UCSF’s Philip R. Lee Institute for Health Policy Studies, the National Clinician Scholars Program (NCSP) at UCSF aims to train the next generation of health and healthcare change agents, prepared to work in diverse settings.


Featured Story -

Congratulations to Joanne Spetz, Selected as New IHPS Director!  

Joanne Spetz
Joanne Spetz, PhD

We are pleased to announce the appointment of Joanne Spetz, PhD, as the new director of the Philip R. Lee Institute for Health Policy Studies (IHPS), effective November 1, 2020. She will also be appointed as the Caldwell B. Esselstyn Chair and will be the inaugural holder of the Claire D. and Ralph G. Brindis Endowed Professorship. 

Dr. Spetz joined the faculty at UCSF in 1999 and is the Brenda and Jeffrey L. Kang Presidential Chair in Healthcare Finance at IHPS. She most recently served as the Associate Director for Research at IHPS and at Healthforce Center at UCSF, and holds faculty appointments in the Department of Family and Community Medicine and in the School of Nursing. 

Dr. Spetz received her PhD in economics from Stanford University after studying economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, specializing in the economics of the health care workforce, and the organization and quality of health care services. She has conducted studies of the registered nurse, nurse practitioner, and long-term care workforces and has conducted surveys for the California Board of Registered Nursing for more than a decade. She also has led research on the effects of health information technology on staff and patients, and policies that affect use of and treatment for illicit drugs.

Over the past decade, Dr. Spetz has played a role in the leadership of the Healthforce Center and in committee service at IHPS, with a focus on building research collaborations for both organizations. Bringing together core faculty, she led a process to improve collaboration, strategically pursue grants, and grow research capacity. 

In addition to her focused research, Dr. Spetz has taken on extensive mentoring and teaching responsibilities in the areas of health economics, quantitative research methods, health care financial management, and health economics. Her teaching spans three interdisciplinary programs: the Master’s in Translational Medicine (MTM) program, which is a joint program of UCSF and UC-Berkeley’s Bioengineering departments, the online MS in Health Administration and Interprofessional Leadership (MS-HAIL), and the MS in Health Policy and Law programs. She serves on the dissertation committees of nursing and public health students at UCSF, UC- Berkeley, and UC-Davis. 

Dr. Spetz was a member of the National Academy of Sciences Committee on Consideration of Generational Issues in Workforce Management and Employment Practices, the Institute of Medicine Standing Committee on Credentialing Research in Nursing, a consultant to the Institute of Medicine Committee on the Future of Nursing, and a member of the National Commission on VA Nursing. She is an honorary fellow of the American Academy of Nursing. 

Dr. Spetz’ commitment to serving California’s diverse population, in conjunction with her extensive experiences in leadership, research, and teaching, will be an asset in advancing the IHPS mission of translating research across disciplines and fields to inform health policy.

We express our deep appreciation to Claire Brindis, DrPH, who stepped down in July after 14 years as director of PRL-IHPS (including 3 years as acting/interim director), and also to Daniel Dohan, PhD, who has served in an interim capacity since that time. 


How What You Measure Matters: Risk-Adjusted Length of Stay
and Observation Status


Pediatrics journal abstract imageNaomi S. Bardach

October, 2020

The underlying vision for pediatric quality measurement is improved care and health outcomes for children. Quality measures help realize this vision, through capturing system successes and failures in supporting child health. There are a large number of quality measures, some of which are focused on processes, some on outcomes, and some on use. To accurately assess successes and failures in care delivery, measure design matters.

Read more

Perspectives on Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention Strategies
in the United States: Looking Back, Looking Forward


Dove Press journal abstract imageClaire Brindis, Mara Decker,
Abigail Gutmann-Gonzalez, Nancy Berglas

Adolescent Health, Medicine
and Therapeutics

October, 2020

Attempts to solve the “problem of adolescent pregnancy” have long been a  focus of national, state, and local efforts in the United States. This review article summarizes trends and strategies around adolescent pregnancy prevention, provides lessons learned and best practices, and presents ideas for future directions.

Read more