The Philip R. Lee Institute for Health Policy Studies (IHPS) is the home to three endowed chairs, two of which are held by IHPS’s Director, the Caldwell B. Esselstyn Chair in Health Policy and the Claire B and Ralph G. Endowed Professorship in Health Policy Studies. IHPS also offers the Brenda and Jeffrey Kang Chair in Healthcare Finance.

Caldwell B. Esselstyn Chair in Health Policy

Established in 1994, the Caldwell B. Esselstyn Chair in Health Policy is held by the Institute’s Director.
The Chair supports multiple activities at the Institute with a particular focus on support and development of health policy scholars through training, career development, and pilot grant funding. The Chair is also intended to support dissemination of Institute research and analysis to policy makers, academics, health care providers, and the media with a particular focus on issues related to prevention, cost containment, access to care, and health issues that impact children and youth.

The Claire D. and Ralph G. Brindis Endowed Professorship in Health Policy Studies

The Claire D. and Ralph G. Brindis Endowed Professorship in Health Policy Studies is a professorship held by the Director of the Philip R. Lee Institute for Health Policy Studies. The intent of the funds is to be used at the discretion of the Director to support the educational, research, and public service activities of the Institute. We are grateful for the generosity of Claire and Ralph and their vision for the Institute. 

Background on Claire and Ralph Brindis

Claire D. Brindis, Dr.P.H., UCSF Distinguished Professor Emerita (Recall) of Pediatrics and Health Policy, Department of Pediatrics and Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Health Sciences, served as the third Director of the Philip R. Lee Institute for Health Policy Studies until 2020. Dr. Brindis received her doctorate in Public Health (Behavioral Sciences) from the UC Berkeley School of Public Health (1982), earning her MPH (Maternal and Child Health, Family Planning, and International Health, 1973) and BA (Sociology, 1972) with Honors from UCLA. 

During her UCSF career, Dr. Brindis was also one of the Founding Directors of the Bixby Center for Global Reproductive Health and helped lead the establishment of the National Adolescent and Young Adult Health Information Center. As a bi-lingual, bi-cultural Latina researcher, Dr. Brindis’ research focuses on ameliorating the impact of social, health, and economic inequities among ethnic/racial populations, with a particular focus on women and adolescents. As a policy advisor to federal, state and local policymakers and private foundations, her research has been utilized extensively in the planning and evaluation of major state and federal health initiatives in the areas of adolescent health, teenage pregnancy prevention, reproductive health services for low-income populations, school-based health centers, and services for chemically-dependent pregnant and parenting women and their children. Dr. Brindis is an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine (NAM) and serves on its Council. Among Dr. Brindis’ honors are the American Public Health Association, Martha May Eliot Award for Exceptional Health Services to Mothers and Children (2020), the National School-Based Health Alliance's Pioneer Award (2020), the Holly Smith Award for Exceptional Service to the UCSF School of Medicine (2019), the UCSF Lifetime Achievement in Mentoring Award (2016), and the UCSF Chancellor's Award for the Advancement of Women (2009). She was also recognized by the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health Hall of Fame Award (2016) and the UC Berkeley School of Public Health, 75th Anniversary Honoree: "In Recognition of 75 Most Influential Public Health Alumni" (2018). 

Dr. Ralph G. Brindis is a Clinical Professor of Medicine at the UCSF Philip Lee Institute for Health Policy Studies, following a thirty-year career at Northern California Kaiser Permanente retiring as their Senior Advisor for Cardiovascular Disease. He received a B.S. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a MPH from UCLA and graduated Summa Cum Laude from Emory Medical School. His post graduate medical training, Internal Medicine Residency, Chief Residency and Cardiology Fellowship were all accomplished at UCSF. Dr. Brindis has received multiple UCSF Distinguished Teacher Awards for Medical School Preceptorship in Introduction to Clinical Medicine along with the Henry J. Kaiser Award for the Outstanding Clinical Professor in Medicine awarded at the UCSF 1989 Medical School Graduation. 

Dr. Brindis is a national innovator responsible for the promotion of cardiovascular quality, including having served as President of the American College of Cardiology (ACC) from 2010- 2011. In his role as previous Chair and present Senior Medical Officer of the ACC’s National Cardiovascular Data Registry (NCDR), he helped launch and expand the NCDR to a portfolio of 10 Cardiovascular (CV) registries now used by 2500 US hospitals with a repository of well over 70 million patient records. The NCDR, viewed by the FDA as a national treasure, is used as a key component for the nation’s infrastructure for assessing CV quality, Post-Market Device Surveillance, CV Comparative Effectiveness Research and Post Approval Studies. Dr. Brindis was the initial Chair of the ACC’s Appropriate Use Criteria Task Force and served on the ACC/American Heart Association Clinical Guidelines Task Force along with many CV practice guidelines writing groups. He presently serves on the FDA CV Device Panel, the California Technology Assessment Forum Panel, and is Chair of California’s Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development’s (OSHPD) Advisory Panel for Cardiovascular Surgery. In recognition of his contribution to the promotion of quality in healthcare, Dr. Brindis was inducted into the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health Hall of Fame (2016). 

Brenda and Jeffrey L. Kang Presidential Chair in Healthcare Finance

Dr. Joanne Spetz holds the Brenda and Jeffrey L. Kang Presidential Chair in Healthcare Finance.

Dr. Spetz is a health economist (Ph.D., Stanford) with a longstanding interest in the healthcare workforce, including a sustained focus on innovative approaches to health workforce finance and organization, as well as whether the health care workforce is prepared to meet the growing long-term care needs of the aging U.S. population.

In addition to her research leadership at the Institute, Dr. Spetz serves as Associate Director for Research at the UCSF Healthforce Center (School of Dentistry) and is affiliated faculty in the Department of Family and Community Medicine (School of Medicine) and Department of Community Health Systems (School of Nursing). Among many of her service activities, Dr. Spetz has provided evidence-based technical guidance to the California Future Health Workforce Commission and is an Honorary Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing.

Situated within IHPS, School of Medicine, The Kang Presidential Chair serves as a platform for Dr. Spetz to help develop new ways of leveraging multiple, concurrent research, training, practice and service improvement programs related to health care financing across the campus, including the Center for Healthcare Value, the Caring Wisely program, the UC Health Accountable Care Organization, and research led by individual investigators. Apart from our own campus, she will also work with parallel and complementary efforts underway at UC-Berkeley, UC-Hastings School of Law, the San Francisco Veteran’s Administration Health Care System, and Stanford University.

As California responds to the COVID-19 crisis and continues to assess strategies to expand health insurance coverage and improvements in overall health care delivery, the importance of health care finance will continue to increase exponentially. We are grateful to Brenda and Jeff L. Kang for this opportunity to bring together leaders of campus Centers, program directors, and individual investigators to collaborate across the campus as a means of supporting UC Health and other systems in leveraging new financing mechanisms to advance health care and reduce health disparities. 

The intent of these efforts is to help bring research evidence to state and national policy leaders as they implement innovative financing approaches aimed at improving health for all people.