Joanne Spetz named 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), effective November 1, 2020. She has also been appointed as the Caldwell B. Esselstyn Chair and will be the inaugural holder of the Claire D. and Ralph G. Brindis Endowed Professorship.

Read more about Dr. Spetz here

Director's Notes 

The past month has marked many transitions, including both the nationwide election and changes for the Institute. I am in my first weeks as Director, and I want to express my deep appreciation for Dan Dohan, who ably served as Interim Director from July through October. Please join me in thanking him, cheering him, and being glad that he will continue on our leadership team. And, read below to learn about the incredible new research endeavors he is launching.
A second significant transition for the Institute came with the passing of Philip R. Lee on October 27. Our Institute was named for him both to recognize his role as our founder and to honor his lifelong dedication to improving health care with a focus on reducing disparities. Dr. Lee developed and implemented policies that prompted the desegregation of hospitals nationwide as Medicare was launched, addressed unequal employment practices within UCSF as Chancellor, and was a dedicated mentor to hundreds of scholars and clinicians. His legacy will continue at IHPS, as we advance research and education to shape evidence-based and equity-focused health policy.
Over the next few months, I am meeting with our faculty and staff, as well as other leaders at UCSF and nationwide, to prioritize the strategic endeavors of IHPS. We will continue our campuswide leadership developing shared data resources for population health research, hold our first Health Services Research Symposium (virtually, of course), enhance our training programs and activities, and launch initiatives to strengthen our internal community. I welcome your feedback about our strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities as I continue this process.

In Memoriam
Philip R. Lee
April 17, 1924 - October 27, 2020
Philip R. Lee, MD, who founded the UCSF Institute for Health Policy Studies (IHPS) after a dynamic career in government and as UCSF Chancellor, died peacefully last month. Dr. Lee was a trail-blazing leader. Nearly five decades after he established IHPS, his commitment to social justice and addressing the needs of the disadvantaged and his vision of health policy as a transdisciplinary and transformative endeavor remain the Institute's guiding principles.

Dr. Lee's contributions to research and practice cover a full variety of health policy fields: health workforce, physician payment, family planning and reproductive health policy, health care for the elderly, Native American health issues, nutrition, prescription drug policy, HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment, affirmative action and diversity in medical education, and health care reform. Moreover, his personal achievements in health policy and health are magnified many times over by those of his trainees and mentees who number in the hundreds around the globe.

It is fitting that the Institute carries his name. His example and memory will continue to inspire our work for decades to come.

A fuller biography of Dr. Lee's many activities and accomplishments may be found here and the UCSF announcement of his passing may be found here. The Institute and UCSF will share information regarding a celebration of Dr. Lee's extraordinary life as it becomes available.

Final Interim Director Notes
Dan Dohan, PhD

This summer, I received two grants from the National Institutes of Aging (NIH/NIA) to boost the scope and visibility of the
Medical Cultures Lab (MCL), which I established at IHPS in 2015. MCL works to understand the culture of medicine and advance health equity. It is a voluntary intellectual community (not unlike IHPS) whose members support each other's work in these areas. As founder and head, I pursue my own projects (with my research team) and help develop partnerships and resources to sustain MCL's infrastructure. All members contribute to setting the Lab's direction and deciding its activities with leadership from MCL co-Directors Alissa Bernstein and Sarah Garrett.
NIA support will allow us to accelerate MCL's work on medical culture and equity while opening up some exciting new training, research, and translational possibilities. The talent, breadth, and depth of the work done by MCL members were crucial in competing for these NIH awards:
  • Leadership to Enhance Aging Research and Innovation in Medical Culture (LEARN-MC): expand teaching and mentoring on medical culture at UCSF
  • Diverse Cultures, Ethnography, and Decisionmaking in Dementia \u2013 Implications for Medical Culture (DISCERN-MC): develop new approaches and methods to conduct research on culture and medicine in the context of health and aging
Read more

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

In a recent Adolescent Health, Medicine and Therapeutics article, Claire Brindis, DrPH, Abigail Gutmann-Gonzalez, MS, Mara Decker, PhD and Nancy Berglas, DrPH reflect upon key strategies aimed at preventing adolescent pregnancy, as well as the hard-earned lessons learned through generations of efforts and present ideas for future directions for the field.

Read more

IHPS faculty are responding to policy challenges raised by the COVID-19 pandemic with rapid-cycle research and technical assistance. A compilation of their work to date is available on a webpage that is updated regularly. One recent publication is Susan Chapman and colleagues, Policies Matter! Factors Contributing to Nursing Home Outbreaks During the COVID-19 Pandemic published in Policy, Politics, and Nursing Practice. Read more

PRL-IHPS Faculty In The News

Naomi Bardach:
UCSF Doctor Says \u2018It's a Good Time' for SF, San Jose Schools to Reopen
 (NBC Bay Area) 

Renee Hsia:
Is the election stressing you out? Mental health expert suggests ways to cope (ABC 7)

Stuart Gansky:
What those studies on mouthwash and coronaviruses actually mean
 (Washington Post) 
Krista Harrison:
Palliative Care for non-cancer illness: Podcast with Kieran Quinn and Krista Harrison  (GeriPal)

Rita Redberg:
COVID-19 research process at warp speed (KCBS)


About The Philip R. Lee Institute for Health Policy Studies

The Philip R. Lee Institute for Health Policy Studies (PRL-IHPS) contributes to the solution of complex and challenging health policy problems through leadership in research, training, technical assistance, and public service. Our special competence lies in translating research across disciplines and fields to inform health policy. We undertake this work with a commitment to improve health and health care within local, state, national, and international communities and with a focus on improving the health of vulnerable populations.

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Philip R. Lee Institute for Health Policy Studies
University of California, San Francisco
3333 California Street, Suite 265
San Francisco, CA 94118

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