Speaker series provides unique perspectives on topical health care issues

Stuart Altman
Stuart Altman, PhD, of the Heller School for Social Policy and Management was the first presenter in the Perspectives in Health Care Speaker Series, which runs through May 2011.


Reform, research and public policy—these are just some of the myriad of health care-related issues that are top of mind for faculty, physicians, researchers and policy experts at UMass Medical School. To provide a forum in which members of the UMMS community can learn more about these topics and engage in meaningful discussions, Commonwealth Medicine (CWM) developed the Perspectives in Health Care Speaker Series. 

The series, which runs through May 2011, is co-sponsored by CWM’s Center for Health Policy and Research and Center for Health Law and Economics. It features presentations by national health care leaders that cover a variety of topics, including cost containment, the impact of health care reform in Massachusetts and the nation, ideas for improving performance of health care systems, comparisons of international health care systems, implementation strategies, long-term care, health care quality and children’s health. A question-and-answer session is part of each one-hour presentation. 

The series kicked off in September with a presentation by Stuart Altman, PhD, the Sol C. Chaikin Professor of National Health Policy at the Heller School for Social Policy and Management, who spoke about health care spending in Massachusetts and the nation. In October, Cathy Schoen, MS, senior vice president for research and evaluation at The Commonwealth Fund, discussed new opportunities to improve health system performance. And in November, Frances Miller, JD, professor of law, public health and health care management at Boston University, presented a detailed comparison of international health systems. For an overview of these discussions, including presentation slides and video, visit www.umassmed.edu/commed/perspectives-in-health-care.aspx

The next installment of the Perspectives in Health Care Speaker Series, which will take place at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 11, in the Amphitheatre at the South Street campus in Shrewsbury, will feature Elizabeth A. McGlynn, PhD, associate director at RAND Health, distinguished chair in health quality and senior principal researcher for the RAND Corporation. Dr. McGlynn will present “Quality: Analyzing Massachusetts and Federal Health Reform.” 

Upcoming guest speakers include:

  • Feb. 18: Jon Kingsdale, PhD, independent consultant and former executive director of Commonwealth Connector
  • March 24: Peter Harbage, MPP, former assistant secretary of health for California; current health policy advisor to states and municipalities
  • April 21: Mark McClellan, MD, PhD, MPA, director of the Engelberg Center for Health Care Reform, the Leonard D. Schaeffer Chair in Health Policy Studies at Brookings Institution
  • May 16: Howard Gleckman, BA, of the Urban Institute and editor of TaxVox, a blog on economic and fiscal policy.

UMass Medical School faculty and staff interested in attending the speaker series can find more information at:http://inside.umassmed.edu/commed/perspectives-in-health-care/index.aspx

About Commonwealth Medicine

Commonwealth Medicine (CWM) is the public, nonprofit health care consulting and service organization founded by UMass Medical School. Government agencies, nonprofits and managed care organizations benefit from CWM’s expertise in clinical service delivery, health care financing strategies, policy management and quality improvement. CWM programs have helped Massachusetts—and many other state, international and local health care agencies—to increase the value of health care expenditures while improving access and delivery of care to at-risk and uninsured populations. CWM programs were developed, in part, as a way for UMMS faculty and staff to have a direct and profound impact on the communities of Massachusetts, and now provide critical opportunities for UMMS faculty and students to serve the community. For more information, visitwww.umassmed.edu/commed.