Harvard’s PhD Program in Health Policy Celebrates 25 Years

Harvard’s PhD Program in Health Policy celebrated its 25th Anniversary at an event at the Boston Public Library in June 2016.  During the anniversary celebration, attendees honored Faculty Chair Joe Newhouse and Director of Graduate Studies Kathy Swartz, who both stepped down from their leadership roles in the program this year.  Joe has been with the PhD Program in Health Policy since its inception and both he and Kathy have been critical in the success of the students over the history of the program.  David Cutler, incoming Faculty Chair, emceed the event.  Speakers included Harvard Provost Alan Garber, Melinda Buntin (graduate of PhD Program in 2000 and chair of the Department of Health Policy at Vanderbilt University’s School of Medicine), Joe and Kathy. There were video tributes by many folks including:  current and former students; Harvard Kennedy School Dean Doug Elmendorf; Sherry Glied, Dean of New York University’s Wagner School of Public Policy; Gail Wilensky, senior fellow at Project Hope; David Blumenthal, president of The Commonwealth Fund; and Leonard Schaeffer, Judge Robert Maclay Widney Chair and Professor at the Sol Price School of Public Policy at the University of Southern California. 

In its 25-year history, Harvard’s PhD Program in Health Policy has graduated over 180 students and has grown to include six faculties:  Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Harvard Business School, Harvard Kennedy School, Harvard Law School, Harvard Medical School, and Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.


Alumna Debra Joy Pérez named Chief Evaluation and Learning Officer for Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation

Debra Joy Pérez (PA, 2005) will join the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation as Chief Evaluation and Learning Officer. She will work closely with the grantmaking teams to advance the organization’s work in science, environmental conservation and patient care in the Bay Area. As chief evaluation and learning officer, Pérez will develop, manage and refine measurement, evaluation and learning processes across the foundation. She will oversee a team of evaluation officers including those embedded within the foundation’s four grantmaking programs. Read full press release here


40th Anniversay of the RAND Health Insurance Experiment 

2016 marks the 40th anniversary of the RAND Health Insurance Experiment (HIE) led by Joe Newhouse. It is the largest health policy study in U.S. history and the only experimental study of how cost-sharing arrangements affect people's use of health services, the quality of care they receive, and their health status. Read more about the experiment here and how it still has an impact on healthcare today.


Faculty member and alumna Meredith Rosenthal wins mentoring award

Congratulations to Meredith Rosenthal (Econ, 1998), Professor of Health Economics and Policy and Associate Dean for Diversity at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health who was awarded a Mentoring Award this year at HSPH's commencement.

 Dr. Meredith Rosenthal (right) with HSPH student Morgan Shields


Students and Alumni receive notable awards and publish research

Mark Shrime (Dec Sci, 2015) was featured in the New York Times for his research focused on surgical delivery in low- and middle-income countries and the accesibility of safe surgeries.

Jamie Daw (G3, ESS) won the 2016 CIHR-IHSPR Article of the Year Award. This award recognizes published research that has significantly contributed to the advancement of the field of health services and policy research in Canada.



Slawa Rokicki (ESS, 2016) was the 2016 Connifee Prize Winner. This award is for the best paper by a young economist at the 2016 Irish Economic Association Annual Meeting.  Slawa received the prize for her paper titled “Bias of Standard Errors in Difference in Difference analyses when the Number of Clusters is Small."

Anas El Turabi (G3, ESS) and Phil Saynisch (Management, G3) co-authored a paper titled "Assessment of economic vulnerability to infectious disease crises" which was published online and in print in The Lancet.

Vidit Munshi (G2, Dec Sci) was awarded a 2016 Teaching Assistant Award from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. The Teaching Assistant Award winners are nominated by students to recognize the best teaching assistants during the academic year. It is given to “teaching assistants who have demonstrated excellence as teaching as characterized by commitment, preparation, quality of presentation, time for questions and other factors related to instruction.”