Harkness Fellowship 20th Anniversary Event


Since 1998, the Harkness Fellowships in Health Care Policy and Practice have produced a cadre of nearly 250 alumni from Australia, Canada, France, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. This network is one of the Fund's greatest assets, with its members' broad international expertise, in-depth knowledge of health care in their countries, and firsthand understanding of, and experience with, the U.S. health system. Harkness Fellows are uniquely positioned to tackle the challenges facing the U.S., which spends far more per capita on health care than any other nation yet lags in patient outcomes and experiences. To mark the 20th anniversary of the program, the Fund will bring together Harkness alumni and country funding partners for a two-day policy retreat and reunion. Drawing upon their multidisciplinary perspectives and expertise, the alums will participate in working groups tasked with comparing national approaches to key challenges faced by the U.S. and other health care systems, such as improving integration of health, mental health, and social care for vulnerable populations; using information technologies to engage and empower patients; bending the cost curve; and improving health outcomes for people with chronic illness. Harkness alums will also be asked to critically assess their country's health system reforms over the last decade and extract the most important lessons regarding what works and what does not. The retreat will generate insights from international experience to inform health reform efforts in the U.S. and in the fellows' home countries. The activities will also strengthen the Harkness alumni network and the Fund's ties with funding partners while encouraging ongoing cross-national research and collaboration.

Grant Details

Grantee Organization:
The Commonwealth Fund
Principal Investigator:
Robin Osborn, M.B.A.
Award Amount:
Approval Date:
July 11, 2017

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