David Blumenthal, M.D., to Chair Commonwealth Fund Commission on a High Performance Health System

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New York, NY, June 6, 2011—David Blumenthal, M.D., former National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (IT) and a recognized health policy expert with extensive leadership experience in medicine, government, and academia, has been named Chairman of the Commonwealth Fund Commission on a High Performance Health System.

Dr. Blumenthal is currently Samuel O. Thier Professor of Medicine and Professor of Health Care Policy at Massachusetts General Hospital/Partners Healthcare System and Harvard Medical School. He succeeds James J. Mongan, M.D., founding chairman of the Fund's Commission on a High Performance Health System, who passed away on May 3, 2011.

Dr. Blumenthal was chosen by President Obama to serve as National Coordinator in 2009, with the charge to build an interoperable, private, and secure nationwide health information system and to support the widespread, meaningful use of health IT. He succeeded in putting in place one of the largest publicly funded infrastructure investments the nation has ever made in such a short time period, in health care or any other field.

"We are very fortunate to have Dr. Blumenthal as chairman of the Commission during this critical period of implementation of the Affordable Care Act,” said James R. Tallon, Jr., Chairman of The Commonwealth Fund. “The Commission will be well served by his deep understanding of the challenges and opportunities we face as we move the U.S. toward a high performing health care system that will help set our nation on the path to a sound economic future.”

The Commission's 17 members are a distinguished group of experts and leaders representing every sector of health care, as well as the state and federal policy arena, the business sector, professional societies, and academia. The group is charged with developing recommendations promoting a high-performing health system that provides all Americans with affordable access to high-quality, safe care while maximizing efficiency in its delivery and administration. In a series of reports leading up to and during the debate and passage of the Affordable Care Act, the Commission made the case for comprehensive reform of the U.S. health care system and described concrete goals and strategies to achieve high performance. Its publications include Bending the Curve: Options for Achieving Savings and Improving Value in U.S. Health Spending, which detailed federal options for both short- and long-term savings within the health care system, and The Path to a High Performance U.S. Health System: A 2020 Vision and the Policies to Pave the Way, which laid out comprehensive insurance, payment, and system reform policy options similar to those included in the new health reform legislation.

Prior to his appointment as the National Coordinator for Health IT, Dr. Blumenthal was a practicing primary care physician; director of the Institute for Health Policy; and professor of medicine and health policy at Massachusetts General Hospital/Partners Healthcare System and Harvard Medical School. He is the author of more than 200 books and scholarly publications, including most recently, Heart of Power: Health and Politics in the Oval Office. He is a member of the Institute of Medicine and a former board member and national correspondent for the New England Journal of Medicine.

Dr. Blumenthal has also served on the staff of the Senate Subcommittee on Health and Scientific Research, is the founding chairman of AcademyHealth, the national organization of health services researchers; and a trustee of the University of Pennsylvania Health System.

“With his national stature, broad experience, and skill in leading while building consensus, Dr. Blumenthal is perfectly suited to lead the Commission in moving the U.S. health care system to one that achieves access to safe, high-quality, efficient, and effective care for all Americans,” said Commonwealth Fund President Karen Davis.

The membership of the Commission is as follows:
David Blumenthal, M.D., M.P.P. (Chair), Samuel O. Thier Professor of Medicine and Professor of Health Care Policy, Massachusetts General Hospital/Partners HealthCare System and Harvard Medical School
Maureen Bisognano, M.Sc., President and Chief Executive Officer, Institute for Healthcare Improvement
Sandra Bruce, M.S., President and Chief Executive Officer, Resurrection Health Care
Christine K. Cassel, M.D., President and Chief Executive Officer, American Board of Internal Medicine and ABIM Foundation
Michael Chernew, Ph.D.,Professor, Department of Health Care Policy, Harvard Medical School
John M. Colmers, M.P.H.,Vice President, Health Care Transformation and Strategic Planning, Johns Hopkins Medicine
Patricia Gabow, M.D., Chief Executive Officer, Denver Health
Glenn M. Hackbarth, J.D. Consultant
George C. Halvorson, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Inc.
Jon M. Kingsdale, Ph.D., Consultant
Gregory P. Poulsen, M.B.A., Senior Vice President, Intermountain Health Care
Neil R. Powe, M.D., M.P.H., M.B.A., Chief, Medical Services, San Francisco General Hospital
Constance B. Wofsy Distinguished Professor and Vice-Chair of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco
Louise Y. Probst, R.N., M.B.A. Executive Director, St. Louis Area Business Health Coalition
Martín J. Sepúlveda, M.D., FACP, IBM Fellow and Vice President, Integrated Health Services, IBM Corporation
David A. Share, M.D., M.P.H., Vice President, Value Partnerships, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan
Glenn D. Steele, Jr., M.D., Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer, Geisinger Health System
Alan R. Weil, J.D., M.P.P., Executive Director, National Academy for State Health Policy

Publication Details

Publication Date:
June 6, 2011

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