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Press Release


Jan 31, 2000

Stephen C. Schoenbaum Appointed Senior Vice President of The Commonwealth Fund

The Commonwealth Fund announced today the appointment of Stephen C. Schoenbaum, M.D., M.P.H., as senior vice president of the foundation. As a member of the Fund's management team, Dr. Schoenbaum will have responsibility for the development and management of the domestic grants program, with particular emphasis on developing new initiatives to promote health system innovation and improved performance. He will also be responsible for program coordination and policy dissemination. Dr. Schoenbaum will join the foundation's staff on February 14, 2000. In announcing the appointment, the chairman of the Fund's board of directors, Charles A. Sanders, M.D., said that "while maintaining the Fund's interest in research aimed at informing health policy and improving the quality of care, Dr. Schoenbaum will enrich our efforts to sponsor health care innovations that improve system performance. He brings the mix of analytical skills and business and clinical experience that are ideal for using philanthropic dollars to improve health care policy and practice." Fund President Karen Davis noted that "Dr. Schoenbaum is a physician executive with 18 years of management experience, as well as a clinician and health care researcher. He brings to the Fund expertise in health care delivery, quality of care, and health care innovation. We are extremely fortunate to recruit an executive with his range of experience and talent to steer the Fund's domestic grants program." Until recently, Dr. Schoenbaum was president of Harvard Pilgrim Health Care (HPHC) of New England, based in Providence, Rhode Island, for which he was responsible for all regional operations of a mixed staff and network model HMO with 145,000 members. Earlier he was senior vice president and medical director of HPHC–New England and corporate deputy medical director of Harvard Community Health Plan. Dr. Schoenbaum also spent nine years in academic medicine at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, where he performed studies on factors related to outcomes of pregnancy and conducted pioneering benefit-cost analyses of immunization policies. He began his career as an epidemic intelligence service officer at the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta. Dr. Schoenbaum is the author of more than 100 publications and has done extensive clinical work both as an infectious disease specialist and as a primary care internist. He serves on the Committee on Publications of the American College of Physicians, the Committee on Guidelines of the Infectious Disease Society of America, and the International Advisory Committee to the Faculty of Medicine of Ben Gurion University's Goldman Medical School in Israel. Earlier he served on the Panel on Managed Care and Quality of the Institute of Medicine. Among other memberships, he is a fellow of the American College of Physicians, the American College of Physician Executives, and the American College of Epidemiology. Dr. Schoenbaum is a graduate of Swarthmore College. He received his M.D. degree from Harvard Medical School and his Master of Public Health degree from the Harvard University School of Public Health. Dr. Schoenbaum succeeds Brian Biles, M.D., as the Fund's senior vice president. Dr. Biles left the foundation on December 31, 1999, to become chair of the Department of Health Services Management and Policy at the George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services in Washington, D.C. In commenting on Dr. Biles' five years of service as senior vice president, Fund President Davis said, "Throughout its 82-year history, the Fund has been fortunate to attract individuals to its Board and staff whose breadth of experience and expertise enabled them to pick the right issues, develop effective strategies for addressing them, select grantees well-equipped to pursue those strategies, and work in partnership with others to improve health care policy and practice. Dr. Biles has been just such a person, and we are fortunate to have had the benefit of his knowledge and experience in shaping programs that increase understanding of major health care issues."

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Jan 31, 2000