New York City, January 2nd, 2003—Samuel O. Thier, M.D., outgoing president and chief executive officer of Partners HealthCare System, Inc. and professor of Medicine and professor of Health Care Policy at Harvard Medical School, has been elected chairman of The Commonwealth Fund, a New York-based private foundation supporting independent research on health and social issues. Thier has served as a director of the Fund since 1997, and is chair of its Task Force on Academic Health Centers. He succeeds Dr. Charles A. Sanders, who retires as chairman after 15 years of service on the Fund's board. "To say that Dr. Thier is well qualified to lead the Fund is an understatement. He is a born leader, which he has demonstrated over and over again throughout his career," said Sanders. From 1994-1997, Thier served as president of The Massachusetts General Hospital, having served the previous three years as Brandeis University's sixth president. Prior to that he served six years as president of the Institute of Medicine, National Academy of Sciences. He also served 11 years as chairman of the Department of Internal Medicine at Yale University School of Medicine, where he was Sterling Professor. Thier is a nationally known, widely published authority on internal medicine and kidney disease and is equally well known for his expertise in the areas of national health policy, medical education, and biomedical research. Thier attended Cornell University and received his medical degree from the State University of New York at Syracuse in 1960. Prior to joining the faculty of Yale in 1975, he was professor and vice chairman of the Department of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. "The Commonwealth Fund is extremely fortunate to have a leader of Dr. Thier's experience and vision to guide our Board's deliberations," said Karen Davis, president of the Fund. "I am delighted to welcome Dr. Thier as chairman following on the impressive record of Dr. Sanders at this important time in the history of the Fund." Thier has served as president of the American Federation of Clinical Research and chairman of the American Board of Internal Medicine and is a Master of the American College of Physicians and a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He is a trustee of Cornell University, and a director of Charles River Laboratories, Inc., Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, and Merck & Co., Inc. Thier holds 14 honorary degrees, from George Washington University, University of Pennsylvania, and Yale University, among others. He and his wife, Paula, live in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts, and have three grown daughters.