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Embarking On A New Journey With Health Affairs



March 31st, 2014

I am delighted to be taking on the role of editor-in-chief of Health Affairs.  This is a dynamic time in all aspects of health and health care: insurance coverage expansions, delivery system changes, and growing attention to population health.  Building upon thirty-three years of peer-reviewed scholarship, Health Affairs will continue to serve as the nation’s primary resource for the health policy community.

My goals for Health Affairs coalesce around a single theme: broadening the reach of the journal.

Health Affairs is strong in the core health policy community, but our scholarship is relevant to myriad actors in the one-sixth of the United States economy represented by health care.  My goal is to broaden our engagement with the worlds of law, finance, design, and many others.

Health Affairs’ scholarship focuses primarily on domestic health policy and practice.  Much of the world is grappling with the same issues we are in the United States — growing health care costs, the burden of non-communicable diseases, and demographic shifts including aging and urbanization.  Countries around the world are revisiting the balance between market and regulatory forces within the health care sector.  My goal is to broaden our opportunities to learn from the rest of the world while also seeking to share our experience with those outside the United States.

As the United States becomes more racially and ethnically diverse, my goal is to broaden the voices that participate in health and health care discussions by incorporating more voices along dimensions of age, race, ethnicity, and social status – thereby better reflecting the communities touched by the issues we study.

And as more actors in the health care system embrace the Triple Aim as a performance framework, my goal is to broaden our scholarship to embrace social determinants and social context as having profound effects on health and health care.

My career has been at the intersection of health, health care and policy — which is not coincidentally the tagline for Health Affairs.  I currently run an organization that helps state health policymakers develop more effective policies and serves as an independent voice in our national discourse for the issues that states confront.  I led a large research project at the Urban Institute, and before that I served as a member of Governor Roy Romer’s cabinet, running the Medicaid agency in Colorado. My goals for Health Affairs are shaped by my own experience, which has been greatly enriched by my interactions with people from quite varied perspectives and experiences.

I have much to learn from the robust community that surrounds Health Affairs.  I look forward to engaging with you on this journey that I believe will take a strong and important national resource and make it even stronger and more influential.

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