As of March 1, 2016, Christine K. Cassel is the Planning Dean of the Kaiser Permanente School of Medicine. Previously, she was the President and CEO of the National Quality Forum. She also had served as president and CEO of the American Board of Internal Medicine and the ABIM Foundation.


Dr. Cassel is one of 20 scientists chosen by President Obama to serve on the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST), which advises the President in areas where an understanding of science, technology, and innovation is key to forming responsible and effective policy. She is the co-chair and physician leader of PCAST working groups that have made recommendations to the President on issues relating to health information technology scientific innovation in drug development and evaluation, systems engineering in healthcare, and technology for an aging population.


Dr. Cassel served as dean of the School of Medicine and vice-president for medical affairs at Oregon Health and Science University. She was formerly chair of the Department of Geriatrics and Adult Development and professor of geriatrics and medicine at Mount Sinai School of Medicine. She is a leading expert in geriatric medicine, medical ethics, and quality of care.


Among her many professional achievements and honors, Dr. Cassel is a member of the Institute of Medicine, was the first female President of the American College of Physicians and, subsequently, Chair of the American Board of Internal Medicine; she served as Chair of the Board of the Greenwall Foundation, supporting work in bioethics; was the President of the American Federation for Aging Research; and was a member of the Advisory Committee for the Director at the National Institutes of Health. She has received numerous honorary degrees and is a Fellow of the Royal Colleges of Medicine of the U.K. and Canada. Her latest book is Medicare Matters: What Geriatric Medicine Can Teach American Health Care.


Recent Posts by Christine Cassel

Measures That Matter — But To Whom?

The health care and health policy communities are increasingly calling for “measures that matter.” Yet defining the measures that matter is complicated because we often gloss over an important question -- measures that matter to whom?

When Less Is More: Issues Of Overuse In Health Care

Editor’s Note: This post is part of an ongoing Health Affairs Blog series on palliative care, health policy, and health reform. The series features essays adapted from and drawing on an upcoming volume, Meeting the Needs of Older Adults with Serious Illness: Challenges and Opportunities in the...

Should Provider Performance Measures Be Risk-Adjusted For Sociodemographic Factors?

The National Quality Forum released draft recommendations on March 18 to change the way we assess the care that doctors and hospitals provide, and they are sure to cause a buzz in and beyond the health care community. That’s a good thing, because reflection and conversation are vital pieces of...

Facilitating Quality Improvement: The Future Of The National Quality Forum

In just a few weeks I will take on the role of president and CEO of the National Quality Forum. I’ve gone on a brief listening tour as I start this new challenge and I’m heartened by the conversations I’ve had. Whether payer, provider, patient or policymaker—everyone has thoughts on what NQF...

June 19, 2013Payment Policy, Quality

Choosing Wisely: Doctors Want To Do The Right Thing

Getting physicians and patients talking about whether tests are necessary is a small but important first step in addressing what is wrong with our current health care system.  Issues such as how we pay for care, how we organize our delivery systems, and how we engage and empower patients in...

Robert Butler’s Legacy

Editor’s note: Earlier this summer, on July 7, Robert Butler died of leukemia. Butler was the founding director of the National Institute on Aging, a Pulitzer Prize-winning author, and one of the nation’s leading authorities on aging and geriatrics. With the essay below by Christine...

Physician Ownership And Self-Referral: A Commentary

Editor’s Note: This is the last in a series of posts in response to Jon Gabel’s article “Where Do I Send Thee? Does Physician-Ownership Affect Referral Patterns To Ambulatory Surgical Centers?,” published March 18 on the Health Affairs Web site. Rep. Michael Burgess (R-TX) began the series,...