FAIR Health Creates Academic Advisory Board

FAIR Health has created an Academic Advisory Board to enhance our mission to contribute to public knowledge. Representing diverse areas of the healthcare research community, the Advisory Board advances the research potential of our data, which support the work of academics, policy makers and clinical researchers and form the basis of our own widely disseminated studies. Among the activities of the Advisory Board are identifying potential areas of exploration for FAIR Health’s white papers and reviewing the studies prior to release.

The members of the Academic Advisory Board are Helen Levy, PhD; J. Michael McWilliams, MD, PhD; and Rachel Werner, MD, PhD. FAIR Health President Robin Gelburd commented: “FAIR Health is honored to have three such distinguished researchers as members of our Academic Advisory Board. Their deep knowledge and years of scholarship will greatly inform our research and outreach efforts.”

Helen Levy, PhD
Dr. Levy is a research professor at the University of Michigan’s Institute for Social Research, Ford School of Public Policy and School of Public Health. She is a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research and a co-investigator on the Health and Retirement Study, a long-running longitudinal study of health and economic dynamics at older ages. Dr. Levy's research interests include the causes and consequences of lacking health insurance, evaluation of public health insurance programs and material hardship among older Americans. She was the recipient of a Career Development Award (K01) from the National Institute on Aging to study health literacy and health disparities among the elderly. Before coming to the University of Michigan, she was an assistant professor at the Harris Graduate School of Public Policy Studies at the University of Chicago. She served as a senior economist to the President’s Council of Economic Advisers in 2010-11. She completed her bachelor’s degree in Mathematics at Yale University and received a PhD in Economics from Princeton University.

J. Michael McWilliams, MD, PhD
Dr. McWilliams is the Warren Alpert Foundation Professor of Health Care Policy and a professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School. He is also a general internist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Dr. McWilliams’s research spans questions related to healthcare spending, quality, access and disparities, with an overarching goal of informing the development of systems, markets and regulatory policy that support value and equity in healthcare. He leads research funded by the National Institute on Aging, National Cancer Institute, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, and Laura and John Arnold Foundation on a range of topics, including the effects of payment incentives, the validity and deployment of quality measures, and risk adjustment. Dr. McWilliams’s research has earned several honors, including the AcademyHealth HSR Impact Award and distinctions for specific papers from AcademyHealth, the Society of General Internal Medicine and the National Institute for Health Care Management Foundation. He received the Alice S. Hersh New Investigator Award from AcademyHealth and the Outstanding Junior Investigator of the Year Award from the Society of General Internal Medicine. He is an elected member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation and former recipient of the Paul B. Beeson Career Development Award in Aging Research and Clinical Scientist Development Award from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation. Dr. McWilliams received his BS in Biology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, his MD from Harvard Medical School and his PhD in Health Policy from Harvard University. He completed his residency in general internal medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

Rachel Werner, MD, PhD
Dr. Rachel Werner is the Robert D. Eilers Professor of Health Care Management at the University of Pennsylvania Wharton School and Professor of Medicine at the Perelman School of Medicine. She is the Executive Director of the Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics and a practicing physician at the Philadelphia VA. Over the last 15 years, Dr. Werner has built a foundational research program examining the effects of healthcare policies on healthcare delivery, using methods designed to draw causal inference from observational data. She has investigated the unintended consequences of quality improvement incentives and her research has been published in high-impact peer-reviewed journals. Beyond publication, Dr. Werner has influenced policy as a member of numerous panels advising state and federal governments and national organizations, including the National Quality Forum’s Expert Panel on Risk Adjustment and Socioeconomic Status, and as an advisor to the federal government on quality measurement and quality improvement incentives. She is a core investigator with the VA Health Services Research & Development (HSR&D) Center for Health Equity Research and Promotion, and directs one of four national centers to evaluate the effectiveness of the VA's medical home. Dr. Werner has received numerous awards for her work, including the Alice S. Hersh New Investigator Award from AcademyHealth, the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, and the American Federation of Medical Research Outstanding Investigator Award. She is an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine. She received her undergraduate degree from Macalester College, and her medical degree and doctoral degree in Health Economics from the University of Pennsylvania.