By many measures, both health and medical care in the United States compare poorly with other countries. We have out-of-control costs and waste up to one-third of our dollars spent on health; we have inordinate expenses in the last year of life that do not serve our patients and their families well; we have unreliable quality of care with overuse by patients and providers but underuse of many preventive measures with mounting rates of diseases that are self-inflicted; we have a health care workforce too small to meet foreseeable demands; and we have impaired access to affordable care for more than 50 million people with an inadequate safety net that relies to a great extent on changing state budgets.
As these and other problems related to health take on increasing importance, we have the opportunity to produce innovative approaches to research, to teach the next generation, and actually to change policy based upon evidence. Most health policy thinking has been frozen into various camps, each of which defends its favored positions and attacks almost all ideas coming from others. The country desperately needs unbiased thinking about how to change policy to help solve our pressing health policy problems.
The mission of the Center is to conduct rigorous, non-ideological, non-partisan, evidence-based research on problems of the health of the public and the most effective and efficient means of addressing them, to educate the next generation of those who will study, teach and influence policy and to inform debate and influence decisions on health policy, both in the United States and abroad.
Affiliation with the Center is open to all faculty, post-doctoral fellows and students at the University of Virginia who are willing to participate regularly, as well as visiting faculty and scholars whether in pure research, teaching or practice.
Michael D. Williams, MD
Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy, UVA School of Medicine