June 29, 2016

Noted Surgeon to Lead UVA Center for Health Policy

The University of Virginia Center for Health Policy has appointed accomplished surgeon and scholar Dr. Michael D. Williams as its new director.

A joint program of the Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy, the School of Medicine and the Department of Public Health Sciences, the Center for Health Policy provides comprehensive, apolitical analysis of current and proposed health policy for citizens and policymakers. Its work includes educating and training future leaders in health policy and health care systems through research, conferences, field-based experiences and working with students.

“Michael Williams brings unique experience in public health, academia and practice,” said Allan C. Stam, Dean of the Batten School. “His vision for the Center for Health Policy is a powerful one that has many practical implications for the health care industry.”

With more than 20 years of experience in health care delivery and systems design, Dr. Williams is passionate about health care equity issues. “Health equity starts with efficient, cost-effective health system design and management. Population health has the greatest opportunity to achieve health equity, both in the United States and globally,” says Williams.

He continued, “From analysis of ‘Big Data’ to individualized assessments of narrowly-defined populations of patients, consumers and physicians, the premise that policymakers can benefit from deeper understanding of the U.S. health care system frame it as a central tenet for the Center for Health Policy. The U.S. health system is informed by often-competing policies and an almost complete lack of understanding of the true cost of care.”

Dr. Williams joined UVA in 2012 as an Associate Professor of Surgery and Director, Emergency General Surgery in the Department of Surgery. He has also served as the Director of the UVA Summer Medical and Dental Education Program, which was established by a major grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The program aims to help under-represented minority students become more competitive candidates for medical school.

After completing his undergraduate studies in Biology at Brown University, Dr. Williams earned his MD from the UVA School of Medicine. From 1993 to 1998, he conducted his postgraduate medical training in the field of General Surgery at Louisiana State University – New Orleans program at Charity Hospital. After residency, he returned to Washington, D.C. and completed one-year fellowships in Surgical Critical Care and Trauma Surgery. Williams’ public sector experience also includes serving as Chief Medical Officer for the Washington, D.C. Fire and EMS Department.

He has held numerous leadership positions in both clinical and academic medicine, and has many peer-reviewed publications to his credit, including the recent co-authored article, “The Prehospital and Hospital Costs of Emergency Care for Frequent Emergency Department Patients” in the American Journal of Emergency Medicine.

The Center for Health Policy was previously led by Batten School Professor Eric Patashnik, a renowned political scientist who specializes in health and social welfare policy.

In This Article

Associate Professor of Surgery and Director of the UVA Center for Health Policy
Email Address
Phone Number
Office Location/Room Number
Garrett Hall L002D