With a gift from Leonard and Sophie Davis, the University of Pennsylvania established the Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics (LDI) in 1967, two years after Congress enacted Medicare. It was created to fill fundamental gaps in the evidence base that could inform policies critical to the financing and management of the nation's increasingly costly and complex health care system. Today, LDI is considered one of the world’s leading university-based programs of its kind. LDI and its Senior Fellows are among the pioneers in interdisciplinary health services research that has helped guide health policies at all levels of government and the private sector. More than 200 LDI Senior Fellows work to improve the health of the public through studies on the medical, economic, and social issues that influence how health care is organized, financed, managed, and delivered.
As Penn’s center for research, policy analysis, and education in health systems, LDI is one of the first university programs to successfully cultivate collaborative scholarship among typically disparate disciplines. LDI is a cooperative venture among Penn’s health professions, business, and communications schools (Medicine, Wharton, Nursing, Dental Medicine, Law School, and Annenberg School for Communication) and the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, with linkages to other Penn schools, including Arts & Sciences, Education, Social Policy and Practice, and Veterinary Medicine.