LDI Names Four to Leadership Positions

LDI Names Four to Leadership Positions

The Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics has named four senior fellows to internal leadership positions, the office of the Executive Director of LDI has announced.

LDI leadership
Photo: Hoag Levins
LDI Senior Fellows (left to right) Peter Groeneveld, Guy David, David Grande, and Andrew Epstein and have been named to LDI leadership positions. Larger image

"Penn's LDI, with a mission to improve the health care system through scholarship, pursues this mission in the domains of research, policy, and education," said Executive Director Dan Polsky. "That is why I'm particularly excited that I've filled director positions within each of these domains with dynamic leaders on campus."

LDI is the hub of health care-related research across six Penn schools and Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. Its 200 senior fellows analyze the medical, economic and social issues that influence how health care is organized, financed, managed and delivered in the U.S.

The first of LDI's new Co-Directors of Research is Peter Groeneveld, MD, MS and Associate Professor of Medicine at Penn's Perelman School of Medicine. He said, "This is a critical time for health economics and health policy research with the full implementation of the Affordable Care Act just seven months away. There will be intense competition for federal support for research and it is ironic that at the very time when high quality policy and economics research is needed, we anticipate that federal funding for that research will be increasingly hard to obtain."

"Co-Director Andy Epstein and I have been collaborators for eight years," Groeneveld continued. "We're going to expand LDI's research programs to encompass, in particular, the production of multi-discipline research and the formation of research teams, including Penn investigators who may have not collaborated before."

The other half of the new Research co-directorship is Andrew Epstein, PhD, MPP, and Research Associate Professor of Medicine at Perelman. He points out that, "The expansion of this position into two co-directors underscores the high priority LDI places on research and the effort to identify innovative research strategies and coordinate and motivate research buy-in among LDI scholars. I'm going to be focusing a lot on data sets of common interest as we try to build out the data infrastructure even more and make more assets accessible to our members."

"A good example of that,” Epstein said, "is how Dan Polsky and others recently acquired the difficult-to-get historical information on physicians' group membership. Combined with our expertise in health insurance claims data, we will be able to tackle an interesting set of questions related to how physicians organize and how that affects their practice patterns, spending and costs in the context of consolidation. One of my goals is to better understand which other interesting data sets are out there that would be useful for LDI's researchers to have access to."

LDI's new Co-Director of Policy is David Grande, MD, MPA and Assistant Professor of Medicine at Perelman. The other Co-Director of Policy position hasn't yet been filled.

Grande pointed out that the creation of the double position "reflects LDI's commitment to the idea that we need to do more to increase the policy impact of the tremendous research and scholarship that happens here at Penn. It's critically important that an institute like LDI creates a stronger bridge to the world of policymakers in an era when cost pressures are driving such incredible demand for new solutions."

"At the same time," Grande continued, "the way evidence is communicated is also undergoing a transformation and becoming influenced by different types of new media. This means that LDI -- and academics in general -- have to adapt to that new world of communications and figure out how best to get evidence into the hands of decision makers."

Named to the newly created Director of Education position is Guy David, PhD and Associate Professor of Health Care Management at Penn's Wharton School who noted that, "LDI plays a leadership role in education in different parts of the campus and, overall, education of the next generation of health care leaders is undergoing changes that mirrors changes in the industry. For instance, with the advent of ACA there's a growing demand for focused business education on the medical side and growing interest in the health care management as a career among Wharton students. LDI has long been the bridge between the business and clinical environment when it came to research, and it is only natural that it will do so on the education front."

"We have ongoing programs in health care management for undergrads as well as masters and PhD levels," he said. "LDI runs the Summer Undergraduate Minority Research (SUMR) program; is involved in Wharton Executive Education; and hosts the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholars program. There is a lot of potential synergy in all of this and my role will be to foster a more integrative approach."