[dropcap]D[/dropcap]avid Shulkin, MD, a national thought leader on veterans’ health and patient-centered care, has been named a Distinguished Health Policy Fellow at the University of Pennsylvania’s Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics (Penn LDI). Dr. Shulkin was appointed by President Donald Trump as the 9th United States Secretary of Veterans Affairs, and served in the role from February 2017 until March 2018. He also served as the Under Secretary of Veterans Affairs for Health under President Barack Obama. 

Future health policy leaders
“The Penn LDI community is excited to engage with Dr. Shulkin through shared interests in health system transformation, social determinants of health, and the lives of veterans and the communities in which they live.  We have much to learn from his diverse experiences in the private and public sector as we work to train future health policy leaders and to produce policy-relevant research,” says Penn LDI Executive Director Daniel Polsky. 

[content_elements:element:1]The Department of Veterans Affairs is the second largest federal government agency, and the Secretary oversees the National Cemetery Administration, the Veterans Benefits Administration, and the Veterans Health Administration. Under Secretary Shulkin’s leadership, the Department streamlined the appeals process for veterans seeking disability benefits, made wait times more transparent, and improved mental health services. 
Health care leadership
Before his time in government, Dr. Shulkin had a long career of health care leadership and management, including at the University of Pennsylvania Health System (now Penn Medicine), as well as Temple University Hospital, Beth Israel Medical Center, and the Morristown Medical Center. He was also a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholar at Penn, and has previously been a Penn LDI Senior Fellow as well as Adjunct Senior Fellow. 

“Penn LDI provides a unique forum in which to continue my work on important policy issues that can impact the lives of veterans and all Americans. Coming back to Penn in this way is very exciting,” says Dr. Shulkin.  

Joining Penn LDI’s 280+ Senior Fellows, and 140+ Associate Fellows, Distinguished Health Policy Fellows enrich the intellectual life of the Penn LDI community by sharing policy expertise and experiences with researchers and students. Dr. Shulkin will guest lecture in health policy courses, engage with faculty and trainees interested in veterans’ issues and the social determinants of health, and give public seminars. 

Established in 1967, Penn LDI was the first organization to marry the academic pursuits of a leading medical school and business schools. In the 50 years since, it has expanded its footprint to become Penn’s hub for collaboration on health services research, health policy, and health economics.