From Our Executive Director

In 2023, LDI continued to lead important and evidence-informed conversations to advance and improve health and the health care of our nation. We hosted seminars and conferences, facilitated public testimonies, and continued our work to support and train the next generation of health services researchers. We featured our Fellows’ research in blogs, videos, and news stories and continued to expand training opportunities in translation and dissemination. LDI also built new collaborations focused on value-based care in community health centers and on generating rigorous evidence about the role of transitional housing programs in promoting population health.

We hope you take a minute to enjoy the highlights of 2023 below. These highlights would not be possible without the contributions from the many people, schools, and organizations across Penn’s campus. And these highlights only scratch the surface of the outstanding work from the LDI community. Make sure to click through to see more. It is now more important than ever to build on this work and drive progress in health-related research, education, and policy impact and I am confident that LDI is up to the task.

Rachel M. Werner

Rachel M. Werner, MD, PhD

Executive Director, Penn LDI; Robert D. Eilers Professor of Health Care Management and Economics, Wharton School; Professor, Medicine, Perelman School of Medicine

2023 By the Numbers

400+Senior Fellows

9,500+Journal Articles Published (2019-2023)

2,900+Virtual Seminar Attendees

180+Research Updates Published

$1M+Awarded in Research Grants from LDI

$150M+Awarded in External Grant Funding


Penn LDI published over 180 research updates in 2023, covering the work of a large number of LDI Fellows and a wide array of health care topics, including the opioid crisis, improving care for older adults, health equity, and more. Check out some of the top updates of the year below.

News | Population Health

How Inadequate Hospital Staffing Continues to Burn Out Nurses and Threaten Patients

LDI Senior Fellow leads a major study that details how the high levels of nurse burnout during the pandemic speak to the depth of inadequate nurse staffing policies prior to the pandemic.

Linda Aiken and colleagues from the School of Nursing’s Center for Health Outcomes and Policy Research conducted the largest repeated survey ever done of registered nurses.

Blog | Opioid Epidemic

Vending Machines Are Dispensing Hope and Health in Philadelphia’s Opioid Crisis

Vending machines can serve as a potential solution to the alarming opioid death toll, particularly in Philadelphia where overdoses have surged, disproportionately impacting Black individuals.

Rebecca Stewart, Rachel French, David Mandell and team explored pubic opinion in Philadelphia regarding the implementation of vending machines for harm reduction.

Brief | Improving Care for Older Adults

Medicare Payment Policy for Post-Acute Care in Nursing Homes

An LDI issue brief by Rachel M. Werner et al reviewed Medicare coverage and payment policy around post-acute care, trends in utilization and costs in skilled nursing facilities and more. 


Penn LDI hosted a full schedule of events in 2023. Our virtual policy seminars reached a wide, interdisciplinary, national audience of thousands, and were supplemented by in-person seminars, workshops, and events. In total we hosted over 25 events in 2023 on campus, online, and in Seattle, Washington. See recaps of selected events below.

Fellow Accomplishments and Awards

Penn LDI brings together the greatest minds from across the University of Pennsylvania to address the most pressing health and health care challenges facing our nation today. Their work garners national attention and the highest honors in the field. This year, LDI Fellows received major awards and honors recognizing their work. A sampling of these is listed below.

Fellows in the Media

During 2023, LDI Fellows authored op-eds and commentaries, lending their voices and authority to the nation’s current health care policy debates. LDI Fellows also shared their expertise in major media outlets, including the Washington Post, The Atlantic, and the New York Times. Selected media features are highlighted below.

The New York Times

Facing Financial Ruin as Costs Soar for Elder Care

 Rachel M. Werner and Norma Coe

The Hill

OPINION: American Families Need SNAP Benefits More Now Than Ever

Aaron Richterman, Christina Roberto, and Harsha Thirumurthy

Penn LDI Research Training Programs

Penn LDI continued its work to help support and train the next generation of researchers in 2023, through its array of training programs, ranging from undergraduate to postdoctoral programs. Highlights from a few of this year’s programs are below.

Policy Impact

Penn LDI is committed to engaging in multiple aspects of direct policymaker engagement. Highlights of LDI’s participation in timely and important policy debates are below.

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