The Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute’s Department of Population Medicine is a unique collaboration between Harvard Pilgrim and Harvard Medical School. Created in 1993, it’s the only appointing medical school department in the United States based in a health plan. Its staff includes leading physicians, researchers, clinicians and public health professionals, and their research and teaching help address questions like:
- What treatments are best?
- How can we improve the quality and cost of clinical care?
- How can we modify the risk of diseases like obesity, diabetes, asthma and cancer?
- What is the impact of different approaches to financing and administering health care insurance?
- How can health care data support public health?
Institute staff work every day on critical research to help answer these questions. For example, the Institute is one of the lead organizations participating in the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Prevention Epicenter Program, a nationwide effort to develop and test innovative approaches to reducing infections in health care settings.
Given our nation’s focus on reducing health care costs and improving health care quality, the Institute’s collaborative work with providers, leaders and government agencies is more relevant and important than ever before. Their research is shared with government agencies, policy makers and other health care leaders, and has been featured in leading peer-reviewed publications.
Most of the Institute’s $25 million annual budget – $22 million – comes from external funders, principally the National Institutes of Health, the Food and Drug Administration, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.