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Donald M. Berwick, M.D., Named as Chair of AHCPR's National Advisory Council

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Press Release Date: July 9, 1999

AHCPR Administrator John M. Eisenberg, M.D., today announced that Donald M. Berwick, M.D., M.P.P., has been appointed as chair of the National Advisory Council for Health Care Policy, Research, and Evaluation. Dr. Berwick, who was appointed to the Council in the fall of 1998, begins his one-year term as chairman at the close of today's meeting. He replaces Harold S. Luft, Ph.D. The Council provides advice and recommendations to the Administrator of AHCPR and to the Secretary of HHS on priorities for a national health services research agenda.

Dr. Eisenberg noted that Dr. Berwick's knowledge, experience, and leadership in improving health care quality make him the ideal person to chair the National Advisory Council as AHCPR enters its second decade. "Donald Berwick comes to the chairman's seat representing a multitude of perspectives—researcher, practicing physician, educator, and national health care leader, " said Dr. Eisenberg. "This combination makes him uniquely qualified to help shape the future of AHCPR and health services research."

Dr. Berwick is President and CEO of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement based in Boston, Massachusetts. He is a practicing pediatrician at Boston Children's Hospital. Dr. Berwick also serves as Associate Professor of Pediatrics at the Harvard Medical School and as Associate Professor of Health Policy and Management at the Harvard School of Public Health. He was Vice Chair of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force from 1990 through 1996. In 1996, Dr. Berwick was named the first "Independent Member" of the Board of Trustees of the American Hospital Association. He also served from 1989 through 1991 as a member of the Panel of Judges for the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award program.

Dr. Berwick was co-founder and Co-Principal Investigator for the National Demonstration Project on Quality Improvement in Health Care. He is a past president of the International Society for Medical Decisionmaking and is an elected member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences. In April of 1997, he was appointed by President Clinton to serve on the Advisory Commission on Consumer Protection and Quality in the Healthcare Industry, which was co-chaired by the Secretaries of Health and Human Services and Labor. Widely published on health care policy, decision analysis, technology assessment, and health care quality management, Dr. Berwick is a summa cum laude graduate of Harvard College and holds an M.P.P. degree from the John F. Kennedy School of Government and an M.D. degree cum laude from the Harvard Medical School.

The 24-member National Advisory Council comprises 17 private-sector experts, representing health care plans, providers, purchasers, consumers, and researchers. (Select to access Council Overview.) The Council also includes representatives of seven Federal agencies: the National Institutes of Health; the Department of Defense; the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; the Department of Veterans Affairs; the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration; the Food and Drug Administration; and the Health Care Financing Administration.

For additional information, please contact AHCPR Public Affairs, (301) 427-1364: Karen Migdail (301) 427-1855 (

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