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The USC-Brookings Schaeffer Initiative for Health Policy Appoints Richard Frank as New Director

September 13, 2021

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Richard Frank has been appointed director of the USC-Brookings Schaeffer Initiative for Health Policy and will be a senior fellow in Economic Studies at the Brookings Institution, beginning September 13, 2021. Frank succeeds Paul Ginsburg, who will continue his work for the USC-Brookings Schaeffer Initiative for Health Policy as a nonresident senior fellow.

“We couldn’t be more thrilled to have Richard joining Brookings as the Director of the Schaeffer Initiative,” said Vice President and Director of Economic Studies Stephanie Aaronson. “His combination of rigorous research skills and senior policy experience makes him the perfect person to lead the Initiative and build on its record of high impact policy research. Richard also brings expertise in the areas of mental health and drug abuse, critical elements of the health crisis the U.S. faces today, particularly in low-income communities where the risk factors are higher.”

Frank joins Brookings from Harvard Medical School where he is the Margaret T. Morris professor of health economics emeritus in the Department of Health Care Policy. His research is focused on the economics of mental health and substance abuse care, long term care financing policy, prescription drug policy, health care competition, and disability policy. From 2014 to 2016 he served as assistant secretary for planning and evaluation in the Department of Health and Human Services. Frank has received several awards, including the Georgescu-Roegen Prize from the Southern Economic Association, the Carl A. Taube Award from the American Public Health Association, and the Distinguished Investigator Award from AcademyHealth. He was elected to the Institute of Medicine (National Academy of Medicine) in 1997. He is co-author with Sherry Glied of the book Better but Not Well (Johns Hopkins Press).

“The Schaeffer Initiative has had remarkable success informing health policy debates under the leadership of Dr. Ginsburg. These include issues such as surprise medical billing, the ACA, market competition, and drug pricing,” said Dana Goldman, co-director of the USC Schaeffer Center for Health Policy & Economics and dean of the USC Price School of Public Policy. “Dr. Frank’s record of scholarship and public service makes him the ideal appointment to continue to advance our collaboration.”

“As we seek to improve our health care system, it is critically important that policy solutions be grounded in evidence-based analysis,” said Leonard Schaeffer, trustee of USC and Brookings and Judge Robert Maclay Widney Chair at USC. “With Dr. Ginsburg at the helm, the Schaeffer Initiative, through the partnership with Brookings and the USC Schaeffer Center, has informed policymakers and private-sector leaders about today’s most pressing health care issues. I have no doubt that Dr. Frank will further enhance the Initiative’s ability to provide the research and analysis needed to improve health policy at the national level.”

The USC-Brookings Schaeffer Initiative for Health Policy is a partnership between Economic Studies at Brookings and the USC Schaeffer Center for Health Policy & Economics that aims to inform the national health care debate with rigorous, evidence-based analysis leading to practical recommendations using the collaborative strengths of USC and Brookings. The Initiative was founded by Leonard D. Schaeffer to improve health policy by supporting high-quality research.

About Brookings

The Brookings Institution is a nonprofit organization based in Washington, D.C. Our mission is to conduct in-depth, nonpartisan research to improve policy and governance at local, national, and global levels.