Duke-Margolis Center for Health Policy Launches in Washington, DC

Published February 14, 2017 under Research News


Duke-Margolis Center for Health Policy founder Robert J. Margolis (M ’71) addresses the attendees at the center's launch in Washington, DC, last week. Photo credit: Brian Strickland.

Last Thursday, February 9, the Duke-Margolis Center for Health Policy held a public launch event at the Newseum in Washington, DC. The mission of the center is to improve health and the value of health care by developing and implementing evidence-based policy solutions locally, nationally and globally. Mark McClellan, professor of business, medicine and health policy, is the center’s director.

The center brings together capabilities that generate and analyze evidence across the spectrum of policy to practice, supporting the triple aim of health care—improving the experience of care, the health of populations and reducing the per capita cost.  

This venture, which requires broad multidisciplinary capabilities, is a natural draw for Duke Global Health Institute (DGHI) faculty members. DGHI professors Krishna Udayakumar and Gavin Yamey and DGHI affiliates Don Taylor and Yousuf Zafar, are engaged in the Center’s work. 

The Launch Event

The event featured Duke University faculty who are involved in health policy research and panel discussions focusing on the fast-changing health policy environment for healthcare transformation and high-value biomedical innovation. United States Senator Richard Burr (Republican, North Carolina) offered opening remarks.

Krishna Udayakumar—head of global innovation for Duke Health, associate professor of global health and medicine and executive director of Innovations in Healthcare—spoke on a panel of center collaborators from across the university that discussed ideas and new directions related to transforming healthcare. 

“The Duke-Margolis Center has quickly become a key partner driving expansion of Duke’s global health policy efforts,” Udayakumar said. “From an evaluation of the United States government’s global health research and development strategy led by Gavin Yamey with colleagues across the university, to our efforts through Innovations in Healthcare connecting health policy, payment and delivery innovations globally, we have mutually created a foundation for even greater high-impact collaborations.”

Advisory board member Susan Dentzer, president and CEO, Network for Excellence in Health Innovation (NEHI), moderated a panel focused on healthcare transformation. Victor Dzau, president of the National Academy of Medicine and former chancellor for health affairs at Duke University and president and CEO of the Duke University Health System, was one of the panelists.

A panel on high-value biomedical innovation was chaired by advisory board member Peter Orszag, vice chairman of investment banking & global co-head of healthcare, Lazard. Panelist Gavin Yamey, professor of global health and public policy and director of the Center for Policy Impact in Global Health, discussed how biomedical innovation could bring to fruition the potential for a “grand convergence” in global health in one generation, averting 10 million deaths per year beginning in 2035. 

“To fully close the global health gap, we're going to need tomorrow's tools,” Yamey said. “We’re going to have to develop preventive vaccines, ever-improving medicines and point-of-care rapid diagnostic tests.” 

Watch a video recording of the event.

Duke Medical School Alumnus Robert Margolis Founded the Center

During the event, speakers honored the vision and achievements of the center’s founder, Robert J. Margolis (M ’71), and his role in recruiting a top-notch advisory board and shaping the vision of the center.  

In October 2016, Duke University announced a $16.5 million gift from Margolis and his wife, Lisa, to create the center, which has offices in Durham, North Carolina, and Washington, DC, where Gregory Daniel serves as deputy director.

“When I looked at the incredible attributes of Duke, I saw clinical attributes and amazing clinical research, and didn’t see how that was translating well into health policy,” Margolis reflected in a recent video. “Connecting Duke policy through the law school, through the public policy school, through the medical school, and all of the other affiliated expertise at Duke, was just an opportunity that seemed amazing.” 

In the same video, Duke University president Richard Brodhead noted that the center is “completely in the character of this university. It plays perfectly to the differential strengths and the institutional commitments of this place.”
A 1971 graduate of the Duke School of Medicine, Robert Margolis is the retired managing partner and CEO of HealthCare Partners. He was a founder of the company's predecessor, California Primary Physicians Medical Group, and serves on the board of directors of the Martin Luther King, Jr., Hospital in Los Angeles and the National Committee for Quality Assurance.  He also held a fellowship in oncology at the National Cancer Institute.

This article was adapted from an article published on the Duke Margolis Center for Health Policy website.

The Duke-Margolis Center has quickly become a key partner driving expansion of Duke’s global health policy efforts.

Krishna Udayakumar, associate professor of global health and medicine