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Bruce R. Schackman Appointed Chief of Division of Health Policy in Public Health at Weill Cornell

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Health Policy Division Renamed; Formerly, Health Services and Policy Research

NEW YORK (June 1, 2006) — Dr. Bruce R. Schackman has been named chief of the Division of Health Policy in the Department of Public Health at Weill Medical College of Cornell University, effective July 1, 2006. The Division of Health Policy will be the new name for the Department's Division of Health Services and Policy Research.

Research conducted by the Division of Health Policy will concern issues such as the allocation of scarce resources; financing and reimbursement; health-care technology assessment; program evaluation; and organization of the health-care delivery system.

Dr. Schackman will replace Dr. Hirsch S. Ruchlin, professor of economics in public health and medicine, who has served as acting chief of the Division since 1999. Dr. Ruchlin will be retiring from Weill Cornell Medical College this summer and will retain a faculty appointment in the Department.

Photo by John Abbott
"I am very pleased that Bruce Schackman will be leading the Division of Health Policy," says Dr. Alvin I. Mushlin, the Nanette Laitman Distinguished Professor of Public Health and Medicine and chairman of the Department of Public Health at Weill Cornell Medical College. "His appointment rounds out the Department's efforts to fulfill its mission: to improve health care and strengthen medical education by bringing the public health disciplines into the research, patient care and teaching activities. I look forward to working with Bruce to enhance health policy initiatives that are relevant to the local, national and global delivery of health care."

Dr. Schackman is currently assistant professor of public health in the Division of Outcomes and Effectiveness Research and has been on the faculty of the Weill Cornell Department of Public Health since 2001. After earning a B.A. and an M.B.A. from Harvard University, he worked as a management consultant with McKinsey & Company, as a management expert in the Office of the Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, and as a managing director for health-care venture capital investments in a financial services firm. He then returned to Harvard, where he earned his Ph.D. in health policy with a concentration in decision sciences.

Dr. Schackman's expertise is in cost-effectiveness modeling, quality-of-life measurement and access to health care by underserved populations — particularly relating to infectious diseases. His current projects include economic evaluations of HIV and hepatitis C care in the United States, and screening and care for HIV and syphilis in Haiti. He was recently recognized with the 2005 Research in Action Award by the Treatment Action Group, a non-profit organization dedicated to finding a cure for AIDS.

"Through his accomplishments over the past five years, Bruce Schackman has shown himself to be highly qualified to assume leadership of the Division of Health Policy," says Dr. Antonio M. Gotto Jr., dean of the Medical College. "His work combines commitment, creativity and expert economic analysis. It has helped lay the framework for policy initiatives aimed at tackling major health-care challenges around the world."

During the next academic year, the Division will begin recruiting new junior faculty members. In addition, it will be expanding on existing partnerships and building new alliances within Weill Cornell Medical College, with NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital and Healthcare System, with Cornell University in Ithaca, and with external partners.

The Joan and Sanford I. Weill Medical College

The Joan and Sanford I. Weill Medical College — located in New York City — is committed to excellence in research, teaching, patient care and the advancement of the art and science of medicine. The Medical College offers an innovative curriculum that integrates the teaching of basic and clinical sciences, problem-based learning, office-based preceptorships, and primary care and doctoring courses. Physicians and scientists of Weill Cornell Medical College are engaged in cutting-edge research in such areas as genetics and gene therapy, geriatrics, neuroscience, structural biology, AIDS, cancer and psychiatry — and continue to delve ever deeper into the molecular basis of disease in an effort to unlock the mysteries behind the human body and the malfunctions that result in serious medical disorders. Weill Cornell Medical College is the birthplace of many medical advances — from the development of the Pap test for cervical cancer to the synthesis of penicillin, the first successful embryo-biopsy pregnancy and birth in the U.S., and most recently, the world's first clinical trial for gene therapy for Parkinson's disease. Weill Cornell's Physician Organization includes 650 clinical faculty who provide the highest quality of care to patients.
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