Daniel Polsky, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania's Perelman School (medicine) and its Wharton School (business), has been named the new executive director of Penn's Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics, university provost Vincent Price told Penn staff in an email last week.
Polsky "has taught at Penn since 1996, when he earned his PhD here in Econmics," and has headed research for the Leonard Davis Institute (LDI) for the past four years, while also serving on President Bush's Council of Economic Advisers (2007-08) and advising the Congressional Budget Office on health issues. (Corrected, thanks Tom G)
Polsky replaces Prof. David Asch, who Polsky cited as his mentor in this brief statement to a Penn online newsletter.
UPDATE: Asch grew the Institute "to be a research organization that connects an impressive and expansive group of researchers on campus dedicated to improving health through a better functioning healthcare system," Polsky told me in an email.
"The funded research among the 200 LDI senior fellows exceeds $100 million annually.
"While academics certainly recognize the strength of this research activity, my desire is for this scholarship to better inform policy at the national, state, and local levels. My vision is to extend the reach of [the Institute] by expanding, not only internal collaborations and research towards these aims, but [also] the impact and reach...
"I would like LDI to be broadly known as institute that makes an impact with new knowledge on how to improve health through a better functioning healthcare system.:
UPDATE: Prof. Polsky provides more details in an interview this afternoon: "We're definitely not an advocacy organization. We wouldn't be good at it.
"As academics we do our research, publish in journals, move on to the next article. But who reads journals? Mostly other academics, who can read language appropriate to academia.