Improving Health Through Better Health Policy
Together We Are Stanford Health Policy
Training Tomorrow's Health Policy Leaders
Stanford Health Policy trains the next generation of health policy leaders. We offer a Master of Science degree in Health Policy and a PhD in Health Policy as well as post-doctoral fellowships focused on medical informatics and geriatrics. The Stanford-AHRQ Health Services Research Training Program for pre-and and postdoctoral students pairs trainees with a faculty mentor to dive into a research project on a critical challenge facing the U.S. health-care system. The Ford Dorsey Master's in International Policy at FSI uses advanced analytical tools and methods critical to decision-making and leadership in international fields.
“Some of our trainees have medical or health-care training; others have training in economics, engineering or applied math,” says Jeremy Goldhaber-Fiebert, a professor of health policy who teaches a number of classes from advanced decision science methods and modeling in health; analysis of costs, risks and benefits in health care; and models for understanding and controlling global infectious diseases. “What we’re looking for are people who are passionate, who have some technical aptitude and have a lot of grit and perseverance, creativity and independence. Our students have those things — that’s what makes them so highly successful and such a pleasure to work with.”
Improving Global Health
Our faculty and trainees study critical global health problems with the goal of improving the impacts of policies, programs and interventions on health and well-being. Our portfolio includes the prevention and treatment of chronic and emerging infectious diseases such as HIV and COVID-19, the growing global burden of non-communicable diseases such as diabetes and cancer, and issues at the intersection of health and society such as family planning and reproductive health. We study the social, behavioral and institutional factors that determine policy effectiveness, and examine the implications of policies in alleviating or sustaining health inequalities. Climate change and the environment are growing areas of research: our faculty work on policies for addressing environmental hazards such as lead or air pollution, and mitigating the health impacts of climate change events such as hurricanes and floods. Our faculty also engage with pressing topics such as human trafficking, the effects of armed conflict on the health of women and children and the well-being of children along the U.S.-Mexico border. Finally, COVID-19 has been a defining policy challenge at the global level, and identifying policy levels for better pandemic preparedness is an area of growing interest.
Devoted to Domestic Health
Stanford Health Policy focuses on challenges within the U.S. health-care system, including high costs, access to care, quality of care, health disparities and health equity. We examine these underlying challenges from the economic, clinical, social and legal perspectives while conducting cost-effectiveness analyses of policies and treatments in an effort to improve system efficiency and performance; design measures to better track system performance; evaluate new medical treatments; and participate in the development of new policies and approaches.
"Our research spans both domestic and global policy and we’re very interested in challenges around the globe. But of course we have many challenges here at home, so much of our work is done on domestic health policy," says Douglas K. Owens, chair of the Department of Health Policy. "How do we improve our health-care system? How do we improve health disparities? How do we address technology in such a way that it’s both affordable and fair? We’re examining the social determinants of health, climate change, gun violence — all of those have a very direct impact on health."
A commitment to health equity is woven through much of our research. Stanford Health Policy faculty, fellows and trainees examine how the social determinants of health — where one is born, lives, learns and works — impact health outcomes. They use their training in economics and epidemiology, law, clinical research, AI and statistics to find the means and methods to limit health disparities. Learn more about the innovative research underway to improve health outcomes for diverse populations around the world and here at home.