Department of Health Policy

The Department of Health Policy is one of 13 basic sciences departments in the Stanford University School of Medicine. The department is the focal point for health policy at Stanford University, with faculty, researchers, and graduate students

The inaugural chair of the Department of Health Policy is Douglas K. Owens, the Henry J. Kaiser, Jr. professor at the School of Medicine and a senior fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies.

The department was launched during the COVID-19 pandemic — when policy research, decision science and data modeling played a vital role in the understanding and prevention of the coronavirus pandemic. Another central theme of research at the department is how to understand and improve health equity, addressing health disparities in relation to major forces of change, including technological innovation, migration, climate change and income inequality.

The Department of Health Policy has a particular focus on building a fair and equitable public health system, changing the health-care marketplace, innovating how care is delivered, and advancing new social policies such as paid family and medical leave.

Faculty research at the Department of Health Policy helps ensure that health and other social policies are designed to reduce rather than exacerbate disparities.
Douglas K. Owens
Chair, Department of Health Policy