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Spring/Summer 2010

A Think Tank for Health Policy

New center is tethered to real life.

Date: May 15, 2010

Deborah Trautman
Trautman: Fresh from the Hill

French statesman Georges Clemenceau famously said that war was too important to be left to the military—and key leaders of Johns Hopkins Medicine think this nation’s health care policies are too important to be formulated without the knowledge and expertise of the Hopkins Medicine community.

That’s why Dean/CEO Edward Miller and Steve Thompson, senior vice president of Hopkins Medicine, collaborated with the deans of Public Health and Nursing to establish the new Johns Hopkins Center for Health Policy and Healthcare Transformation. The center, which will eventually include representatives from other academic medical centers and advocacy groups, is headed by Deborah Trautman, former director of nursing for Hopkins’ Department of Emergency Medicine. Trautman, who holds a PhD in health policy, recently completed two years as senior health policy advisor to U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi as part of a Robert Wood Johnson health policy fellowship.

“Most books about public policy talk about the policy, the politics, and the process,” says Trautman. “But I’d add the press, the public, and personalities. I experienced how all six of those ‘Ps’ influence policy.”
She says the new health policy think tank, completely nonpartisan, will aim to increase public and congressional understanding of complex health issues by issuing policy papers, holding symposia, and conducting round-table forums and brown bag lunches.

“We’re tethered to real-life experience,” Trautman says. “People who will be a part of this are directly connected to research, education and patient care.”  Neil A. Grauer