UPenn names Robert Wood Johnson CEO to population health post

Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, former head of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, will spearhead medical training in population health at the University of Pennsylvania. (Photo courtesy of UPenn)

Medical schools are putting an increasing focus on population health, with the University of Pennsylvania bringing in longtime Robert Wood Johnson Foundation CEO Risa Lavizzo-Mourey to head its efforts.

Lavizzo-Mourey will hold faculty appointments in multiple schools, according to an announcement from UPenn, including the role of Robert Wood Johnson Foundation population health and health equity professor. She had previously served the university in other faculty roles.

“Risa Lavizzo-Mourey’s work embodies Penn’s deepest mission: using innovative, interdisciplinary research to make a tangible impact on people’s lives around the world,” UPenn Provost Vincent Price said. 

RELATED: Providers remain committed to population health, but see payers as a hurdle

Medical schools are bringing population health into the discussion as the healthcare industry continues to move away from a fee-for-service model of care. Organizations that focus on public health can reduce unneeded healthcare costs and visits, and keep patients healthier overall.

In addition to the changes at UPenn, the American Medical Association has awarded millions of dollars in grants to schools like Brown University, which are offering medical degrees in population health, according to an article from Forbes. The AMA’s Accelerating Change in Medical Education Consortium has jumped to include 32 colleges in four years.

Lavizzo-Mourey revealed last year that she would step down as the head of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.