Dr. Matthew Davis appointed deputy director of Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation

May 11, 2015

By Christina Camilli-Whisenhunt

On May 1, 2015, Dr. Matthew Davis began his appointment as deputy director of the University of Michigan's Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation (IHPI). In this newly created role, Davis will help lead the development and support of IHPI’s policy-relevant research and education, in conjunction with his roles as professor of pediatrics and communicable diseases and of internal medicine in the Medical School; professor of public policy in the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy; and professor of health management and policy in the School of Public Health. He recently served as the State of Michigan's Chief Medical Executive in the Department of Health and Human Services (formerly the Department of Community Health) from March 2013 through April of this year. Replacing him in this position is U-M School of Public Health Clinical Associate Professor Eden V. Wells, M.D., M.P.H.

“In close consultation with our IHPI Leadership Team, I am very pleased to appoint Dr. Davis to this new role,” says IHPI Director John Ayanian. “He is a well-known and respected clinician, researcher, teacher, and health policy champion. We are delighted to have his expertise and valued insights to help improve healthcare delivery in Michigan and the United States.”

Davis will oversee IHPI’s efforts related to health and social policy change at the state and national levels. Working with Dr. Ayanian and IHPI staff including Government and External Relations Director Eileen Kostanecki, he will help build positive relationships and identify new opportunities for partnerships within the State of Michigan and at the national level.

As part of the new IHPI role, Davis will lead the Path of Excellence (PoE) in Health Policy—Programs, Systems, and Economics, a new curriculum option for U-M Medical School students supported by IHPI and its faculty. The PoE provides medical students with an opportunity to explore and develop health policy as an area of scholarly concentration, with small group sessions and individual and group projects, over the four years of their medical school training. The health policy path is designed to prepare medical students to apply their healthcare knowledge and experience in contributing to policy changes. Davis also continues as co-director of the U-M Clinical Scholars Program supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, which will transition to the IHPI Clinician Scholars Program with a cohort beginning in July 2016. 

Davis will also shape and foster IHPI’s role as a hub for novel health policy-focused educational information and initiatives. Davis developed and currently leads U-M’s first residential massive open online course, “Understanding and Improving U.S. Healthcare: Special U-M Student Edition." This course is supported by the Institute and the Medical School, and was specifically created by Davis and U-M School of Public Health doctoral student Michael Rubyan to illustrate foundational principles and function of the U.S. health care system for learners from a broad variety of backgrounds. They will be offering the global version of the course again in May-June 2015 on the Coursera platform. In his deputy director role, Davis will continue to help shape and create new courses and novel symposia for the U-M campus and beyond.

Davis sees great promise in the Institute and shares in the vision to improve the quality, safety, equity, and affordability of health care services. “I am honored to assume this new role in the leadership team of IHPI. I see this role as a natural extension with the work I have been passionate about since I came to U-M 15 years ago, as well as my recent applied policy experience as Chief Medical Executive for the State of Michigan. I am looking forward to facilitating and supporting great research and education initiatives here at the Institute that are dedicated to improving health and healthcare.”

Davis is one of the U-M faculty originally recruited to the Child Health Evaluation and Research (CHEAR) Unit at U-M in 2000, and is the founding director of the C.S. Mott Children's Hospital National Poll on Children's Health and the National Voices Project, both of which use advanced survey research techniques to gather timely data about health, healthcare utilization, and health policy at local and national levels.

Davis earned his M.D. cum laude from Harvard Medical School and trained in pediatrics and internal medicine at the Children's Hospital and Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston. He subsequently obtained his M.A. in public policy and studied health services research as a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholar and Irving Harris Child Policy Fellow at the University of Chicago. He is board-certified in both pediatrics and internal medicine and continues his med-peds clinical practice at the U-M Canton Health Center.