Princeton, N.J.—Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, MD, MBA, who departs the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation this April after nearly 14 years as president and CEO, will join the University of Pennsylvania as the institution’s nineteenth Penn Integrates Knowledge University Professor, effective January 1, 2018. Penn President Amy Gutmann and Provost Vincent Price announced the appointment today.
A world-renowned expert in health policy and geriatric medicine, Lavizzo-Mourey has served the Foundation since 2003 and, for 15 years before that, as a distinguished professor and administrator at Penn. She will be the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Population Health and Health Equity Professor with joint faculty appointments in the Department of Medical Ethics and Health Policy in the Perelman School of Medicine, the Department of Health Care Management in the Wharton School, and the Department of Family and Community Health in the School of Nursing.
“I am deeply honored to accept this position and grateful to be given the opportunity to continue vital work in these areas,” said Lavizzo-Mourey. “This professorship will ensure that critical issues surrounding population health and health equity remain the focus of intensive examination, productive collaboration, and far-reaching problem-solving.”
In the announcement, Penn cited Lavizzo-Mourey and the Foundation for its devotion to health including the billion dollar initiative to reverse the nation’s childhood obesity epidemic, the support of programs to help people obtain better health care, the Foundation’s Commission to Build a Healthier America and its landmark 2009 report “Beyond Health Care,” focused on recommendations to improve health at the local, state, and federal levels.
“Whether leading one of the nation’s largest health care philanthropies, advising the White House on health policy, or publishing prolifically in some of the world’s most influential medical journals, Risa Lavizzo-Mourey is an eminent interdisciplinary change-maker,” said President Gutmann. “Her exemplary contributions to geriatrics and other health fields are matched by her devotion to promoting lasting social change and improving the health of all people. We are delighted to welcome home this truly exceptional scholar, clinician, leader, and Penn alumna.”
In her previous tenure at Penn, Lavizzo-Mourey was Sylvan Eisman Professor of Medicine and director of the Institute on Aging. She began her career at Penn in 1986, after earning an MBA at Wharton in Health Care Administration while completing Penn’s Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholars program, and during her tenure served as associate executive vice president for Health Policy, associate dean for Health Services Research, and chief of the Division of Geriatric Medicine. At the federal level, she was deputy administrator of what is now the Agency for Health Care Research and Quality; has worked on the White House Health Care Reform Task Force, co-chairing the working group on quality of care; has served on numerous federal advisory committees, including the Task Force on Aging Research, the National Committee for Vital and Health Statistics, and the President’s Advisory Commission on Consumer Protection and Quality in the Health Care Industry; and is master and former regent of the American College of Physicians, where she chaired the committees on ethics and human rights. She is a member of the American Philosophical Society.
In addition to an MBA from the Wharton School, Lavizzo-Mourey earned an MD from Harvard Medical School. In recognition of her far-ranging and path-breaking accomplishments, Penn awarded her an honorary Doctor of Laws in 2010.
“Risa Lavizzo-Mourey’s work,” said Provost Price, “embodies Penn’s mission: Using innovative, interdisciplinary research to make a tangible impact on improving people’s lives around the world. I am certain that she will continue to be an inspiring catalyst, colleague, mentor, and collaborator across every part of our campus in the years ahead.”
The Penn Integrates Knowledge program was launched by President Gutmann in 2005 as a university-wide initiative to recruit exceptional faculty members whose research and teaching exemplify the integration of knowledge across disciplines and who are appointed in at least two schools at Penn.