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National Advisory Committee

Karen Hein


Karen Hein, M.D.
Karen Hein, M.D., Appointed Member of the Green Mountain Care Board, Former President of the William T. Grant Foundation, Adjunct Professor of Family & Community Medicine, Dartmouth Medical School and Visiting Fellow, Feinstein International Center, Tufts University

Karen Hein, MD is a leading physician and health policy expert active in a range of domestic and international health issues. She is the Immediate Past President of the William T. Grant Foundation (1998-2003), which focuses on youth development. Dr. Hein served as the Executive Officer of the Institute of Medicine, the arm of the National Academies focused on health and medicine, from December 1994 to June 1998. Dr. Hein has broad experience in U.S. health policy issues, stemming in part from her work as a member of the U.S. Senate Finance Committee professional staff as a Robert Wood Johnson Health Policy Fellow in 1993-94. In that position, she drafted legislation related to health benefits in the proposed health reform package of that era. She also drafted legislation on aspects of the health workforce issues including financing of undergraduate and graduate medical education and academic health centers. Dr. Hein is currently Adjunct Professor of Family & Community Medicine at Dartmouth Medical School and Visiting Fellow, Feinstein International Center at Tufts University. She was formerly Professor of Pediatrics, and Epidemiology and Population Health at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York. Dr. Hein was one of 5 members of Vermont’s Green Mountain Care Board appointed by The Governor in 2011 to oversee the state’s comprehensive health care reform law, Act 48. The Board has regulatory authority under Act 48 to create a unified health budget, approve a workforce plan, as well as oversee all hospital budgets, CON’s, pilot payment reforms (including bundled payments, global budgets and population-based budgeting), approve benefits, create an all-payer database composed of commercial insurers, Medicaid and Medicare----all aimed at improving health and moderating cost as the dual goals of Vermont’s Green Mountain Care system, when fully implemented. She is currently a board member of several national and international non-profit organizations, including RAND Health Advisory Board, RWJF Clinical Scholars National Advisory Committee. Dr. Hein served for 12 years on the board of directors of Consumers Union, publishers of Consumer Reports, 6 years on the National Board of Medical Examiners, which develops the U.S. licensure examination for physicians and additional forms of standardized assessment for other health professions. Additionally, she serves on the Board of Overseers of the International Rescue Committee, a leading international humanitarian organization that serves displaced persons and refugees in more than 20 nations, People in Aid Board, among other boards. Dr. Hein graduated from the University of Wisconsin (l966), attended Dartmouth Medical School (l966-l968) and received her medical degree from Columbia University, College of Physicians and Surgeons, in l970. She was one of the founding members of the Dartmouth Medical School Board of Overseers (1973-1978). Dr. Hein has assumed a variety of roles related to health and health policy through her activities in program development, teaching and clinical research. She directed a model program for health care of juvenile detainees. In l987, she founded the nation's first comprehensive adolescent HIV/AIDS program. She worked closely with the Board of Education to expand AIDS education to the million students in the New York City public school system. She has written over l50 articles, chapters and abstracts related to adolescent health, particularly focusing on high risk youth. Her book, AIDS: Trading Fears for Facts, has sold over 100,000 volumes. As President of the William T. Grant Foundation, Dr. Hein shaped the Foundation’s efforts to support research to improve the lives of young people. With assets of $250 million, the Foundation pursues this goal by investing in research in social settings that influence youth, including schools, youth serving organizations, neighborhoods and informal activities with family members and peers.

The W.T. Grant Scholars program supports promising early career scholars from different disciplines. Under Dr. Hein’s leadership, the Foundation celebrated the appointment of the 100th W.T. Grant Scholar in 2002. It also instituted the W.T. Grant Prize, which was awarded through The National Academies to encourage collaboration among scholars, practitioners and others. Dr Hein served as the founding Chair of The Center for Health Care Strategies for 10 years (1995-2005), a center which focuses on improving publically funded programs for vulnerable populations. She has also served as an advisor to many city, state, federal and international organizations. She was President of the Society for Adolescent Medicine in l992. She has been a recipient of several awards including an Assistant Secretary for Health Award DHHS (US Department of Health and Human Services) in l989, Health Care Financing Administrator's Award (HCFA, now named CMS) in l993 and Stewart B. McKinney Foundation in l994 for leadership in the HIV epidemic; 2nd Century Award from CU Nursing School 2005, Dartmouth College’s Granger Life-time Achievement Award for Social Justice in 2007. In 2003, Dr. Hein narrowed her focus to international health and youth development, focusing on Asia and Africa.

She participated in post-tsunami relief work in India designing health assessments in so-called Child Centered Spaces, which organizations like Unicef have begun to sponsor to protect and focus on the special needs of children and youth during emergencies. She visited and evaluated projects in Mongolia, Uganda, Ethiopia, Malawi, Mozambique, India, Kenya, Rwanda, Congo and Thailand. She has also participated actively in efforts to create a learning collaborative of humanitarian relief organizations in order to identify core competencies and enhance skill development among humanitarian workers. The international collaborative was launched at a major conference sponsored by Dartmouth and the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative in 2006, and has evolved with subsequent meetings, publications and initiatives focusing on professionalization of humanitarian assistance in which Dr. Hein is playing a major organizational and leadership role. Dr. Hein and her husband, Dr. Ralph Dell, have lived in Vermont full time since 2003 where they have been home owners for 41 years in Whitingham, Vt. They have 4 grown children.

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