Hundreds of health researchers & new director kick off new institute

Nearly 200 health care researchers from around U-M and beyond came together at the North Campus Research Complex on Nov. 1, at a kickoff event for the Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation.

From physicians and nurses to experts in public health, social science and public policy, the event included a broad range of researchers who shared information about their work in the broad field of health services research.

In just a few hours, they showed just how broad and deep U-M’s expertise runs when it comes to studying health care delivery, outcomes, economics and regulation.

The event included remarks from John Z. Ayanian, M.D., MPP, the institute’s incoming first director.

“This is the first chapter of a book we will be writing together,” he said of the event, noting that he is not aware of another institution that has the same scope and university-wide commitment to health services research across a large number of schools as U-M. “This is an unmatched opportunity,” he said.

IHPI’s physical base at NCRC, and its virtual presence throughout campus and the local community, provide a means for researchers to come together in new ways, Ayanian added. The institute already counts more than 400 faculty from 12 U-M schools and colleges, and five external partner organizations, among its members.

Now that Ayanian has begun his transition to U-M from Harvard University, he laid out key priorities to develop IHPI, including development of a strategic plan, leadership structure and national advisory board, and planning for communicating about the members’ expertise and findings in ways that can be used by policymakers and others.

He also plans to promote greater use of touchdown space in the main IHPI building for researchers whose offices are located elsewhere.

IHPI, he says, is poised to address the major challenges in health care today, including the effects of child poverty, the aging population, the unaffordability of health care costs for individuals and society, the fragmented and uneven quality of care, persistent disparities in care and outcomes, and inadequate safety in clinical care.

For more about IHPI, including how prospective new members can join, visit

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