Speaker Biography
Arthur Garson, Jr., MD, MPH
Director, Center for Health Policy, University Professor
University of Virginia;
Chairman, The Grand-Aides Foundation
 

Arthur Garson, Jr. is the Director of the Institute for Health Policy, University Professor, Professor of Public Health Sciences and Public Policy at the University of Virginia. Until 2011, he was Executive Vice President and Provost of the University of Virginia. He was responsible for the operations of the University's 11 schools, as well as planning with a $1.3 Billion academic budget. As Provost, he recruited 7 of the University's 11 deans and helped found the Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy. In 2002, Dr. Garson was appointed Vice President and Dean of the University of Virginia's School of Medicine. During his tenure as dean, he led health-system wide strategic and operational planning; as well, the School of Medicine started a Master of Public Health program, the Academy of Distinguished Educators, the Center on Health Care Disparities, the Patient Education Institute, the Medical Education Research Institute, and the Virginia Institute for Clinical and Translational Research (a joint effort among several schools).

Dr. Garson graduated (Phi Beta Kappa, Summa Cum Laude) from Princeton University in 1970 and received his M.D. (Alpha Omega Alpha) from Duke University in 1974, remaining at Duke for Pediatric residency through 1976. In 1979, he completed his Pediatric Cardiology fellowship at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, becoming Chief of Pediatric Cardiology in 1988. He has been a visiting professor in more than 100 institutions, is on the faculty of the Children's Hospital in Paris, and was awarded the "Keys to the City" of Parma, Italy. He is the author of more than 450 publications including 8 books. In 1992, he received a Master's degree in Public Health from the University of Texas Houston. Also in 1992, he joined the faculty at Duke University, becoming Associate Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs, where he served as Medical Director of Government Relations for the Medical Center; and professor in the Sanford Institute of Public Policy.

In 1995, he returned to Houston to be Baylor College of Medicine's Dean for Academic Operations. He was also Vice President of Texas Children's Hospital.

He has served as Special Consultant in Health Programs and Policy to the State of Texas, Department of Health and the North Carolina Vocational Rehabilitation Commission. He chaired the North Carolina Health Planning Commission Committee charged with drafting legislation on practice guidelines, report cards and malpractice reform. He chaired the State of Texas Health Care Information Council's Subcommittee on Outcomes Reporting.

In 1999-2000, Dr. Garson served as President of the American College of Cardiology. In addition, he has served on the White House panel on Health Policy.
He was appointed by Secretary of Health and Human Services Thompson to chair the National Advisory Council of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality in 2003.

In 2004, he was appointed to chair the Healthcare Programs subcommittee of the Lieutenant Governor of Virginia's Blue Ribbon Commission on Health Insurance and the Uninsured, and initiated a study of physician workforce in Virginia. He has served on the Governor of Virginia's Health Reform Commission, chairing the Workforce Subcommittee.

In 2006, Dr. Garson helped to originate and draft a bill, the "Health Partnership Act" which funded grants to states for innovations to improve coverage for the uninsured, quality, and efficiency.

In September 2006, Dr. Garson was the guest editor for the Journal Academic Medicine's issue on Health Policy. Dr. Garson's journal articles have included: International differences in patient and physician perceptions of high quality health care; Attack obesity: lessons from smoking; Heart of the uninsured: a personal story; and Our physicians and our profession must lead in improving our health care system.

His book, "Health Care Half Truths: Too Many Myths, Not Enough Reality," was published in April, 2007. He was awarded that Health Statesman of the Year Award for 2007 by Health Access Texas.

In 2007, Dr. Garson was elected a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences. He chaired the committee concerned with health care reform of the American College of Cardiology and was appointed by Governor Tim Kaine to be a member of the Virginia Healthcare Workforce Advisory Council.

In 2009, Dr. Garson was appointed to the National Advisory Council of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. In 2010, he was appointed Chair of the Workforce Committee of the American College of Cardiology.

He created the Grand-Aides program, an innovative workforce model in which health workers "with the characteristics of a good grandparent, no matter how young", under close supervision by a professional, use protocols by telephone and home visits with portable telemedicine to provide simple primary care (e.g. colds, fever, diarrhea) as well as prevention, chronic disease management (e.g. medication adherence upon hospital discharge for heart failure). Grand-Aides has been placed into Texas Medicaid law and is being applied to 20,000 and 2,000 pregnant women; the chronic care program is being piloted in 14 hospitals; plans are underway to train 87,000 Grand-Aides in Bangladesh and 5,000 in Indonesia – with consideration in 18 other countries. Dr. Garson has been asked to present Grand-Aides to President Bill Clinton, the Medicaid Medical Directors and the Institute of Medicine. He has recently worked with the Prime Minister of Bangladesh and the Health Ministers of Ontario, Canada, Ireland, Panama, France, Australia, Myanmar, Malaysia, Hong Kong, and Valencia, Spain on ways to improve their health care workforce.

In May 2012, Health Affairs published as an Innovation Profile, Garson's "A new corps of trained Grand-Aides has the potential to extend reach of primary care workforce and save money," and in January 2013, "The Grand-Aides Program in Baotou, Inner Mongolia: A revolutionary health care workforce" in the International Journal of Health Policy.

The monthly Op-Ed series in 2012 in the Houston Chronicle has led to preparation of his next book on health care reform.