MGH Health Policy Rounds


MGH Health Policy Rounds were started in 2018 to bring health policy makers and policy researchers together.  We cover a wide range of topics where science can inform policy, and policy can inform science. Slides from past talks are linked here if speakers have made them available.

Rounds are convened by Dr. Karen Donelan, a Senior Scientist and Associate Professor in the Health Policy Research Center of The Mongan Institute.  HPRC Faculty help identify and invite speakers and serve as discussants in the series.  SIGN UP for our mailing list by emailing us at


December 9th, 2020
The Past, Present, and Future of Health Care Reform
Jonathan Gruber, PhD
Ford Professor of Economics 
Massachusetts Institute of Technology 

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November 2nd, 2020
Does Diversity Matter for Health?
Marcella Alsan, MD, PhD
Professor of Public Policy
Harvard Kennedy School of Government
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October 5th, 2020
Health Workforce and COVID-19: Where Are We, How Did We Get Here, and How Do We Move Ahead?
Bianca Frogner, PhD
Associate Professor, Department of Family Medicine
Director, Center for Health Workforce Studies
Deputy Director, Primary Care Innovation Lab
University of Washington 
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Policy Rounds Success Story: RACE for Children Act will be Fully Implemented into Law!

The RACE for Children Act, championed by February 2020 MGH Health Policy Rounds speaker Nancy Goodman and her organization Kids v. Cancer, will be fully implemented into law. The Race for Children Act now requires all adult cancer therapies in development, whose molecular target is substantially relevant to a pediatric cancer, to be studied in children’s cancers as well. This is a major victory for children with cancer and pediatric oncologists as this development lifts many restrictions that previously limited pediatric cancer treatment options. More than 1,000 cancer therapies in development for adult cancers that have not reached the end of their Phase 2 trials will also be studied in children’s cancers. Please join us in congratulating Nancy Goodman and Kids v. Cancer on this impressive achievement. For more information on Kids v. Cancer, visit their website.

September 9th, 2020
Psychiatric Disorders and Structural Inequities in Puerto Rico
Margarita Alegria, PhD
Chief, Disparities Research Unit, Mongan Institute, MGH
Harry G. Lehnert Jr. and Lucille F. Cyr Lehnert Endowed MGH Research Institute Chair
Professor, Departments of Medicine and Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School
*Please RSVP to to assure adequate Zoom capacity*

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June 29th, 2020
Rising Geographic Disparities in US Mortality 
Ellen Meara, PhD
Professor of Health Policy and Economics
Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health 
*Please RSVP to to assure adequate Zoom capacity*
Health Policy Rounds June

March 2nd, 2020
Medicaid Expansion, Disparities, and Health Outcomes
Benjamin Sommers, MD, PhD 
Professor of Health Policy and Economics 
Harvard School of Public Health
Former Senior Advisor in the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services image001

February 3rd, 2020 
Changing the Landscape of Pediatric Cancer Research: Advancing Regulatory Reform in Pediatric Cancer Drug Development
Nancy Goodman, JD
Founder and Executive Director, Kids v Cancer 
Member, NCI Board of Scientific Counselors, Vice President Moonshot Committee, Stand Up to Cancer Scientific Advisory Committee

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January 13th, 2020 
Can We Decrease Administrative Costs in Healthcare?
Timothy G. Ferris, MD, MPH
Chairman and CEO, Massachusetts General Physicians Organization 

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December 2, 2019
Policy Impacts on Addiction Treatment Access and Quality
Peter D. Friedmann, MD, MPH, DFASAM, FACP
Chief Research Officer and Endowed Chair for Clinical Research, Baystate Health
Associate Dean for Research and Professor of Population & Quantitative Health Sciences, University of Massachusetts Medical School


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November 4, 2019
State Policy Perspectives on Mental Health and Addiction
Senator Cindy F. Friedman
Vice Chair, Ways and Means Committee
Fourth Middlesex District, Massachusetts

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October 7, 2019

in collaboration with MGH Gun Violence Prevention Center

Disarming Fear:  Using Emotional Messaging to Break Down Barriers in Talking About Guns in the Home to End Family Fire
Kyleanne Hunter, PhD
Adjunct Professor, Georgetown University
Vice President, Programs, Brady United Against Gun Violence

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May 6, 2019

Building Healthier Neighborhoods, Block by Block
Iyah Romm
CEO and Co-Founder, Cityblock Health


April 1, 2019

Reproductive Rights and the Courts: Assessing the Current Debate

Sara Rosenbaum, J.D.
Harold and Jane Hirsh Professor, Health Law and Policy, Department of Health Policy and Management, Milken Institute School of Public Health, George Washington University

February 4, 2019

Electronic Cigarettes: Public Health Friend or Foe (or Both)?

IMG_8111Nancy Rigotti, MD
Associate Chief, General Medicine Division, Director, Tobacco Research and Treatment Center
Professor, Harvard Medical School

January 7, 2019

The Affordable Care Act Coverage Expansions at 8 3/4
Sherry Glied, PhD,
Dean, Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, New York University

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December 3, 2018

2018 Voters, Partisan Politics, and the Future of U.S. Health Policy
Robert J. Blendon, ScD
Richard L. Menschel Professor of Public Health and Professor of Health Policy and Political Analysis
Senior Associate Dean for Policy Translation and Leadership Development
Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and John F. Kennedy School of Government


November 5, 2018

Achieving Health Equity through Increased Understanding
Cara James, PhD
Director, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, Office of Minority Health
Co-Chair, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, Rural Health Council


October 1, 2018

Massachusetts as a Regional Lab to Control Health Spending
Stuart H. Altman, PhD
Chaikin Professor of Health Policy, Heller School of Social Policy and Management
Brandeis University