A brief interview/article on how Dr. David B. Nash, MD, dean of Jefferson College of Population Health (part of Philadelphia’s Thomas Jefferson University), launched the first college dedicated to this concept in the country in 2008. Since then four more colleges have started to also focus on population health, and some medical schools such as Sidney Kimmel Medical College, are launching population health curriculums.
Dr. Nash is a firm believer that “America’s 147 allopathic medical schools need to retool the factory floor for the future, [and] changing med ed is part of that retooling.” This includes a much stronger emphasis on community health, especially since, for the amount of money the US spends on healthcare, outcomes are often lacking. He encourages “broadening the conversation” so that health systems are addressing the root causes of health issues. Dr. Nash is also a believer in a simpler payment system that focuses on outcomes: “We have to reward providers for keeping people out of the hospital. We have to reward care coordination and care at home. It’s a dance of changing the economic incentives to drive a change in clinical behavior, which will drive an improvement in outcomes.”
Delaware is proud to work in close partnership with Sidney Kimmel, funding the reservation of spots for Delawareans to attend the school through the Delaware Institute of Medical Education and Research program (DIMER). With its strong emphasis on population health, Delaware’s Center for Health Innovation (DCHI) has also created the Workforce and Education Committee, which brings together state and regional educational institutions, hospitals and health systems, and state regulatory bodies to ensure that cutting edge education and training opportunities are available for future health care providers in the state. To learn more, visit us at https://www.dehealthinnovation.org/.