Leading Health Policy Reformer Joins Dell Medical School

AUSTIN, Texas —  Dr. Mark McClellan, a nationally known health policy expert who has led two federal health agencies, is joining the faculty at Dell Medical School at The University of Texas at Austin to advance the school’s mission of redesigning health care around value — providing better care at lower cost.

Mark McClellan

Dr. Mark McClellan Photo courtesy of the Brookings Institution

McClellan, the former head of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, will work on health policy reform initiatives with colleagues at the medical school and across the UT campus. Dell Medical School leaders see this as a critical focus to realizing the school’s vision of a vital, inclusive health ecosystem that improves health outcomes, reduces health care costs and creates more efficient and effective models of care.

“Mark has been a national leader in conceptualizing how to build a better health care system, and now he can really accelerate the pace in putting that system in place,” said Dr. Clay Johnston, inaugural dean of the Dell Medical School. “Mark’s work will support efforts here and nationwide to revolutionize the way people get healthy and stay healthy.”

McClellan directs the Robert J. Margolis Center for Health Policy at Duke University. Leading a collaboration between Duke and UT Austin that will build on the strengths and population health interests of both institutions, McClellan will split time between the universities and help the Dell Medical School implement innovative policy and clinical reforms in Austin that can be a model for the nation.

“Real health care reform is hard to create and harder to put in place. New approaches are needed to develop, implement and expand successful models,” McClellan said. “The Dell Medical School is bringing together critical resources to address these challenges and contributing to national leadership in health reform, making this a unique and important opportunity to affect change.”

At the federal level, McClellan oversaw the development of the federal Medicare prescription drug benefit, the FDA’s Critical Path Initiative, and public-private initiatives focused on reforms creating value in health and health care. Most recently, he was a senior fellow and director of the Health Care Innovation and Value Initiatives at the Brookings Institution.

The Dell Medical School is the first new medical school in nearly 50 years to be built from scratch on the campus of a top-tier, Association of American Universities-member campus. The school also was created in unprecedented partnership with the surrounding Travis County community, which voted in 2012 to increase property taxes to support the school with $35 million a year in local funding. McClellan’s work will draw on both of these landmark opportunities — leveraging the school’s unique community relationship and inherent resources to redesign health care delivery in ways that help this community and provide a model for other communities.

McClellan grew up in Austin and graduated from the Plan II Honors program at UT Austin. He previously served as a member of the President’s Council of Economic Advisers and as senior director for health care policy at the White House, and he was an associate professor of economics and medicine at Stanford University. He earned an M.D. from the Harvard University–Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Division of Health Sciences and Technology, a Ph.D. in economics from MIT, and an M.P.A. from Harvard University. He is board-certified in internal medicine and has been a practicing internist during his career.