Dr. Simpson has been the President and Chief Executive Officer of AcademyHealth since 2011. A nationally recognized health policy researcher and pediatrician, she is a passionate advocate for the translation of research into policy and practice. Her research, and over 90 articles and commentaries in peer reviewed journals, focuses on the role of evidence and data to improve health and healthcare, particularly for children and vulnerable populations.

Before joining AcademyHealth, Dr. Simpson spent eight years as a professor of pediatrics, first as an Endowed Chair in Child Health Policy at the University of South Florida and then as the Director of the Child Policy Research Center at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center and the University of Cincinnati. She served as the Deputy Director of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality from 1996 to 2002. Dr. Simpson serves on the Robert Wood Johnson Health Policy Scholars Program National Advisory Council, the Board of Directors of the Institute for Accountable Care, the National Health Council and the Editorial boards for the Journal of Comparative Effectiveness Research and Healthcare: The Journal of Delivery Science and Innovation. In October 2013, Dr. Simpson was elected to the National Academy of Medicine (formerly the Institute of Medicine).

Dr. Simpson earned her undergraduate and medical degrees at Trinity College (Dublin, Ireland), a master’s in public health at the University of Hawaii, and completed a post-doctoral fellowship in health services research and health policy at the University of California, San Francisco. She was awarded an honorary Doctor of Science degree by the Georgetown University School of Nursing and Health Studies in 2013.

Dr. Simpson's areas of expertise include translating research into policy; quality and safety of health care; health and health care disparities; childhood obesity; and child health services.

How does your work impact HSR?
I have been fortunate to work in all aspects of HSR. I continue to produce evidence about children’s health and health care. I spend a lot of time serving as an ambassador or champion for our field’s findings and their relevance to policymakers and delivery system leaders and have worked directly to inform state health policy. And when I was at AHRQ, I was able to help shape funding priorities.

What does health services research mean to you?
Simply put, I think it is all about understanding what works, for whom, under what circumstances and at what cost. As a pediatrician I have always known that “children are not little adults” and so am always focused on distributional impacts and population and treatment heterogeneity.

How does AcademyHealth’s mission relate to the work you do?
It drives it every single day. I get to think about how we can develop programs and services to help our field generate more evidence and move that evidence into policy and practice.


** Term subject to contract

Authored by Lisa Simpson, M.B., B.Ch., M.P.H., FAAP

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