Kosali I. Simon - (Chair)
Kosali Simon, PhD, is a nationally known health economist who specializes in applying economic analysis in the context of health insurance and health care policy. Her research explores the impacts of state and federal health policies on health and related outcomes. Dr. Simon currently serves as the Herman Wells Professor at the Indiana University O'Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs and as the Associate Vice Provost of Health Sciences for the campus. She is also active in national leadership roles in her profession, serving on several boards and in editorial positions, including editor of Journal of Health Economics (JHE), co-editor of Journal of Human Resources, a Research Associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), and member of the Congressional Budget Office' (CBO)s panel of Health Advisors. Dr. Simon holds a PhD in economics from the University of Maryland, College Park and a BA from Hamilton College.
Debbie I. Chang
Debbie Chang, MPH, is President & Chief Executive Officer at Blue Shield of California Foundation. Chang leads the Foundation's work to make California the healthiest state and to end domestic violence, and she oversees more than $35M in annual grantmaking. Throughout her career she has championed equity and inclusion in health and health care, drawing on a deep personal commitment to building a more just and equitable world. Chang is a nationally recognized public health, health care financing, and policy expert. For over 30 years, she has demonstrated a proven track record of establishing innovative programs and national and regional partnerships. Her numerous honors, awards, speeches, and publications - especially in the areas of social determinants of health, systems transformation, Medicaid, CHIP, and prevention - are a testament to her vast achievements and career-long commitment to support the wellbeing of all people. Ms. Chang holds an MPH in policy and administration from the University of Michigan and a BS in chemical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Rita Hamad, MD, PhD, is a social epidemiologist and family physician in the Institute for Health Policy Studies and the Department of Family & Community Medicine at UCSF. As the director of the Social Policies for Health Equity Research (SPHERE) Program, she leads a research team investigating the pathways linking poverty and education with health disparities across the life course. In particular, she studies the health effects of social and economic policies using interdisciplinary quasi-experimental methods. Current studies address the health effects of the earned income tax credit, school segregation, paid leave, and social policies during the COVID-19 pandemic. She is committed to enhancing the reach and impact of policy-relevant research among academics, policymakers, and community organizations to eliminate health inequities. In addition, as the Associate Director of the UCSF Center for Health Equity, she organizes seminars to increase dialogue about health equity research at UCSF and beyond. And as the Faculty Lead for Research Resources of the UCSF Population Health Data Initiative, she develops data infrastructure to advance population health research. She is also the 2020-2022 James C. Puffer American Board of Family Medicine / National Academy of Medicine Fellow. Dr. Hamad holds an MD from the University of California San Francisco and PhD in epidemiology from Stanford University.
Jason Purnell, PhD, MPH, is the Vice President of Community Engagement at BJC Healthcare and an associate professor at the Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis. His research focuses on how socioeconomic and sociocultural factors influence health behaviors and health outcomes and on mobilizing community action to address the social determinants of health. Dr. Purnell also leads Health Equity Works, which is committed to translating data and research into collaborative community action to advance health equity. Its work in St. Louis continues and will expand in school health, economic opportunity, early childhood, quality neighborhoods and housing. In his roles, Dr. Purnell provides support for the Brown School’s strategic planning efforts to advance community-science and to align initiatives between the school and BJC Healthcare. Dr. Purnell is very active in the St. Louis community, including service on the boards of St. Louis University High School and the American Youth Foundation. He is also a licensed psychologist in the state of Missouri and a former director of community engagement with the United Way of Greater St. Louis. He holds a PhD in counseling psychology from The Ohio State University and an MPH from the University of Rochester.