Frank’s research is focused on the economics of mental health and substance abuse care, long term care financing policy, health care competition and implementation of health reform and disability policy. From 2009 to 2011, he served as the deputy assistant secretary for planning and evaluation at the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), where he directed the office of Disability, Aging and Long-Term Care Policy. From 2013 to 2014, Frank served as Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation in the Department of Health and Human Services.
Frank served as an editor for the Journal of Health Economics from 2005 to 2014. In 1997, he was elected to the National Academy of Medicine (formerly Institute of Medicine). He has received awards for his research from the Southern Economic Association, the American Public Health Association, and from Columbia University’s Department of Psychiatry. Frank also received the John Eisenberg Mentorship Award from the National Research Service Awards. In 2011, he received the Distinguished Service Award from the Mental Health Association of Maryland.
Frank is co-author with Sherry Glied of the book Better but Not Well: Mental Health Policy in the United States since 1950, published in 2008 by Johns Hopkins Press. Frank received a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics from Bard College and his PhD in economics from Boston University.
AcademyHealth was founded in 2000 and acts as an objective provider of information, bringing together stakeholders to address the current and future needs of an evolving health system, informing health policy and practice, and translating evidence into action. As the professional home and leading national organization for health services researchers, policymakers, and health care practitioners and stakeholders, AcademyHealth increases the understanding of methods and data used in the field, enhances the professional skills of researchers and research users, and expands awareness.
The Distinguished Investigator Award is AcademyHealth’s highest career award, recognizing investigators who have made significant and lasting contributions to the field of health services research through scholarship and teaching, advancement of science and methods, leadership, and the application of health services to improve health and health care. Recipients are established leaders in the field, and may reflect expertise and impact across multiple sectors (e.g. academic, government, delivery systems, industry), and disciplines.
“Few other researchers have had the effect on the field of mental health policy that [Frank] has had due to his leadership in the research community and his application of that research directly to the design and implementation of policy,” says 30th Anniversary Professor of Health Care Policy Haiden Huskamp, PhD.
Previous recipients of the AcademyHealth Distinguished Investigator Award include department of health care policy founders and faculty Arnold M. Epstein, MD, MA (2015), Paul D. Cleary, MD (2002), and Joseph P. Newhouse, PhD, (1992).
The 2018 Distinguished Investigator Award was presented to Richard Frank on June 25, 2018 at the 2018 Annual Research Meeting, held in Seattle, Washington.