Ruth L. Newhouse Professorship Made Full Professorship

May 7, 2019

The Ruth L. Newhouse Associate Professor of Health Care Policy professorship was established in 2016. The professorship was named in honor of the mother of Joseph P. Newhouse, PhD, John D. MacArthur Professor of Health Policy and Management. Anupam B. Jena, MD, PhD, who joined the department of health care policy as an assistant professor in 2013, was the inaugural incumbent of the professorship.

Thanks to a recent anonymous donation, the Ruth L. Newhouse associate professorship will now be converted to a full professorship and will be awarded to a faculty member at that level in the future. “This gift is of recognition of the work being done by my colleagues and me in Health Care Policy, which has always been multidisciplinary and at the cutting edge of health policy research,” Jena said in an article by Harvard Medical School. “This professorship holds special meaning to me and the department at large, given Professor Newhouse’s incredible and ongoing contributions to our field.” This expansion will allow Jena more flexibility to explore a broader, more timely research agenda than previously possible.

As a clinician at Massachusetts General Hospital, Jena works closely with patients and other medical professionals. His research focuses on several areas of health economics and policy including the economics of physician behavior and the physician workforce, medical malpractice, the economics of health care productivity, and the economics of medical innovation. Recent work has included researching mortality rates decrease as a surgeon’s age increases, how advances in modern medicine affect Supreme Court terms, and the impact of overlapping surgeries on patient safety.

At HCP, Jena has worked with Newhouse on several projects including the comparative effectiveness of advanced versus basic life support ambulances and the impact of physician characteristics on health care spending and patient outcomes. Regarding his collaboration with Professor Newhouse, Jena said “I’ve been fortunate to work with Joe as a co-author and co-advisor of some of the very best graduate students in health policy in the country.”

Department of health care policy head and Ridley Watts Professor Barbara J. McNeil, MD, PhD, praised the donor and Jena, saying, “Endowments like this acknowledge the spectacular contributions of the holder of the chair and the donor’s recognition of the importance of policy research to the country.”

Jena graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with majors in biology and economics. He received his MD and PhD in Economics from the University of Chicago, where he was funded by the NIH Medical Scientist Training Program. He completed his residency in internal medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital.

He has received multiple awards, including the Eugene Garfield Award by Research America in 2007 for his work demonstrating the economic value of medical innovation in HIV/AIDS. In 2013, he received the NIH Director’s Early Independence Award to fund research on the physician determinants of health care spending, quality, and patient outcomes.  He has been named one of the 100 Greatest Leaders in Healthcare by Becker’s Hospital.

Newhouse received his BA and PhD degrees in Economics from Harvard University and an honorary doctoral degree from the Pardee RAND Graduate School.  Following his Bachelors degree, he was a Fulbright Scholar in Germany.  In addition to Harvard Medical School, Newhouse is a member of the faculties of the Harvard Kennedy School, the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, and the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, as well as a Faculty Research Associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research.

In 1981, Newhouse became the founding editor of the Journal of Health Economics, which he edited for 30 years.  He is a member of the editorial board of the American Journal of Health Economics and a past member of the editorial boards of the New England Journal of Medicine and the Journal of Economic Perspectives.  In 1977, he was elected to the National Academy of Medicine and has served two terms on its governing Council.  Newhouse is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a past president of the Association for Health Services Research (now AcademyHealth), the International Health Economics Association, and the American Society of Health Economists.  

Newhouse served as the vice-chair of the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission and is director for the National Committee for Quality Assurance. He acted as a director of Aetna from 2001-2018 and Abt Associates from 2001-2016. He was awarded the Victor R. Fuchs Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Society of Health Economists in 2014 and was the first recipient of the David N. Kershaw Award and Prize of the Association for Public Policy and Management.

The Ruth L. Newhouse professorship will be renamed for Joseph P. Newhouse upon his retirement.