Welcome to Health Populi. As a health economist, I believe that health is a person’s most valuable asset. My mother and father taught me that fundamental value. My mother, Polly, was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 1971. There was no Internet to consult; there was a doctor, who fortuitously was just the sort to partner with a patient and be open to the the latest clinical research. There was also a librarian, a close friend of Polly’s, who helped her dig up health information via the good old Dewey Decimal System, microfiche, and the unwieldy tomes of Index Medicus. Two nutrition books informed Polly’s approach to personal health management: Adele Davis’s Let’s Eat Right to Keep Fit and Let’s Get Well. Empowered by knowledge, trust in a good doctor, and buoyed by the abundant love of family and friends, my mother beat a six-month death sentence and lived an additional 7 years beyond the doctors’ original prognosis.
After her death in 1979, I made the personal, professional, and studied public health and economics at the University of Michigan. I’ve spent the last two decades advising the vast array of health are stakeholders in the U.S. and Europe — providers, payers, technology companies, Foundations and NGOs, life sciences companies, financial services, consumer goods, public sector and other players in the health care market.
In this blog, I will share my multi-faceted perspectives on health and health care. In the new wave of transparency in American health care, I seek to shed light. I want to help move along the dialogue that Americans — not just politicians and pundits, but the bulk of Americans living and working outside of legislatures — must have regarding how to honestly, openly and boldly confront the challenges facing U.S. health care.
While I’m all health care all-the-time in my profession, I try to lead a balanced life. I am passionate about my family: my husband is an international banker who works hard to help manage global risk; my daughter calls herself fencing-shark-girl and fills my heart. We are devoted adherents of the Slow Food movement, and you can find us over a pot of something slowly cooking or roasting on most Sunday’s. I love art (from Botticelli and Fra Angelico to Picasso and Miro), theatre and music, big Tuscan reds, my friends, and playing with paper and LEGOs.