Arthur Garson, Jr., M.D., M.P.H.

Arthur Garson, Jr. is the Director of the Health Policy Institute of the Texas Medical Center, home to 54 health care institutions in Houston. The Institute develops collaborative policy solutions to improve the health of those in Houston and Texas, and to make those solutions models applicable to the rest of the U.S. and beyond. Areas of focus include health care delivery models and workforce; health care systems, such as Medicaid; quality improvement and cost reduction; and ethics.

Until June 2014, he was the Director of the Center for Health Policy, University Professor, Professor of Public Health Sciences and Public Policy at the University of Virginia, and from 2007-2011 was Executive Vice President and Provost of the University of Virginia. He was responsible for the operations of the University’s 11 schools, as well as planning with a $1.3 Billion academic budget, and helped to fund and to found the Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy. From 2002-2007, Dr. Garson served as Vice President and Dean of the University of Virginia’s School of Medicine.

Dr. Garson graduated (Phi Beta Kappa, Summa Cum Laude) from Princeton University in 1970 and received his M.D. (Alpha Omega Alpha) from Duke University in 1974, remaining at Duke for Pediatric residency through 1976. In 1979, he completed his Pediatric Cardiology fellowship at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, becoming Chief of Pediatric Cardiology in 1988. He has been a visiting professor in more than 200 institutions, is on the faculty of the Children’s Hospital in Paris, and was awarded the “Keys to the City” of Parma, Italy. He is the author of more than 450 publications including 8 books. In 1992, he received a Master’s degree in Public Health from the University of Texas Houston. Also in 1992, he joined the faculty at Duke University, becoming Associate Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs, where he served as Medical Director of Government Relations for the Medical Center; and professor in the Sanford Institute of Public Policy.

In 1995, he returned to Houston to be Baylor College of Medicine’s Dean for Academic Operations. He was also Vice President of Texas Children’s Hospital for quality.

He has served as Special Consultant in Health Programs and Policy to the State of Texas, Department of Health and the North Carolina Vocational Rehabilitation Commission. He chaired the North Carolina Health Planning Commission Committee charged with drafting legislation on practice guidelines, report cards and malpractice reform. He chaired the State of Texas Health Care Information Council’s Subcommittee on Outcomes Reporting.

In 1999-2000, Dr. Garson served as President of the American College of Cardiology.

In addition, he has served on the White House panel on Health Policy.

He was appointed by Secretary of Health and Human Services Thompson to chair the National Advisory Council of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality in 2003.

In 2004, he was appointed to chair the Healthcare Programs subcommittee of the Lieutenant Governor of Virginia’s Blue Ribbon Commission on Health Insurance and chaired the Workforce Subcommittee.

In 2006, Dr. Garson helped to originate and draft a bill, the “Health Partnership Act” which funded grants to states for innovations to improve coverage for the uninsured, quality, and efficiency.

His book, “Health Care Half Truths: Too Many Myths, Not Enough Reality,” was published in April, 2007.

He was awarded that Health Statesman of the Year Award for 2007 by Health Access Texas.

In 2007, Dr. Garson was elected a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences.

In 2009, Dr. Garson was appointed to the National Advisory Council of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

In 2010, he was appointed Chair of the Workforce Committee of the American College of Cardiology.

In 2010, he created the Grand-Aides program, an innovative workforce model in which health workers “with the characteristics of a good grandparent, no matter how young”, under close supervision by a professional, use protocols by telephone and home visits with portable telemedicine to provide simple primary care, as well as prevention, chronic disease management to reduce readmissions (e.g. medication adherence upon hospital discharge for heart failure).Grand-Aides has been named one of the top 3 innovations by the US Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality Innovation Exchange.

Dr. Garson has been asked to present Grand-Aides to President Bill Clinton, the Medicaid Medical Directors and the Institute of Medicine. He has recently worked with the Prime Minister of Bangladesh and the Health Ministers of Ontario, Canada, Ireland, Panama, France, Australia, Myanmar, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Abu Dhabi, Valencia, Spain and the National Health Service in London, UK on ways to improve their health care workforce.

In May 2012, Health Affairs published as an Innovation Profile, Garson’s “A new corps of trained Grand-Aides has the potential to extend reach of primary care workforce and save money,” in January 2013, “The Grand-Aides Program in Baotou, Inner Mongolia: A revolutionary health care workforce” in the International Journal of Health Policy; and in 2014, A structured home visit program by non-licensed healthcare personnel can make a difference in the management and readmission of heart failure patients,” in the Journal of Hospital Administration.

He has an ongoing research grant, “Tailored Educational Approaches for Consumer Health (TEACH): A new model to improve the delivery of health information to consumers.

In addition to the monthly Houston Chronicle Op-Ed series on health care, Dr. Garson’s journal articles have included: International differences in patient and physician perceptions of high quality health care; Attack obesity: lessons from smoking; Heart of the uninsured: a personal story; Our physicians and our profession must lead in improving our health care system; Leading universities to the future: Developing student maturity; Leveraging the health care workforce: What do we need and what educational system will get us there? New systems of care can leverage the health care workforce: How many doctors do we really need?