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

Arthur Garson, Jr. "Tim" is the Director of the Health Policy Institute of the Texas Medical Center, home to 59 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 reduction in the cost of health care, health care delivery models and workforce; population health with the Texas Medical Center as a demonstration site for reduction in obesity; the “Consumer Health Report,” a national yearly survey on what Americans want in their health care system. In 2018, Garson began directing the Institute course in Health Policy with students from 13 schools participating for credit. He is also currently Adjunct Professor of Management, Policy and Community Health, University of Texas School of Public Health. 

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 240 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 575 publications including 9 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.


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 2015 IOM changed name to the “National Academy of Medicine”]


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 chronic disease management to improve health (reduce readmissions, unnecessary admissions, emergency department visits and length of stay), patient satisfaction and reduce cost. In 2012, Grand-Aides was placed into Texas Medicaid law. In 2018, Grand-Aides has been in operation or under advanced discussion in over 40 programs in the US and other countries including hospitals, physician groups, health plans, employers, as well as public and private payers. 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 several times to the National Academy of Medicine (was Institute of Medicine).  He has 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; In 2017, the Indonesian program published 3 papers with more than 320,000 encounters improving breast cancer screen and reducing sick days. In July 2018, published in the American Journal of Cardiology, patients with Grand-Aides and heart failure had an 82% reduction in readmissions to 2.8%, similar reduction in Emergency Dept visits and net savings of >$550,000 per year per Grand-Aide. In December 2018, published in Health Services Insights an analysis of Medicaid comparing to other ways to reduce cost with Grand-Aides best in reducing ED utilization, reducing avoidable readmissions and improving medication adherence saving 6% of all US Medicaid expense.



He has been selected as a Huffington Post national health policy author and is a regular contributor to USA Today, The Hill, Governing, and Texas newspapers with titles such as “Medicare for All isn't the answer. We need a basic health care safety net for all.” (USA Today), “Don't deny insurance to sick people. There are other ways to reduce health care costs,” (USA Today), “How states can begin cutting health care costs.” (Governing), “How drunk is too drunk to drive?” (Governing), “Patients need to know what a true emergency is before going to the ER.” (Texas Tribune).


In 2019, he was invited by the editor of Academic Medicine to publish, “Academic medicine in 2019: Let’s question 10 assumptions.”  

His most recent book, “Understanding American Health Care: Start with the 20 myths,” will be published by Rowman and Littlefield in 2019.