Arthur Garson, Jr., MD, MPH, MACC
Arthur Garson, Jr. "Tim" is Professor of Management, Policy and Community Health at the University of Texas (UT Health) School of Public Health in Houston. His major areas of interest are: 1. Developing actionable approaches for reducing the cost of health care for individuals, employers and governments; and 2. Improving the effectiveness and efficiency of the health care workforce. He is the author of the recently published book, “Exposing the 20 Medical Myths: Why everything you know about health care is wrong and how to make it right.”
In December 2019, after 5 years he stepped down as the Director of the Health Policy Institute of the Texas Medical Center, home to 59 health care institutions in Houston. The Institute developed a following of professionals and non-professionals interested in seminars with national and local experts on such topics as “Reducing the cost of health care” and produced semester-long health policy courses for credit with students from 13 schools participating.
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.
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 595 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 and again in 2009.
In 2004, he was appointed to chair the Workforce Subcommittee of the Lieutenant Governor of Virginia’s Blue Ribbon Commission.
In 2006, Dr. Garson helped to originate and draft a bill in the US Congress, the “Health Partnership Act” which funded grants to states for innovations to improve coverage for the uninsured, quality, and efficiency.
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, formerly known as the Institute of Medicine (IOM), one of the highest honors in the fields of health and medicine.
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 2020, Grand-Aides has been named one of the top innovations by the US Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. Garson is the unpaid Chairman of Grand-Aides which is working with 57 programs.
Internationally, He has worked with 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 as well as the Prime Minister of Bangladesh on ways to improve their health care workforce. The Indonesian program published 3 papers with more than 320,000 encounters improving breast cancer screen and reducing sick days. “The Grand-Aides Program in Baotou, Inner Mongolia: A revolutionary health care workforce” was published in the International Journal of Health Policy.
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 July 2018, the American Journal of Cardiology, published “The Effect of Grand-Aides Nurse Extenders on
Readmissions and Emergency Department Visits in Medicare Patients With Heart Failure with 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 2018, Health Services Insights published an analysis of Medicaid with Grand-Aides best in reducing ED utilization, avoidable readmissions and improving medication adherence saving 6% of all US Medicaid expense. In 2019, “Management of patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus in the Grand-Aides program,” showing 94% medication adherence of diabetic patients with hypertension and normalization of blood pressure, was published in the Journal of Nursing Education and Practice. A randomized clinical trial of patients with heart failure has been submitted.
He has been selected as a USA Today Opinion Contributor and a Huffington Post national health policy author, with titles such as “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), “Comparing US and Foreign Health Systems ignore Foundational Issues,” The Hill, “Medicare for all is the wrong goal. We need a new system” (The Hill), “Why bipartisanship is essential if we're to fix American health care”. (USA Today), “Never again? Coronavirus, Sandy Hook and George Floyd” (Houston Chronicle), “Judging Health Plans for America.” (Houston Chronicle).
“Patient Use of Cardiovascular Devices and Apps, Are we getting our money’s worth,” in the (Methodist DeBakey Cardiovascular Journal)
He has served on Biden’s policy committees on Health care cost reduction, Post-acute Support and Services as well as Primary Care.
He currently teaches a US Health Policy Course at the UTHealth School of Public Health, as well as the National University of Taiwan. His current research is in developing mathematical models to predict the most effective and least expensive health care.