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Scott Halpern Named Inaugural John M. Eisenberg Professor in Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania

Penn Medical Ethics & Health Policy February 5, 2020

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From Penn Medical Ethics & Health Policy:

The John M. Eisenberg professorship was made possible by the generosity of Janet and John Haas, who have been long-time supporters of the University and Penn Medicine and have championed numerous strategic initiatives advancing Penn’s mission. Dr. Janet Haas is also a Trustee of the University of Pennsylvania and Vice Chair of Patient Care for The Power of Penn Medicine Campaign. Reflecting the Haas’s enduring selflessness, in endowing the Eisenberg professorship they asked Dr. Halpern to choose whose name it would bear. After consulting with trusted colleagues who knew Dr. John M. Eisenberg well, the choice became easy.

Before his untimely death in 2002 at the age of 55, John Eisenberg made countless lasting contributions to Penn and to health care nationwide. Dr. Eisenberg spent 20 years at Penn as a resident in Internal Medicine, a Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholar, a Wharton MBA student, a faculty member who was universally regarded as an exceptional investigator, clinician, and mentor, and as the founding Chief of Penn’s Division of General Internal Medicine. Dr. Eisenberg went on to become the Chair of the Department of Medicine at Georgetown University before becoming the Director of the federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality in 1997. His 1986 book Doctors’ Decisions and the Cost of Medical Care is still widely regarded as one of the seminal treatises in the field of medical decision making. More generally, his work was foundational in establishing the field of health services research.

Dr. Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, University Professor of Population Health and Health Equity, noted that “Like Scott, John Eisenberg is a trailblazer and a mentor par excellence. In his short life John helped to create a new field and nurture the next generation of its leaders. Already, Scott is having the same influence on his field and its future leaders.”