Former CMS Administrator Dr. Donald M. Berwick to Join Team of Visiting Faculty at School of Nursing & Health Studies

Posted in News Story

October 3, 2019 – A former administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is joining the Department of Health Systems Administration at the School of Nursing & Health Studies as a visiting distinguished professor.

Dr. Donald M. Berwick, who served in the Obama administration, also co-founded the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, where he is now president emeritus and senior fellow.

Clockwise headshots: Dr. Donald Berwick, Professor Maria Gomez, Dr. Patricia Grady, and Dr. Mary Wakefield
Clockwise from top left: Dr. Donald M. Berwick, Professor Maria S. Gomez, Dr. Patricia Grady, and Dr. Mary Wakefield are visiting distinguished professors at the School of Nursing & Health Studies

Throughout the course of the 2019-2020 academic year, Berwick will engage with the school and broader campus community through a lecture, as well as mentoring current students and serving as a resource for faculty, says Dr. Christopher King, who chairs the department.

Subject Matter Authority

“Quality and safety concepts are rooted in our academic programs,” says King. “Dr. Berwick is one of the nation’s leading subject matter authorities, and I am thrilled about his contribution and how it will advance the work of our students, faculty, and the broader NHS community. Additionally, his engagement will help inform the strategic direction of the Department of Health Systems Administration.”

Berwick, a pediatrician and an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine, has also served at highly regarded organizations, including Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Harvard School of Public Health, and Massachusetts General Hospital. 

He has authored or co-authored six books and more than 160 articles. His recognitions include appointment – for his efforts with the British National Health Service – as Honorary Knight Commander of the British Empire. (Download biographical sketch.)

Berwick says he is very much looking forward to his engagement with the students and faculty at Georgetown this year. “I have enormous respect for Professor King,” he says. “When I met him, I was intrigued by his vision and leadership.”

He added that the university’s commitment to social justice and its work in the public policy arena align with his own interests, which he plans to share with the campus community.

“It’s an honor for me to hold this position,” he says.

A Team of Experts

Berwick’s role at Georgetown complements the school’s team of visiting distinguished professors, who will be returning to campus this academic year:

  • Professor Maria S. Gomez (NHS’77), president, founder, and CEO of Mary’s Center
  • Dr. Patricia Grady (NHS’66), director emerita of the National Institute of Nursing Research and senior advisor for nursing in the Office of the Dean at the School of Nursing & Health Studies
  • Dr. Mary Wakefield, former administrator of the Health Resources and Services Administration and acting deputy secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Among several activities last year, the three participated in a major panel discussion to celebrate nursing that featured Congresswoman Lauren Underwood, a nurse who represents Illinois’ 14th congressional district in the United States House of Representatives. (Watch the event.)

“We are delighted to welcome Dr. Berwick to NHS,” says Dr. Carole Roan Gresenz, the school’s interim dean. “Our connections with individuals who have firsthand experience in government, non-profits, and industry enrich the understanding of faculty and students about the real world of health care policymaking and administration. Dr. Berwick’s presence will be complementary to that of our other visiting professors this year.”