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Obama Nominates HSPH Professor to Administrate the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services

By Xi Yu, Crimson Staff Writer

Harvard School of Public Health Professor Donald M. Berwick ’68 was nominated by President Barack Obama on Monday to head the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

If confirmed by the Senate, Berwick would be the first permanent administrator for the Centers since the position became vacant in 2006, according to Bloomberg.

Berwick, who is also the president and chief executive officer of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, said in a statement that he felt “flattered and humbled” by Monday’s announcement.

“If confirmed by the [U.S.] Senate, I would welcome the opportunity to lead CMS because it offers the chance to help extend the effort to improve America’s health care system,” Berwick said in the statement.

“I have never felt more excited about what is possible for what we all care about—a healthier nation, a healthier system of care, and a healthier world.”

Berwick’s nomination to lead the CMS—which had been in the works since last month—is not his first presidential nomination.

In 1997, Berwick was appointed by former President William J. Clinton to serve on the Advisory Commission on Consumer Protection and Quality in the Healthcare Industry.

“He has been a tremendous leader, not just for IHI, but also for the entire field of health care improvement,” said A. Blanton Godfrey, IHI’s board chairman, in a statement.

“If confirmed, his talents will be enormously valuable to the federal government at a time when the future of our health care system is inextricably linked to the future health of the American people and the US economy.”

Berwick is currently a clinical professor of pediatrics and health care policy.

He is also a pediatrician, an associate at Children’s Hospital in Boston, and a consultant at Massachusetts General Hospital.

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