UW Health: Dr. David Kindig leads Institute of Medicine roundtable on U.S. health

For Release: CONTACT: Susan Lampert Smith
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Madison, Wis. — Dr. David Kindig, emeritus professor of Population Health Sciences at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health (UW SMPH), has been named to co-chair an Institute of Medicine (IOM) three year roundtable on achieving better population health in the United States. As a recent study by the National Research Council and IOM documented, Americans have worse health and shorter lives than people in other rich, industrialized nations despite spending more on medical care than any other nation.

Kindig is a national expert on the factors beyond medical care that help shape the health of a nation.

“The evidence is now clear that broader social and environmental factors play major roles in a person’s likelihood to have a low birth weight baby — a risk for many serious health problems — or die of a heart attack or complications from diabetes,” Kindig says. “That’s why it’s essential to engage all these sectors — education, housing, transportation, community organizations, and business among others — in efforts to improve health outcomes.”

Kindig’s roundtable co-chair Dr. George Isham, senior adviser for HealthPartners in Minneapolis, is a former UW SMPH clinical assistant professor and former executive director for University Health Care, Inc., in Madison.

The roundtable will tackle issues that include balancing the nation’s health investments by expanding reimbursement to include more non-clinical, population-based interventions, reorienting the relationship between clinical medicine and public health, and engaging professionals from non-health fields in health improvement efforts.