Press Releases

2007 Releases

HSPH Professor and Health Policy Expert Katherine Swartz Elected to Institute of Medicine

For Immediate Release: Friday, October 12, 2007

Boston, MA -- Katherine Swartz, Professor of Health Policy and Economics at the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH), has been elected to the Institute of Medicine. The Institute was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences and provides independent, scientifically informed analysis and recommendations on human health issues. Elected members commit to spending a significant amount of time as volunteers on IOM committees, which engage in a broad range of studies on health policy issues.

ks (Swartz.jpg) Swartz focuses her research on the population of people without health insurance and on efforts to increase access to health care coverage; on the reasons for and the ways to control care that involves extremely high expenditures; and on how the United States might restructure the way in which Americans pay for health insurance coverage. She recently wrote Reinsuring Health: Why More Middle-Class People Are Uninsured and What Government Can Do (Russell Sage Foundation, 2006). The book describes who does not have health insurance and why the middle class are more likely to be uninsured today than 25 years ago; how insurance companies compete and why people have trouble obtaining health insurance; and why government-sponsored reinsurance for people with very high expenditures would make small-group and individual insurance more accessible and affordable for many of the uninsured. Her proposal about reinsurance is being discussed in numerous states as part of policy packages to expand health insurance coverage.

 In addition to Swartz, Frederick "Skip" Burkle, Jr., was elected to the IOM. Burkle is a Senior Fellow at the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative and a Visiting Scientist at the FXB Center for Health and Human Rights at HSPH. He is also a Professor at the University of Hawaii School of Medicine. Burkle has worked in and consulted on numerous humanitarian emergencies and large-scale international disasters in Asia, Africa, and Eastern Europe. A more complete biography is available here.


The Institute of Medicine announced 65 new members and four foreign associates on October 8. To read the press release from the Institute, see 

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Contact: Christina Roache  




Harvard School of Public Health is dedicated to advancing the public's health through learning, discovery, and communication. More than 300 faculty members are engaged in teaching and training the 900-plus student body in a broad spectrum of disciplines crucial to the health and well being of individuals and populations around the world. Programs and projects range from the molecular biology of AIDS vaccines to the epidemiology of cancer; from risk analysis to violence prevention; from maternal and children's health to quality of care measurement; from health care management to international health and human rights. For more information on the school visit: