Duke-Margolis Health Policy Talks

Duke-Margolis Health Policy Talks

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Health Policy Talks is a speaker series to highlight innovative, evidence-based, and policy-actionable health policy topics, including research, projects, or programs across a range of health policy topics. Our aspirations are large as we aim to transform health care, energize biomedical innovation, move us forward toward health equity, and engage and educate tomorrow’s health care leaders. Our goal is to provide distinguished health policy leaders a premiere opportunity to bring their thought leadership to a broad, informed, and consequential health policy audience in order to transform health care, energize biomedical innovation, move us forward toward health equity, and engage and educate tomorrow’s health care leaders. Distinguished speakers will include leading experts in federal, state, and commercial payers’ work in value-based alternative payment models; health equity; global health policy; regulatory science and innovation; value-based medical product pricing and payment; real-world evidence; digital health. 
Each Health Policy Talks will be 45 to 60 minutes and may take the shape of a talk, short workshop or discussion, or a moderated fireside chat. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Duke-Margolis will launch Health Policy Talks as a virtual series and transition to an in-person and virtual series at a later time. We will convene the Duke-Margolis community of more researchers and faculty from across the university as well as promote a virtual webinar option open to the public, including our network of more than 7,000 stakeholders nationwide. A recording of the speaker’s remarks will be posted on the Duke-Margolis site as a resource for future policy discussions and educational opportunities.


Register for our upcoming Health Policy Talks with Frederick Isasi at 2:30pm on November 17, 2022.

Upcoming Events in the Series

Frederick Isasi Headshot

November 17, 2022: The Evolution of the Health Care Movement: The Value Imperative

The Evolution of the Health Care Movement: The Value Imperative

November 17, 2022

2:30pm - 3:30pm ET

Frederick Isasi, J.D., M.P.H

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Frederick Isasi, J.D., M.P.H., is executive director of Families USA (FUSA), one of the nation’s leading nonpartisan, nonprofit health care advocacy organizations established to ensure that the best health and health care equally accessible and affordable to all.


A national thought-leader and subject matter expert on the social issues and solutions related to driving value and equity into health care and providing high-quality coverage, Isasi draws on decades of experience in the health care industry, public policy, and law. In doing so, he advances a pragmatic and intersectional policy agenda for achieving better health at lower costs and reducing systemic inequities in the American health system.


Under Isasi’s leadership, FUSA advocates for issues such as fair drug pricing, racial equity, maternal and child health, and ending surprise medical bills. He also works to strengthen and protect policies such as the Affordable Care Act (ACA), Medicaid, Medicare, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), and Oral Health for All.

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Previous Events in the Series

Dora Hughes Headshot

October 17, 2022: Achieving Health Equity Through Health Care Transformation

Achieving Health Equity Through Health Care Transformation

October 17, 2022

2:00pm - 3:00pm ET

Dora L. Hughes, M.D., M.P.H.

Dora Hughes, M.D., M.P.H., is Chief Medical Officer at the CMS Innovation Center at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. She leads the Center’s work on health equity, provides clinical leadership and input on models, serves as the Innovation Center’s primary liaison with medical and clinical stakeholders, and provides leadership to CMMI’s clinician community. In addition, Dr. Hughes is part of the Innovation Center’s Senior Leadership Team, helping to provide enterprise-level leadership and strategic direction to the Center.


Previously, Dr. Hughes served as an Associate Research Professor of Health Policy & Management at the Milken Institute School of Public Health at The George Washington University, where her work focused on the intersection of clinical and community health, health equity, social determinants of health, healthcare quality and workforce. Prior to this role, Dr. Hughes was a Senior Policy Advisor at Sidley Austin, where she advised on regulatory and legislative matters in the life science industry. Additionally, Dr. Hughes served as the Counselor for Science & Public Health to Secretary Kathleen Sebelius at the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.  In this role, she helped implement the Affordable Care Act and provided oversight and guidance to the Public Health Service Act authorized agencies and Food and Drug Administration.


Dr. Hughes began her career in health policy as Senior Program Officer at the Commonwealth Fund, and subsequently was Deputy Director for the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee under Senator Edward M. Kennedy. She then served as the Health Policy Advisor to former Senator Barack Obama.


Dr. Hughes received a B.S. from Washington University, M.D. from Vanderbilt and M.P.H. from Harvard. She completed internal medicine residency at Brigham & Women’s Hospital.

Mark Smith Photo

December 13, 2021: The Pursuit of Health Equity and Transformation: Key Lessons for Health Policy and Research to Make a Lasting Difference

Mark D. Smith, MD, MBA

Mark D. Smith, MD, MBA, was the founding president and chief executive officer of the California Health Care Foundation and served from 1996 through 2013. CHCF is an independent philanthropy with assets of more than $700 million, headquartered in Oakland, California, and dedicated to improving the health of the people of California. A board-certified internist, Smith is a member of the clinical faculty at the University of California, San Francisco, and an attending physician at the Positive Health Program for AIDS care at San Francisco General Hospital. He is a member of the Institute of Medicine (IOM) and was appointed to chair the IOM committee on “The Learning Health Care System in America,” a two-stage consensus study that began in January 2011 and issued a report in September 2012. Prior to joining the California Health Care Foundation, Smith was executive vice president at the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. He previously served as associate director of AIDS services and assistant professor of medicine and of health policy and management at Johns Hopkins University. He has served on the board of the National Business Group on Health, the performance measurement committee of the National Committee for Quality Assurance, and the editorial board of the Annals of Internal Medicine.


Smith received a bachelor’s degree in Afro-American studies from Harvard College, a medical doctorate from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and a master’s in business, with a concentration in health care administration, from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

Use the link to the right to view the recording of the Inaugural Health Policy Talks: The Pursuit of Health Equity and Transformation held on December 13, 2021.
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If you are interested in either attending or speaking at one of these Health Policy Talks sessions and want more information, please feel free to contact us at margolisevents@duke.edu.