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Distinguished leader to join UTHealth as senior VP for health policy and health systems

Published: March 06, 2011 by

Arthur “Tim” Garson Jr., MD, MPH

Arthur “Tim” Garson Jr., MD, MPH

Arthur “Tim” Garson Jr., MD, MPH, was appointed senior vice president for health policy and health systems at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) in May 2010. As a leader of UTHealth’s national, state and local health policy initiatives, he also will direct the Institute for Health Policy and will have a primary faculty appointment at The University of Texas School of Public Health, part of UTHealth.

“Dr. Garson is known throughout the world for his innovative and practical health policy solutions in improving access, quality and cost of health care,” said Larry R. Kaiser, MD, UTHealth president. “We are fortunate to have such a recognized leader coordinating our national, state and local health policy efforts.”

The priorities of the Institute for Health Policy, a university-wide institute housed at the UT School of Public Health, will include implementation of health reform, increasing access to care, influencing healthy behaviors, promoting prevention programs, advocating for environmental health policy and continuing population studies on health needs to improve healthcare delivery. Garson also will lead innovations in inter-professional education for the next generation of health professionals and continue the institute’s work to convert academic research into recommendations for more effective public health policy and enhanced health care.

“The US healthcare system is undergoing change, providing opportunity for UTHealth to help shape that change,” Garson said. “Working with faculty, we will assess and improve health and the healthcare delivery system in Texas, the United States and other countries by creating original research and linking the research activities. We will develop novel insights and strategies to address common challenges facing the world’s health systems. These suggested strategies will then be placed in the hands of the public and decision makers to develop evidence-based policies that lead to improvements in health systems.”

Garson said he is enthusiastic about returning to the Texas Medical Center where he has worked and studied at various points during the last 23 years. In 1979, he completed his pediatric cardiology fellowship at Baylor College of Medicine. In 1988, he was named Baylor’s chief of pediatric cardiology. In 1992, he received a master’s degree in public health from the UT School of Public Health. In 1995, he served as dean of academic operations at Baylor College of Medicine. He was also vice president of Texas Children’s Hospital.

A visiting professor at more than 100 institutions, Garson is the author of more than 450 publications and has served on numerous panels, advisory committees and task forces charged with developing healthcare solutions.

From 1999-2000, Garson served as president of the American College of Cardiology (ACC) and he currently chairs the ACC’s healthcare workforce committee. He has served on a White House panel on health policy and on the Institute of Medicine Task Force on rapid improvements in the healthcare system. He was appointed by Secretary of Health and Human Services Tommy G. Thompson to chair the National Advisory Council of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality in 2003. From 2006 to 2008, he chaired Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine’s Health Reform Commission’s Health Care Workforce subcommittee.  In 2007, he co-authored “Health Care Half Truths: Too Many Myths, Not Enough Reality.” That same year, he was elected a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences and was awarded the Health Statesman of the Year Award by Health Access Texas. In 2009, Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius appointed Garson to the National Advisory Council of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

Much of Garson’s healthcare work on the national level was done in conjunction with his leadership roles at the University of Virginia. In 2002, Garson was appointed vice president and dean of the University of Virginia’s School of Medicine.  During his tenure as dean, he led health system-wide strategic and operational planning and started a Master of Public Health program, the Center on Health Care Disparities, the Patient Education Institute and the Virginia Institute for Clinical and Translational Research. In 2008, he became the executive vice president and provost of the University of Virginia and the Robert C. Taylor Professor of Health Science and Public Policy.  He has been responsible for the planning and operations of the university’s 11 schools.

Garson graduated from Princeton University in 1970 and received his MD from Duke University.