Donald Berwick to run for Mass. governor

June 18, 2013 in Medical Technology

Donald M. Berwick, MD, former administrator of the Centers for Medicare Medicaid Services, launched his campaign for Massachusetts governor Monday.

“As a doctor, an educator, an innovator and someone who has dedicated his professional career to making things work better and to helping people – I am ready to lead,” wrote Berwick on his campaign website.

Three years ago, Berwick – co-founder and chief executive officer of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, professor of pediatrics at the Harvard Medical School, professor of health policy and management at Harvard School of Public Health, pediatrician at Boston’s Children’s Hospital – was tapped by President Barack Obama, through a recess appointment, to lead CMS.

On December 2, 2011, however, Berwick resigned that position as it became clear that fierce Republican opposition would make his Senate confirmation impossible. (The White House nominated Deputy Administrator Marilyn Tavenner to replace him; she was finally confirmed to the post this past May.)

Berwick, a longtime proponent of evidence-based care and comparative effectiveness research, noted that Massachusetts has “a healthcare system that can be a model for the nation,” but his campaign site makes the case that it is “not going to be sustainable without major changes and improvements” in the way care is delivered.

“That means helping our amazing healthcare organizations navigate through a difficult change to team-based, integrated, truly patient-centered care, with an emphasis on prevention and healing,” he wrote. “It will take courage, confidence and expert leadership from the governor’s office. With that, we can show America what the new health care system can look like – with better care, better health and lower cost for all.”

It could be shaping up to be a healthcare-centric gubernatorial race in the Bay State. Republican Charles Baker, who lost a race to Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick in 2010, is said to considering another run for the office. Baker was previously CEO of Harvard Vanguard Medical Associates, a physicians’ group, and later was president and CEO of Harvard Pilgrim Health Care.

[See also: Berwick says fragmented care is no longer an option]

[See also: Berwick: IT plays key role in improved quality]

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