Commonwealth Fund President, David Blumenthal, MD, MPP, Named 2017 Recipient of the William B. Graham Prize for Health Services Research

Press Release


Washington, DC, and DEERFIELD, Ill. -

David Blumenthal has been named the 2017 recipient of the William B. Graham Prize for Health Services Research.
Dr. Blumenthal has served the public throughout his distinguished career in medicine, health services research, and leadership in the domains of health policy, health information technology innovation, and the organization and financing of medical care. His contributions in research and leadership have influenced healthcare management, practice and policy over the past three decades.

"Dr. David Blumenthal is the unanimous 2017 awardee of the Graham Prize,” said Douglas A. Conrad, Professor Emeritus of Health Services at the University of Washington Seattle, and the 2017 Graham Prize selection committee chair.

The Prize, which has been awarded since 1986, recognizes the contributions of health services researchers who have had a significant impact on the health of the public in one of three primary focus areas: health services management, health policy development, and healthcare delivery. The contributions of Dr. Blumenthal reflect all three of these areas. An independent committee of past winners, distinguished academics, and internationally recognized researchers selects the recipient each year.

“I am deeply humbled by this honor, and in accepting I am cognizant of my debt to all my colleagues -- past and present -- at the Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard University, the Office of the National Coordinator, and the Commonwealth Fund, as well as colleagues and peers all over the world,” said Dr. Blumenthal. “Without their support and collaboration, my work would have been much less fulfilling and productive. Next year, the Commonwealth Fund will celebrate its centennial and reflect on 100 years of working toward the goal of a high-performing, affordable, and equitable health system for all Americans. Receiving the William B. Graham prize, which was previously bestowed on my predecessor at the Fund, Karen Davis, is a wonderful way to mark this important anniversary. Many thanks to The Baxter International Foundation and the Association of University Programs in Health Administration for administering this program, for recognizing notable efforts to promote research and evidence in health care, and for this much appreciated award.”

David Blumenthal, MD, MPP, is president of The Commonwealth Fund, a private, nonprofit foundation that supports independent research on health policy reform and a high performance health system. He is the former Samuel O. Thier Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and Chief Health Information and Innovation Officer at Partners Healthcare System in Boston. From 2009 to 2011, Dr. Blumenthal served as the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, with the charge to build an interoperable, private, and secure nationwide health information system and to support the widespread, meaningful use of health IT. Previously, he was a practicing primary care physician, director of the Institute for Health Policy, and professor of medicine and health policy at Massachusetts General Hospital/Partners Healthcare System and Harvard Medical School. Dr. Blumenthal is the author of more than 250 books and scholarly publications, including Heart of Power: Health and Politics in the Oval Office.  

The Prize is awarded by The Baxter International Foundation and the Association of University Programs in Health Administration (AUPHA), and will be presented on Thursday, June 15, 2017, during the AUPHA Annual Meeting in Long Beach, California. Meeting details can be found here:

About the William B. Graham Prize for Health Services Research

Since 1986, The Baxter International Foundation and the Association of University Programs in Health Administration have awarded the William B. Graham Prize for Health Services Research to recognize researchers who have made major contributions to the health of the public through innovative research in health services. The Prize honors the late William B. Graham, longtime chairman and CEO of Baxter International Inc., and is internationally regarded as the premier recognition for individuals conducting health services research. The Prize includes an award of $25,000 to the individual and $25,000 to a non-profit institution that supports the winner’s work.  

About the Prize Sponsors

Baxter (NYSE: BAX) and the Baxter International Foundation are committed to saving and sustaining lives and creating healthier communities. Every day, Baxter employees strive to make a meaningful difference in the lives of people who depend on Baxter products, and in the communities where employees live and work. Baxter provides a broad portfolio of essential renal and hospital products, including home, acute and in-center dialysis; sterile IV solutions; infusion systems and devices; parenteral nutrition; biosurgery products and anesthetics; and pharmacy automation, software and services. The company’s global footprint and the critical nature of its products and services play a key role in expanding access to healthcare in emerging and developed countries. Baxter’s employees worldwide are building upon the company’s rich heritage of medical breakthroughs to advance the next generation of healthcare innovations that enable patient care. For more information, please visit

AUPHA is a global network of colleges, universities, faculty, individuals, and organizations dedicated to the improvement of healthcare delivery through excellence in healthcare management and policy education. Its mission is to foster excellence and innovation in health management and policy education, and scholarship. It is the only non-profit entity of its kind that works to improve the delivery of health services – and thus the health of citizens – throughout the world by educating professional managers at the entry level. AUPHA’s membership includes the premier baccalaureate, master’s, and doctoral programs in health administration education in the United States, Canada, and around the world. Its faculty and individual members represent more than 400 colleges and universities. For more information, please visit