Update from the Milbank Memorial Fund

December 17, 2015


VIEW FROM HERE: Five Reasons for Population Health Hope in 2015

Christopher F. Koller, President of the Milbank Memorial Fund

At the end of 2015, it is worth taking a look at some of the progress that has been made this year advancing population health in this country. A little bit of love is called for: advocacy to improve the health of large numbers of people can be a lonely trail. It is far easier to arouse public sympathies for health care—for named victims, heroic healers, and miracle therapies. Health improvement initiatives, on the other hand, can take a long time to grow roots.

But the good news is—there is good news. We are making progress in improving our collective health. A subjective list of five big-impact items in 2015 follows. If we cannot put a face to a “population,” we can at least celebrate the accomplishments.

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John Selig to Leave Arkansas Department of Human Services

John M. Selig, Arkansas’ Department of Human Services (DHS) director, will leave the position at the end of the year. He held this position for 10 years, making him the longest-serving director in the state’s DHS history. For most of his tenure in state government, Selig was also an active member of the Fund’s Reforming States Group, serving on the Steering Committee for many years. The Fund recently had a chance to speak to Selig about his career.

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State Leaders Surveyed about Impact of RSG Meetings

Does bringing together state leaders make a difference? This fall, members of the Reforming States Group (RSG) were surveyed about the ways in which their attendance at meetings had influenced state health policy or how intra-state relationships had changed.In the survey, RSG participants were asked about the ways in which their attendance at meetings had influenced state health policy or how intra-state relationships had changed.

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States from Multi-Payer Primary Care Transformation Projects Come Together


The Milbank Memorial Fund’s Multi-State (MC) Collaborative held its annual meeting in Detroit in November. Each state or region in the group is involved in multi-payer primary care transformation—either through CMS’s Multi-Payer Advanced Primary Care Practice (MAPCP) demonstration, the Comprehensive Primary Care (CPC) Initiative, or their own program without CMS demonstration funding. The meeting focused on several topics, including how best to evaluate the work of each of the state collaborative projects.

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Join us tomorrow for a webinar with the Network for Regional Healthcare Improvement

Christopher Koller, president of the Milbank Memorial Fund, and Elizabeth Mitchell, president of the Network for Regional Healthcare Improvement, will talk about the opportunities facing states and regional health improvement collaboratives—and why partnerships are effective in advancing delivery system and payment reform. The discussion will then turn to participants from Louisiana. Register here.


Our 2015 Interns

For the last six months, the Milbank Memorial Fund has been lucky to have the input and effort of three talented young people. Our 2015 interns (pictured from left) are Nisha Chojar, a senior at New York University (majoring in global public health); Esmeralda Aponte, a junior at Cristo Rey New York High School; and Jessica Frisco, a second-year student in the Master’s program at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health. “It’s great to have interns at all levels of their education,” says Fund Program Officer Trina Gonzalez. “When we instruct them, we learn as well.”