Face-to-Face Interview with Stuart Altman Friday, September 1, 1995, 10 a.m.

1. What was your role in the development of the Pew Health Policy Program?

If you go back to the very beginning, one of the things that was very impressive and very unique about the original solicitation that I had never seen before and have never seen since was the fact that a small group of advisers to Pew said there are important issues that are likely to develop in health care over the next few years, rather than the foundation saying what they are. Therefore, the small group of institutions that were selected to train people were allowed to (1) indicate what they believe are going to be some of the major health care problems that this country will face over the next decade and (2) how they could design a training program to help individuals meet those needs. The foundation didn't dictate what the problems were or how to do it. I have never seen that before.

Stan Wallack and I put our heads together (I give most of the credit to Stan) and worked on developing an application. We were the little kid on the block as a school. We were up against the biggest and the best. But we really focused on what the issues were and what needed to happen. We put together a program that took individuals from the social sciences and provided a more focused training in health care.

2. How did the Pew Health Policy Program start? Who are the key people involved?

The next question was how we were going to make it work and we had several issues. One was how to divvy things up between Boston University and Brandeis. Even while there were different programs between us and Michigan and between Michigan and UCSF (University of California, San Francisco), there also was a very different orientation between Boston University and Brandeis. Our students were integrated into the traditional PhD program here at Brandeis while taking certain special courses that were provided. We required that every student meet all the requirements. Boston University (BU)created a very special program. The advantages for Boston University was that they could really focus directly in on what they thought was needed, but the disadvantage that the students felt was that it was very unstructured. The students were free to pick and choose; they were sort of left alone. They focused much more on health providers: physicians, etc. Our program was much

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