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The Lessons and The Legacy of the Pew Health Policy Program
people, and that is a real legacy. To have those type of role models out there and for them to be visible.
It seems to me that the Pew programs provided some consistency to the whole arena of health policy in terms of the quality and expertise of people that may not have been there before. That was achieved through the educational mission and policy focus.
What Pew had also done was to make sure that programs like those at Brandeis, UCLA, and UCSF have the programs even without funding. They all have a real strong interest in continuing programs like this through other funding sources, like AHCPR. They all continue to build this health policy area, broadly speaking. Pew really enabled a few programs to develop educational programs in health policy and gave people fantastic skills. And they are now ongoing. It was like seed money. It's really important. Everyone else can't find jobs, but this is one area where there will always be jobs. Health policy keeps on growing. Pew fostered that, and that's the legacy.
Pew gave me a head start. It allowed me to evolve my ideas in a less pressured environment. I didn't have to worry about where my next paycheck was coming from. I didn't have to worry about not having colleagues and peers to support me and mentor me. It gave me a real boost. I'm really happy for that. I'm grateful for that. I know a lot of graduate students who feel like they are in perpetual alienation. Pew prevented that from happening to me.
8. Are there any important issues that this interview does not address? If so, please feel free to add comments and/or concerns.
We have to address the gaps that will now exist without Pew funding. For instance, if AHCPR does go under or if other foundations fail to kick in, hopefully, Pew will reconsider this sort of program, again, but maybe in a different way or with different institutions. We need to always be thinking about training health policy professionals at the pre-and postdoctoral levels. We need to keep an eye on the field and seeing where and what the gaps are in health and medical training.