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PhD Program

Health Policy

U nder the direction of Professor Norman Daniels, students in the Health Policy PhD Program can elect to concentrate in ethics. The ethics concentration integrates quantitative and qualitative approaches to the analysis of normative ethical issues in health policy and clinical practice. Students focus on developing skills in a range of disciplines, with the goal of evaluating, through empirically based research, how moral, ethical, and socio-cultural values shape health policies as well as clinical practices.

For more information about the program or to apply, please go to the website of the Harvard University PhD Program in Health Policy.

PhD Student Attends Conference in Mexico
“International Society for Priority Setting in Health Care”

Adriane Gelpi (PhD candidate, Health Policy) presented at the biannual conference of the “International Society for Priority Setting in Health Care,” held October 28-31, 2008 in Newcastle, United Kingdom.

Ms. Gelpi participated in a panel presentation, entitled “Priority Setting in Mexico”, aimed at showcasing recent efforts to develop a fair process for priority setting in Mexico, including a case study on the debate over the HPV vaccine and the design of the catastrophic insurance package for the new Popular Health Insurance program aimed at previously uninsured Mexicans. On the panel with Gelpi were Cristina Gutierrez-Delgado, of the Unit of Economic Analysis, Secretary of Health, and Gisela Morales, formerly of the National Bioethics Commission of Mexico. During her presentation, Gelpi discussed the theoretical and historical background for her ongoing project in Mexico called “Building Capacity for Ethics and Resource Allocation,” a grant-supported project aimed at developing training program for Mexican policymakers and others to arm them with the skills necessary to make ethically informed health policies. As well, Gelpi talked about her work in Mexico City this past summer regarding the plans to develop case studies as teaching tools, and broad outline of next steps planned to move the project forward.

Ms. Gelpi reports: “It was a succesful panel, in part because it provided an example of a middle-income country which is taking seriously the challenge of developing processes for making ethically informed decisions about public health policies.”