Carolyn M. Hettrich, MD, MPH, and Richard C. Mather III, MD, have been selected as the 2010 Washington Health Policy Fellows.
Carolyn M. Hettrich, MD, MPH
Dr. Hettrich, who received her MD from the University of Washington School of Medicine and her masters’ in public health from Columbia University, is currently completing a sports medicine/shoulder surgery fellowship at Vanderbilt University.
Carolyn M. Hettrich, MD, MPH, and Richard Mather III, MD
“I believe that numerous changes to the current heathcare system are needed. Through policy changes, one can dramatically affect the lives of people in the United States and abroad,” said Dr. Hettrich, who aspires to become a health policy advisor to a representative, senator, or president.
“Medical liability reform is needed to limit the amount of noneconomic damages, which only serve to increase healthcare costs through increasing insurance premiums,” she said. “These costs are passed along to patients or shouldered by physicians, leading many physicians to quit practice prematurely and dramatically affecting patient care.”
While at the University of Washington School of Medicine, Dr. Hettrich worked with faculty and other members of the International Health Group to develop an international health program, which was recently promoted to department status.
Richard “Chad” Mather III, MD
After graduating from Miami University with a degree in business—and a focus on health economics, Dr. Mather went to Duke University Medical School. He recently began a sports medicine fellowship at Rush University Medical Center. He has focused his research skills on outcomes research, particularly economic and decision analysis research. In addition, he is interested in the formation and implementation of effective health policy.
“During my residency, I realized that our health system had reached a critical time,” said Dr. Mather. “It’s a victim of its own success. The explosion in healthcare technology and an increased understanding of disease have improved care for individual patients, while escalating costs to society. Debating whether a public or private payor system is best loses sight of the real problem—controlling costs. Focusing reform on controlling cost growth will allow the passage of realistic reforms to solve other problems.”
While still a resident, Dr. Mather was asked to review the orthopaedic consultation process, identify problems, and propose solutions. “He basically needs to be credited for starting the efforts within our division to perform cost-effective analyses in orthopaedics,” said Michael P. Bolognesi, MD, director of adult reconstructive surgery at Duke. “He has already had numerous presentations accepted focusing on these cost-effective analyses across multiple orthopaedic specialties.”
The Washington Health Policy Fellowship Program provides an outstanding opportunity for exceptional senior orthopaedic residents and fellows-in-training with an interest in healthcare policy to take part in and understand the health policy processes at the federal level. The program funds up to two orthopaedic residents per year and provides them the opportunity to work in the legislative and regulatory arenas during a 12-month period.
Attendance at some AAOS meetings, such as the National Orthopaedic Leadership Conference, is required. The AAOS office of government relations works with the selected applicants to design a flexible program that meets the fellow’s needs, interests, and schedule.
August 2010 Issue
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