Alley-Sheridan Scholar

Jeffrey Rich, MD
2011 First Vice President, Society of Thoracic Surgeons
2000 Alley-Sheridan Scholar

As a past Alley-Sheridan scholar I was privileged to attend the Harvard Kennedy School of Government courses on “Understanding the New World Of Health Care”. These were the most intellectually stimulating and career changing activities that I had participated in as a practicing cardiothoracic surgeon. Truly representing my first exposure to a multi-disciplinary “think tank” I learned of the politics, economics, strengths and weaknesses of healthcare delivery models in the US and world wide. That experience eventually led me to serving on the Board of Directors of the National Quality Forum and the Steering Committees of other nationally recognized quality organizations. More importantly, it gave me great insight into the payment systems and needed reforms and created for me a foundational basis for an incredible opportunity. In 2008 I was chosen by the White House Office of Presidential Personnel and appointed by the Secretary of Health and Human Services to become the Director of the Center for Medicare Management at CMS, running the Medicare Fee for Service Program for the Bush Administration. Now recalling that at a point early in my surgical career, I looked cautiously as the cost of attending these courses and nearly declined until I was chosen as an Alley-Sheridan scholar. What a lost opportunity that would have been. For since then, I have grown intellectually, professionally and now look forward to serving as the President of the Society of Thoracic Surgeons, an honor I am sure would never have come my way without that experience at the JFK School of Government.