The Supreme Court and our new Dean
David Goff will become the Dean of the Colorado School of Public Health on June 1, 2012. The search process for a new dean has been prolonged. Although the School is in great shape for many reasons, including Judith Albino’s great leadership during the transition, it will be good to settle into a new routine with David. I am thrilled about our future.
Transitions are always a bit stressful. Although there has been no great angst here, any level of uncertainty can wear on people. So the new day is welcome. The future for the Colorado School of Public Health is bright. We have lots of great faculty, staff, and students. David should be a great dean.
There will be many opportunities for re-defining public health and integrating public health with health care to achieve better population health in the era to come. The Supreme Court decision on the ACA should be issued in the first month of David’s deanship. Regardless of which direction that decision takes us, I think it will largely define our work in public health in the coming decade. If the Court throws out the individual mandate, we will be left with a health care system in chaos for the growing numbers of people with either no health insurance or who are badly under-insured. That will be a big public health challenge. However, if the Court upholds the ACA, we will be left with battles in 50 states (half of whom will be reluctant losers in the Supreme Court case) over state-specific decisions on health insurance minimums and Medicaid benefits. Those battles will happen here in Colorado.
The most important aspect of the ACA in my view is its emphasis on improvements of population health outcomes, not only improvements in the processes and financing of health care. Regardless of the Supreme Court decision, that idea of population health improvement will not go away. There will be many opportunities for those of us in public health to join the efforts of health systems and public health programs to seamlessly achieve improved health of the population. We warmly welcome David Goff to Colorado to lead us in this work.