Health Policy and Health Economics Path of Excellence

The Health Policy and Health Economics Pathway of Excellence (PoE), one of eight Paths of Excellence the U-M Medical School has developed for medical students to participate in as a way of developing more in-depth knowledge and experiences in a field of interest.

Sponsored by IHPI, the Health Policy and Health Economics PoE is designed to prepare medical students to assess dilemmas and programs, analyze challenges and opportunities, and adapt tools and scholarship and real-world pragmatic approaches to the study of health policy and health economics within the framework of the health care systems.


Susan Goold, M.D., M.H.S.A., M.A.

Professor, Internal Medicine, Medical School

Dr. Goold studies the allocation of scarce healthcare resources, especially the perspectives of patients and citizens. Her health services research interests include public perspectives on health and healthcare spending priorities, physicians and stewardship, conflicts of interest in medicine and biomedical research, public health ethics and equity, physician reimbursement and the doctor-patient relationship, deliberative procedures in bioethics and health policy, and the philosophical and empirical study of trust relationships in healthcare settings.


Amir Ghaferi, M.D., M.S.

Assistant Professor, Surgery, Medical School

Dr. Ghaferi’s research explores the mechanisms underlying variations in surgical mortality, specifically the relative role of major complications and “failure to rescue,” that is, a death following a major complication, usually after elective surgery. The concept is a way of evaluating the postoperative period and understanding what happens when a patient has a complication, and the factors that could help prevent them in the first place. He uses a mixed methods approach to better understand the ability of hospitals and healthcare teams to recognize and effectively manage major postoperative complications. Dr. Ghaferi is the director of the Michigan Bariatric Surgery Collaborative (MBSQ), a regional, voluntary consortium of hospitals and surgeons that perform bariatric (weight loss) surgery in Michigan. 

Deborah Levine, M.D., M.P.H.

Assistant Professor, Internal Medicine, Medical School

Dr. Levine’s research aims to improve the lives and care of adults with chronic disease. Primary research interests are the epidemiology, prevention, and care of stroke and cognitive impairment, with a focus on vascular risk factors, adherence, and health disparities. Her research includes improving the quality of stroke care; stroke-related dementia and cognitive impairment; and reducing healthcare disparities in cardiovascular disease and stroke.

Jeffrey (Jeff) Kullgren, M.D., M.S., M.P.H.

Assistant Professor, Internal Medicine, Medical School

Dr. Kullgren is interested in how to improve patient decisions about preventive behaviors and the utilization of healthcare services. He also works to identify effective and scalable approaches to promote modification of behavioral risk factors among patients at high risk for developing chronic diseases. This work has involved randomized controlled trials of behavioral economic interventions, like financial and social incentives, to promote weight loss and physical activity. 

Administrative Support

Emma Steppe, M.P.H.

Project Manager, IHPI

Ms. Steppe assists in the coordination of education, training, and research initiatives through the Strategic Initiatives Catalyst. Prior to joining IHPI, Ms. Steppe worked for the Center for Health Communication Research where she managed the development and launch of online health interventions. Ms. Steppe received her B.S. in Education in Exercise Physiology from the University of Miami, and her M.P.H. in Health Behavior and Health Education from the University of Michigan.