Our Story

The Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation (IHPI) unites more than 500 health services researchers from across the University of Michigan, as well as several nonprofit and private sector partners, to help solve the country’s thorniest healthcare problems

The Institute was created to forge new synergies in health services research by providing a common home for the broad and vibrant community of individuals studying healthcare and healthcare policy across U-M and beyond.

The Institute represents a convergence of intellectual energy and compassion for improving public health and wellbeing, where ideas can collide and produce innovations in thinking, practice, and policy. Recognizing the tremendous potential behind assembling the long-standing health services research expertise across U-M’s highly-ranked schools and colleges, departments, and centers together into one institute, the U-M Board of Regents approved the creation of the Institute in concept for IHPI in May 2011. Rodney A. Hayward, M.D., professor, Department of Internal Medicine and Department of Health Management and Policy, and director, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholars Program, was appointed as the Institute's interim director.

In 2012, IHPI established its headquarters at U-M's North Campus Research Complex and moved several hundred researchers and staff to the premises. John Z. Ayanian, M.D., M.P.P., was appointed IHPI’s first director in November 2012, and arrived full time from his previous positions at Harvard Medical School and the Harvard School of Public Health in September 2013. In November 2013, Director Ayanian named the members of the first Leadership Team to help guide IHPI’s goals and priorities.

Health services research itself has only relatively recently been recognized as a distinct discipline, and likewise, the majority of U-M’s most significant contributions toward advancing this field predate — and profoundly influence — the work of the institute. IHPI’s goals and priorities and its future as an institute are founded upon the substantial accomplishments in health services research and health policy that distinguish the University of Michigan’s history over the last decades and even centuries. Learn more about U-M milestones in these fields through our interactive timeline.

Novel frameworks for understanding and addressing problems in population health, new ideas about how to improve healthcare systems and the welfare of the individuals they treat, unique training programs for clinician-scholars, the establishment of rich long-term data sources, pioneering studies and seminal publications, and major contributions to policymaking and policy recommendations ... the breadth and vitality of HSR achievements established by individuals and teams within IHPI’s 12 schools and colleges and 5 external partner organizations and the collaborations between them shape and make possible IHPI’s future as an institute.

By sparking new collaborations and supporting ongoing partnerships, IHPI is pursuing answers to crucial questions about how healthcare works and how it can be made better, more equitable, more affordable, and available for those who need it most.

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