Recently named a U-M Distinguished University Professor, John Ayanian delivered an honorary lecture about his past and current work studying disparities in health care.
Just before the pandemic began, IHPI Director John Z. Ayanian, M.D., M.P.P. was named a Distinguished University Professor, one of the highest honors that the University of Michigan can bestow upon faculty. Although the traditional lecture that accompanies the honor was delayed, he and two of his fellow honorees gave their lectures on November 3, 2021 in an event at the Michigan League that was simulcast online.
In his lecture, titled The Quest for Health Equity, Ayanian described his work in studying disparities in health care and health outcomes early, in his undergraduate days at Duke University. He highlighted his work before coming to Michigan, and the efforts he has led since arriving as IHPI's inaugural director in 2012 -- including the evaluation of the Healthy Michigan Plan that expanded Medicaid coverage for about one million low-income Michiganders, and serving as founding editor of the new JAMA Health Forum journal.
Ayanian also described how he came to choose to name his Distinguished University Professorship for Alice Hamilton, M.D. One of the early female graduates of the U-M Medical School in 1893, Hamilton went on to become the first female faculty member at Harvard University, where Ayanian spent his medical career before coming to U-M. She was a pioneer in occupational health, working to protect factory workers from toxic exposures such as lead and to raise awareness of such dangers.
Watch Ayanian's lecture, and those of fellow Distinguished University Professors Earl Lewis, Ph.D., and Janet Smith, Ph.D., here: