The University of Southern California has announced a $17 million gift from trustee and professor Leonard D. Schaeffer and his wife, Pamela, in support of efforts to address pressing healthcare challenges and transform the healthcare system.
The funding will support the work of the USC Leonard D. Schaeffer Center for Health Policy & Economics, which the Schaeffers established in 2009 with a gift of $1.2 million and endowed in 2012 with a gift of $25 million. A partnership between the USC Price School of Public Policy and the USC School of Pharmacy, the center pursues interdisciplinary research on societal challenges such as rising healthcare costs, chronic disease, and population health. The latest gift from the couple will enable the center to enhance the USC-Brookings Schaeffer Initiative for Health Policy, a collaboration with the Brookings Institution aimed at infusing the national debate around health care with evidence-based analysis; establish the Elizabeth Garrett Chair in Health Policy, Economics, and Law in honor of the late USC provost; and support the Leonard D. Schaeffer Fellows in Government Service program, which introduces undergraduates from USC and other universities to government work through high-level internships and professional development initiatives.
"At the USC Schaeffer Center, we strive to be the premier source of independent and rigorous research leading to transformative policy solutions in health care," said Dana Goldman, the Leonard D. Schaeffer Director's Chair and Distinguished Professor of public policy, pharmacy, and economics at USC. "This new gift from the Schaeffers will help us extend our reach even further into the public and private sectors, bringing our evidence-based expertise to bear on some of the most challenging healthcare issues facing society today."
Leonard Schaeffer is founding chair and CEO of health insurance company WellPoint and a senior advisor to TPG Capital; he also holds the Judge Robert Maclay Widney Chair at USC and was elected to the USC board of trustees in 2013. In addition, Schaeffer served as administrator of the Health Care Financing Administration, now the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, and as assistant secretary for management and budget in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The gift brings the Schaeffers' total support for USC to nearly $50 million.
"I am very proud of the work that the center has done in its first decade and the impact it has had on policy," said Schaeffer. "Under the leadership of Dana Goldman, the center is addressing some of our nation's greatest challenges and identifying solutions based on evidence."