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Editor Name: Robert Otto Valdez
Designation: Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Professor
University: University of New Mexico
Biography: Robert Otto Valdez, Ph.D., Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Professor of Family & Community Medicine and Economics conducts policy analyses and research at the University of New Mexico. He served as the Founding Executive Director of the RWJF Center for Health Policy at UNM. Dr. Valdez previously served as founding Dean and Professor of Health Policy and Management at the Drexel University School of Public Health in Philadelphia. From 1985 through 1999, he was Professor of Health Services at the UCLA School of Public Health and directed the health services doctoral studies program. Dr. Valdez started his health policy career as the lead child health analyst for the historic RAND Health Insurance Experiment. He is internationally recognized as an expert on health services research methodology, the U.S. health care system, and health policy analysis. Dr. Valdez received his Ph.D. from the RAND Graduate School for Public Policy Studies where he specialized in studies of health care financing and quality of care for children. He studied Health Policy & Administration at the University of Michigan and History and Science at Harvard University. Dr. Valdez has been active in health policy and health services research at the international, national, state, and local levels. He coordinated a 12-country adolescent health study throughout Latin America for the Pan American Health organization and currently serves on the international planning committee for the Annual Binational Health Policy Forum on Migration and Health that includes participation by nine countries in the Americas. In 1998, Dr. Valdez served as Senior Advisor for the White House Initiative for Educational Excellence for Hispanic Americans. From 1993 to 1997 he served in a dual capacity at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Health, Public Health Service and Director of Interagency Health Policy, Health Care Financing Administration. Prior to joining the Department of Health and Human Services, he served as a Senior Advisor to the White House on health care reform. Dr. Valdez has provided service on numerous national advisory boards, including the American Hospital Association’s Foster McGaw Prize, the National Cancer Institute’s Hispanic Cancer Prevention and Control program; and the Institute of Medicine’s Health Policy Fellowships Program. Dr. Valdez assisted the State of Virginia evaluate proposed health insurance mandates and health coverage expansions prior to the passage of the Affordable Care Act. In California communities, Dr. Valdez has been working with the California Endowment to address racial and ethnic disparities in health care for over two decades. He has developed a unique intervention research program aimed at translating research into practice with a focus on improving primary care practices and the ability of clinicians to provide state of the art care in resource poor communities.