Dr. A. Eugene Washington lauded for leadership in improving nation's health care

UCLA Health article

Dr. A. Eugene Washington with medical students. Washington is vice chancellor of UCLA Health Sciences and dean of the David Geffen School of Medicine.

Vice chancellor of UCLA Health Sciences and dean of the David Geffen School of Medicine, Dr. A. Eugene Washington will receive the David E. Rogers Award from the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) at the association’s annual meeting on Nov. 8 in Chicago. He is being honored as a medical school faculty member who has made major contributions to improving the health and health care of the American people.

Co-sponsored by the AAMC, the most prominent organization representing medical schools and teaching hospitals in the United States, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the award is named for Dr. David E. Rogers, a former president of the foundation and an exemplar of academic medicine's commitment to meeting the nation’s health care needs.

“Dr. Washington is a remarkable national academic and healthcare leader who has dedicated his entire career to improving the health of the American people and to training its future leaders,” read a statement by UCLA colleagues in support of his nomination for the award. “His dedicated and tireless efforts over more than three decades have significantly shaped the U.S. health policy agenda … and will continue to have a ripple effect for decades to come.”

His career has included working at the Centers for Disease Control on the prevention and control of sexually transmitted diseases; research on women’s health that shaped national guidelines of care;  leadership and service in the country’s most prestigious health care government, nonprofit and advocacy organizations; and serving as the founding chair of the board of directors of the Washington, D.C.-based Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute, established in the U.S. Congress’ Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010.

“Driven and unrelenting in his life as a public servant and his passion for improving the nation’s health,” his UCLA colleagues’ statement continued, “he never puts himself in the spotlight, always emphasizing instead the team and the organization, encouraging and mentoring others to take the stage.”

Washington’s reputation as a consensus-builder has enhanced his contributions to the numerous professional and government boards and committees on which he has served in the Association of American Medical Colleges, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, the Centers for Disease Control, the congressionally mandated Scientific Management Review Board of the National Institutes of Health, the Board of Trustees of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the Board of Directors of the California HealthCare Foundation which he chaired. In addition, he currently serves as vice chair of the board of directors of the California Wellness Foundation.

An internationally renowned clinical investigator and health policy scholar, Dr. Washington has been a national leader in assessing medical technologies, developing clinical practice guidelines, and establishing disease prevention policies, particularly in women’s health. He was elected in 1997 to the Institute of Medicine (IOM) of the National Academy of Sciences, where his research has contributed to policy-focused reports that are credited with improvement in health services and in advancing health. In 2010, he served as program chair of the IOM annual meeting focused on “Advancing Health through Innovation.”

Washington earned his M.D. at UC San Francisco, as well as master’s degrees in public health from UC Berkeley and, from Harvard, in health services administration.  

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