Susan Dentzer
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Susan Dentzer

Renowned health policy expert Susan Dentzer discusses with audiences health care reform, economic and budget policy issues, the future of Social Security and Medicare and what lies ahead for Congress and the White House, working through the myriad of issues facing this country.
President and CEO, Network for Excellence in Health Innovation; Senior Policy Advisor, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation; Health Policy Analyst, PBS NewsHour and Editor-in-Chief, Health Affairs (2008-2013)

Expertise In:

  • U.S. Health Care Economics
  • U.S. Health Care Policy
  • Global Health
  • Health Care Sciences
  • Biotechnology

Audience & Industry

  • Associations
  • Board Meetings and Executive Briefings
  • Corporations
  • Global Audiences
  • Non-Profits

Renowned health policy expert Susan Dentzer discusses with audiences health care reform, economic and budget policy issues, the future of Social Security and Medicare and what lies ahead for Congress and the White House, working through the myriad of issues facing this country.

Susan Dentzer is one of the nation's most respected health and health policy thought leaders and a frequent speaker and commentator on television and radio, including PBS and NPR, and an author of commentaries and analyses in print publications such as Modern Healthcare, the Annals of Internal Medicine, and the New England Journal of Medicine and NEJM Catalyst. She is also the editor and lead author of the book Health Care Without Walls: A Roadmap for Reinventing U.S. Health Care, available on Amazon.com.

She is currently a Visiting Fellow at the Duke-Margolis Center for Health Policy, the Washington, DC-based arm of Duke University that focuses on health system transformation, biopharmaceutical policy, and other key health policy issues. At the Center, she focuses on research and thought leadership for modernizing the health care system through the use of greater virtual care and a reconfigured health care work force; improving health and health care in rural areas; anticipating a future of effective treatments for Alzheimer’s and other dementias; and other topics.

From 2016 to January 2019, Dentzer was President and Chief Executive Officer of NEHI, the Network for Excellence in Health Innovation, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization composed of more than 80 stakeholder organizations from across all key sectors of health and health care. From 2013 to 2016, she was senior policy adviser to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the nation’s largest philanthropy focused on health and health care in the United States, and before that, was the editor-in-chief of the policy journal Health Affairs. From 1998 to 2008, she was the on-air Health Correspondent for the PBS NewsHour. Dentzer also wrote and hosted the 2015 PBS documentary, Reinventing American Healthcare, focusing on innovations pioneered by Geisinger Health System and spread across the nation.

Dentzer is an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine (formerly the Institute of Medicine) and also serves on the Board on Population Health and Public Health Practice of the National Academies of Science, Medicine, and Engineering. She is also an elected member of the Council on Foreign Relations; a fellow of the National Academy of Social Insurance; and a fellow of the Hastings Center, a nonpartisan bioethics research institute. She is a member of the Board of Directors of the International Rescue Committee, a leading global humanitarian organization; a member of the board of directors of Research!America, which advocates on behalf of biomedical and health-related research; and is a member of the board of directors of the Public Health Institute, a nonprofit organization addressing public health issues and solutions nationwide. From 2011 to 2017 she was public member of the Board of Directors of the American Board of Medical Specialties, which assists 24 medical specialty boards in the ongoing evaluation and certification of physicians. She also is a member of the RAND Health Board of Advisors, and serves on the global public policy advisory committee for Roche, the international biopharmaceutical company based in Basel, Switzerland.

Dentzer graduated from Dartmouth, is a trustee emerita of the college, and chaired the Dartmouth Board of Trustees from 2001 to 2004. She has served as a member of the Board of Advisors of Dartmouth Medical School for more than two decades. Dentzer holds an honorary master’s degree from Dartmouth and an honorary doctorate in humane letters from Muskingum University. She and her husband have three grown children.

Featured Experiences

The Federal Budget

Dentzer has followed federal fiscal policy for over two decades, from the era of federal budget deficits to surpluses and back again to the current budget deficits. She addresses the debate over restraining the growth of spending, cutting or raising taxes and balancing the nation’s commitments to health care, retirement and social programs.

The Economy

From consumer spending to international trade to the performance of the financial markets, Dentzer takes a broad look at the economy’s performance and examines the underlying factors likely to shape the economy's perforrmance in future years. Dentzer specializes in making these presentations sophisticated and yet “user-friendly” and readily understandable for non-specialist audiences.

Social Security

Dentzer has followed closely the on-going debate over reforming Social Security over the years. She speaks knowledgeably on the economics and politics of Social Security, and places these in the broader context of the overall effects on the U.S. and the world of the rapid aging of the population.

Higher Education

Dentzer is chair of the Dartmouth Board of Trustees and has a longstanding interest in higher education. She speaks on a range of topics in this field, including the importance of liberal arts education; the costs and value of higher education in general; critical issues in university and academic governance. She has also delivered several commencement addresses. Rather than giving off-the-shelf address, she tailors her speeches for each institution and to the graduating students, giving the occasion a personal touch.

Health Care

Dentzer speaks on a wide variety of topics in health care arena including the impact and future of the Affordable Care Act, rising health care costs; aging; breakthroughs in treatment and research; health insurance issues; health policy issues such as Medicare reform, the uninsured, and prescription drug coverage.