Budgeting for better health

From kitchen tables to the halls of Congress, it seems all of America is asking the same question: What is the best way to allocate scarce resources to improve our health and well-being? New answers may come from the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama Endowed Chair in Health Economics, the first endowed chair in the UAB School of Public Health.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama provided $1.5 million to establish the chair, which will give UAB a critical advantage in recruiting a thought leader in health economics. The investment also will further the development of both students and ongoing research in the field. Specific goals include exploring and developing practical solutions to health problems; facilitating the translation of solutions into practice, both in public health and health care; strategizing to improve health and well-being of all Alabama residents; and preparing an annual report and presentation on the chair’s impact within public health and health care to the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama Board of Directors.

Research and student work in health economics may focus on “analysis of public policies in terms of their intended effects and unintended consequences, assessing the value of health care goods and services, and determining the impact of diseases and their treatments on costs to society,” says Meredith Kilgore, Ph.D., professor in the School of Public Health. “The objective of health economics is to improve the efficiency with which public health and medical resources are used.”

“Our mission remains to provide Alabamians access to quality health care at the most affordable price possible,” says Terry Kellogg, president, and CEO of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama. “Making this endowment available to the UAB School of Public Health validates this commitment. We know it takes all participants to make an effective impact on public health, and we are making this commitment to strengthen our longstanding partnership with one of the premier schools in the country. We are confident this endowment will positively impact the health and wellness of Alabamians.”

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.

Learn more about supporting health economics at the School of Public Health: Mona McCarty, director of development: (205) 934-7799, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.