LOS ANGELES, Oct. 30, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- University of Southern California President C. L. Max Nikias is pleased to announce a $25 million gift from Leonard D. Schaeffer, a Judge Robert Maclay Widney Chair and Professor at USC, to endow and support the USC Leonard D. Schaeffer Center for Health Policy and Economics. The gift bolsters the university's commitment to using rigorous research to develop policy solutions, including controlling health care costs and improving patient outcomes in the United States and worldwide.
"As health care assumes an increasingly prominent place in public policy discussions, the USC Schaeffer Center will play an even more central role, while offering a uniquely interdisciplinary perspective," Nikias said. "The center brings together USC's schools of public policy and pharmacy, drawing on collaborative scholarship to address the most complex questions facing health care today."
Established in 2009 with a gift from Leonard and Pamela Schaeffer, the USC Schaeffer Center is jointly housed in the USC Price School of Public Policy and the USC School of Pharmacy. The center is led by renowned health economist Dana Goldman and other distinguished faculty, including a Nobel Laureate in Economics, Daniel McFadden.
With a reputation for timely, evidence-based analysis of health care issues, the USC Schaeffer Center has developed into one of the nation's premier policy institutions, with more than $45 million in external research funding, including research grants from the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).
"We are deeply grateful for Leonard Schaeffer's vision and support of this remarkable research center," said Jack H. Knott, dean of the USC Price School. "The prolific and groundbreaking research of the USC Schaeffer Center is a tremendous source of pride for the USC Price School, and we look forward to this exciting new chapter in the center's legacy."
"The endowment of the USC Schaeffer Center promises continuing efforts to find answers to today's most pressing health care challenges," said R. Pete Vanderveen, dean of the USC School of Pharmacy. "The center is an integral part of the work at the USC School of Pharmacy with research to identify best practices for medication therapy that efficiently produces optimal health outcomes."
Of his gift, Schaeffer said, "Our nation faces grave health and fiscal challenges. I support this Center because its rigorous, independent and interdisciplinary research provides the foundation for designing effective policies to address these issues in both the public and private sectors."
Research from the USC Schaeffer Center has provided critical policy guidance and inventive solutions with the potential to transform health care systems. Research results — including novel analyses of preventive care, insurance competition, the fiscal future of Social Security and Medicare, co-payments and prescription drug adherence, and which medical specialties are most likely to face malpractice claims — are routinely published in top peer-reviewed journals and featured in leading media outlets such as The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Politico and NPR. Schaeffer Center faculty members also deliver their research directly to policymakers through congressional and legislative testimony.
"Leonard Schaeffer has demonstrated a life-long commitment to relevant, evidence-based health policy research," said Goldman, director of the USC Schaeffer Center and the Norman Topping Chair in Medicine and Public Policy. "With this additional gift, he ensures that our mission of providing independent, innovative solutions to today's health policy challenges will endure beyond the current era of health care reform."
This leadership gift from Leonard Schaeffer represents significant support for the Campaign for the University of Southern California, a multi-year effort to secure $6 billion or more in private philanthropy to advance USC's academic priorities and expand the university's positive impact on the community and world.
Leonard D. Schaeffer is the founding Chairman and past CEO of WellPoint, one of the nation's largest health insurance companies. In 1986, Schaeffer was recruited as CEO of Blue Cross of California, overseeing the turnaround of the predecessor to WellPoint, and completing 17 acquisitions. During his tenure, the value of the company grew from $11 million to more than $49 billion. Schaeffer's illustrious government career includes serving as Administrator of the Health Care Financing Administration, now the CMS, and as Assistant Secretary for Management and Budget at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Currently, Schaeffer is a senior advisor to TPG Capital, a private equity firm, in addition to holding a Judge Widney Chair at USC, a select executive-in-residence position named for one of USC's founders. He is also a member of the Board of Councilors at the USC Price School, and serves on the boards of the Brookings Institution, Harvard Medical School, RAND, Quintiles and Amgen. Schaeffer lectures and writes widely on health policy issues.
For more information on the center, visit healthpolicy.usc.edu.
About the University of Southern California The University of Southern California is one of the world's leading private research universities. An anchor institution in Los Angeles, a global center for arts, technology and international trade, USC enrolls more international students than any other U.S. university and offers extensive opportunities for internships and study abroad. With a strong tradition of integrating liberal and professional education, USC fosters a vibrant culture of public service and encourages students to cross academic as well as geographic boundaries in their pursuit of knowledge.
About the USC Price School of Public Policy The USC Price School of Public Policy, established in 1929, is one of the premier schools of its kind in the nation. Through a time-honored commitment to public service, a legacy of strong connections to professional leaders and a world-renowned research portfolio, the school's faculty, students and alumni work to improve the quality of life for people and their communities worldwide. The USC Price School of Public Policy is at the forefront of research and teaching on today's major issues, including: housing and real estate markets, environmental sustainability, health care, economic development, transportation and infrastructure, governance and leadership, nonprofits and philanthropy, civic engagement, immigration and the impact of terrorism.
About the USC School of Pharmacy Ranked as a top-ten pharmacy school nationwide, the USC School of Pharmacy continues its century-old progressive reputation through its innovative programming and collaborations. The School houses the International Center for Regulatory Science at USC, and is a partner in the Leonard D. Schaeffer Center for Health Policy and Economics and the USC Center for Drug Discovery and Development. The School has pioneered a national model of clinical pharmacy care through work in safety-net clinics in Southern California. A focus on clinical pharmacy, community outreach, regulatory science, drug discovery and development, and health economics and policy positions the USC School of Pharmacy as a leader in the safe, efficient and optimal use of medication therapy that can save lives and improve the human condition.