Affiliated Researchers

Glenn A. Melnick, Ph.D. Director

Dr. Glenn Melnick is professor and Blue Cross of California Chair in Health Care Finance. He is the founder and director of the Center for Health Policy and Management at USC. Dr. Melnick is also a senior economist and resident consultant with RAND in Santa Monica. Nationally-recognized as an expert in the field, Dr. Melnick has worked extensively in the areas of healthcare competition, health systems financing and delivery, and accountable and managed care. Regularly published in the scientific literature including the Journal of Health Economics, JAMA, and Health Affairs, his editorials have appeared in the Wall Street Journal and the Los Angeles Times. Dr. Melnick’s research in the area of healthcare competition began more than a two decades ago, involving development of the first hospital market-level data base in the U.S., which was utilized to evaluate the effects of market-based pro-competition policies. He frequently travels to Washington, D.C. to provide counsel to legislators and their staffs, and has served as an expert for numerous government agencies, including the Federal Trade Commission.

LaVonna Blair Lewis, Ph.D., MPH

Dr. LaVonna Blair Lewis is a teaching professor at the USC Sol Price School of Public Policy, and Director of the USC Diversity in Healthcare Leadership Initiative. Dr. Lewis joined the USC faculty in 1996 and was selected Professor of the Year in 1998 and 2001. In 2013, she was named the MHA Program Professor of the Year. Dr. Lewis’ areas of research and professional interests consistently focus on cultural competency and health disparities, both targeting the health status and health care needs of underrepresented groups. She is currently involved in multiple projects that address racial and ethnic health disparities in cardiovascular disease (CVD), diabetes, and infant mortality. From 1999-2012 she worked with Community Health Councils, Inc., a Los Angeles community based organization, on the African American Building a Legacy of Health (AABLH) Project, funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to explore individual, organizational, and community support for (and barriers to) healthy living, a key factor in reducing CVD and diabetes. Additional CDC funding in the form of a Community Transformation Grant and REACH demonstration grant will explore lessons learned in the AABLH project in other LA County ethnic enclaves and communities. These projects will involve work with additional partners and other types of community organizations, including schools and federally qualified health centers (FQHC). In her work with iDREAM For Racial Equity (formerly the Pasadena Birthing Project), LaVonna is exploring these same multi-level factors and their contribution to birth outcomes. Her work has appeared in the American Journal of Public Health, Family and Community Health, the Journal of General Internal Medicine, and other health management and policy journals. Moreover, all of Dr. Lewis’ work to date has employed a community-based participatory research framework that partners with relevant stakeholder groups in developing research questions.

Anil Bamezai, Ph.D.

Dr. Anil Bamezai is president of Western Policy Research, a public policy consulting firm. He specializes in program evaluation and the application of quantitative methods to a variety of social policy issues. These include evaluation of government policies and programs, technological change on society, and forecasting. Major areas of emphasis have been on investigating market-based healthcare institutions’ ability to contain healthcare costs, and the impact of changes in government policy on provider behavior. Anil, who has worked for the World Bank, has produced numerous publications in the health services literature. In addition, he has evaluated effects of water pricing policy on water consumption, assessed price and conservation strategies for reducing environmental damage, and examined growing income inequality in the U.S.

Katya Fonkych, Ph.D.

Dr. Katya Fonkych is a consultant with USC and RAND and possesses a strong background in applied economic analysis, quantitative analysis, healthcare markets and healthcare IT policy. Current projects include extracting and organizing data on chronically ill patients and analyses of healthcare outcomes due to disease management interventions. Her recent work with the Center includes analyses of policies and practices of Californian hospitals on pricing and discounts to the uninsured population, the effect of Medicare HMO enrollment on healthcare utilization in California, end-of-life Medicare managed care patients, the effects of inter-hospital competition on hospital pricing, and ED use and capacity in California over last decade. Katya received her Ph.D. in Policy Analysis at RAND.

Lois Green, M.H.S.A.

Ms. Lois Green is founder and principal consultant of The Performance Alliance, a Los Angeles-based consulting firm whose clients include major organizations in California’s healthcare, senior and not-for-profit services sectors. Her areas of expertise include strategic, business and program planning; applied management research and program evaluation; leadership development; and marketing and dissemination. Lois has held executive positions with leading health systems and associations, has been a clinical associate professor at USC and has been affiliated with UCLA, UCI and UCSF as a teacher or lecturer. Her work with the Center has encompassed a variety of research projects related to California’s emergency departments (EDs), as well as ED specialty call panels, evaluations of an accountable care organization, a hospital-FQHC community collaboration to expand medical home access and reduce unnecessary ED visits, and a children’s health insurance program. Among current projects are assessment of a medical home care program, a diabetes group appointment demonstration project, and research and dissemination work on the SCAN Health Plan Community Board project to improve healthcare for older adults.

Joyce Mann, Ph.D.

Dr. Joyce Mann is the academic director of the International Public Policy and Management Program at USC, a master’s degree program for international students. Her research has addressed issues of health care financing and access, particularly in the state of California. She has conducted studies of uncompensated hospital care and an evaluation of a health insurance plan for immigrant children in Los Angeles County. She has also worked on issues of health financing in a number of countries, including Indonesia, China, Taiwan, Ecuador, Ghana, and Nigeria.

June O’Leary, Ph.D.

Dr. June O’Leary is a healthcare researcher and consultant whose work at USC and RAND has been concentrated in the areas of health economics, hospital competition and care outcomes and includes research regarding end of life care for Medicare beneficiaries and on Medicare/Medical dual eligibles. Among current projects is a behavioral economics demonstration to test a pay-for-performance-for-patients (P4P4P) approach among participants in diabetes group appointments. Dr. O’Leary received her Ph.D. in Health Services Research from UCLA. Her work has been published in Health Care Financing Review and the American Journal of Managed Care.

Jeremy Rich, D.P.M.

Dr. Jeremy Rich is a physician-scientist and health service researcher who serves as the Director of the HealthCare Partners Institute for Applied Research and Education, an independently operated not-for-profit foundation that designs, implements, refines, and disseminates patient-centered innovations to improve patient care, quality and effectiveness. His research interests range from risk stratification of chronically ill patients, to cultural sensitivity in Alzheimer’s and dementia care for Latinos, application of remote monitoring for COPD, patient experience, and palliative care. A teacher and mentor, Dr. Rich graduated from Brandeis and Temple Universities and completed his surgical internship, residency and a research fellowship at Harvard Surgical Service/Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. He has published extensively including the Journal of Forensic Sciences, Diabetes, Population Health Management, and the Journal of the International Society of Telemedicine and e-Health.

Yu Tu Shen, Ph.D.

Dr. Yu-Chu Shen is associate professor of economics at the Naval Postgraduate School, and a Faculty Research Fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research. She is currently the Academic Associate for Manpower System and Analysis Curriculum (MSA 847) at the Naval Postgraduate School. Her research expertise can be summarized in three broad areas in the field of health economics and health policy: (1) Organizational changes and financial incentives in the health care system; (2) Public health capacity and access to care for vulnerable population; and (3) Disparity in health care and consequences on patient outcomes. In addition, she has funded research to investigate manpower issues in the U.S. military, including studies of deployment intensity on the prevalence of mental health illnesses and analyses of combat exposures.

Vivian Wu, Ph.D.

Dr. Vivian Wu is an assistant professor at the USC Sol Price School of Public Policy with an expertise in health care economics and finance. Professor Wu’s research examines health plan’s price bargaining, the interaction between private insurance and Medicare program, and the effect of managed care, ownership type, market competition, and quality information on varies outcomes. Her work has been published in Health Services Research, Inquiry, Journal of Health Economics, and the International Journal of Health Care Finance and Economics. Vivian received her doctorate and master’s degrees in Health Policy from Harvard University and her bachelor’s degree in Rehab Medicine from National Taiwan University. Prior to joining the school, she served as a staff economist at the President’s Council of Economic Advisors between 2000 and 2001. She was a fellow at the Bing Center of Health Economics at the RAND Corporation in 2009-2010.