Today, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell announced that Andrew Bindman, M.D., has been named as the next director of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). Dr. Bindman will begin his appointment on Monday, May 2, 2016.

Dr. Bindman is an established leader in health services and policy research with over 130 peer-reviewed articles and has been a longtime friend to AcademyHealth and the field of health services research.

Currently, Dr. Bindman is a professor of medicine, health policy, epidemiology and biostatistics at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) and director of the University of California Medicaid Research Institute (CAMRI) and UCSF’s Primary Care Research Fellowship. As Director of CAMRI, he has been instrumental in helping AcademyHealth establish the State-University Partnership Learning Network (SUPLN), a network of 23 partnerships in 19 states that works collaboratively to support evidence-based state health policy and practice with a focus on transforming Medicaid-based health care, including improving the patient experience, improving the health of populations, and reducing the per capita cost of health care. He is also the recipient of two prominent AcademyHealth awards: the Alice S. Hersh New Investigator Award (1996) and the Article-of-the-Year Award (1996).

In addition to these roles, Dr. Bindman has served as a senior advisor in the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), where he worked on using data analytics to accelerate health care transformation in Medicaid. He also has extensive knowledge of patient safety issues, having worked as a physician and as the director of UCSF’s Primary Care Research Center, as well as pertinent Hill experience, serving as a Robert Wood Johnson Health Policy Fellow from 2009-2010 on the staff of the U.S. House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Committee.

We commend those in HHS and beyond for recognizing the tremendous contributions Dr. Bindman has made to improving health care with high quality evidence, a cornerstone of AHRQ’s mission.

“I couldn’t be more thrilled to hear of Dr. Bindman’s appointment, especially at this critically important moment in time,” said AcademyHealth President and CEO Dr. Lisa Simpson. “AHRQ is uniquely positioned to fund and support the research we need to understand the impact of all the changes in health care delivery and bring that evidence forward to Capitol Hill. I have witnessed first-hand Dr. Bindman’s ability to explain and convey the findings of health services research in an accessible way, and I look forward to working with Dr. Bindman in communicating the value of investing in health services research.”

AcademyHealth is excited to begin working with Dr. Bindman as we continue our efforts to bring the health services research to the forefront, illustrating how research, tools, and datasets – like those supported by AHRQ – can help us understand and improve a complex, costly health system and achieve better outcomes for more people at greater value.