The Lehigh University College of Health is pleased to announce the creation of the Institute of Health Policy and Politics (IHPP).
Eduardo J. Gómez, associate professor in Lehigh’s College of Health, will serve as the director of the Institute which will focus on research, professional training, educational and experiential internship experiences in health policy-making and the political factors influencing the policy-making process. Faculty from across Lehigh University will join Gómez in building the Institute, including: from the College of Health, Michael Gusmano, Professor and Associate Dean for Academic Programs; Xinliang “Albert” Liu, Associate Professor; and, Fathima Wakeel, Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Programs; from the Department of Political Science in the College of Arts & Sciences: Holona Ochs, Associate Professor; Brian Fife, Professor and Chair, Laura Olson, Distinguished Professor; and, Karen Beck Pooley Professor of Practice, Director of Community Fellows graduate program and Director of Environmental Policy Design program; from the Department of Economics at the College of Business: Shin-Yi Chou, Arthur F. Searing Professor and Chair and Chad Meyerhoefer, Arthur F. Searing Professor will join Gómez in building the Institute.
In addition to serving as a central repository for historical and real-time data on health policy issues, the Institute will establish its own publications. It will also provide professional training and consultation services to healthcare policy-makers in Pennsylvania as well as at the national and global levels.
"The timing of this Institute couldn't be better,” said Gómez. “The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed how vested political interests influence public health policy and how important it is to work with our communities, political representatives, and policy-makers to strengthen health systems in an equitable, inclusive, and effective manner.”
Gómez's research interests are in global health politics and policy, with a focus on rising middle-income countries. Currently he is conducting research on the commercial determinants of health in such countries.
Lehigh’s new Institute of Health Policy and Politics will be housed in the new Health, Science and Technology (HST) building and will welcome students and faculty from across the University. Students will benefit from the internship programs, research with faculty, and involvement in a variety of the Institute’s publications.
The Institute is the second one the College of Health has launched. It joins the Institute for Indigenous Studies (IIS) led by Director Sean Daley, Professor of Practice. The Institute for Indigenous Studies partners with Native communities in the United States, Canada, Mexico and Bolivia in developing holistic approaches to improving health.
"It is an exciting time in the College of Health as we continue to build on a strong foundation of research and instruction," Interim Dean Beth Dolan, said. "The addition of the Institute of Health Policy and Politics will leverage our faculty expertise in those areas while furthering our mission to utilize data and social science to improve health across the globe."