Roybal Center for Health Policy Simulation

Moving health simulation findings into programs, practices, and policies

People

Leadership

Dana Goldman

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Dana Goldman is the Leonard D. Schaeffer Chair and a Distinguished Professor of Pharmacy, Public Policy, and Economics at the University of Southern California. He also directs the Schaeffer Center for Health Policy and Economics, a centerpiece of one of the nation’s premier health policy and management programs (ranked #3 in 2016 by US News & World Report). He also is a founder of Precision Health Economics, a health economics consultancy with offices nationwide.

Dr. Goldman is the author of over 200 articles and book chapters, and his research has been published in leading medical, economic, health policy, and statistics journals. He is a health policy advisor to the Congressional Budget Office, Covered California (the California insurance exchange), the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Institute, and is a frequent speaker on health care issues. He is a founding editor of the Forum for Health Economics and Policy, and serves on several editorial boards including Health Affairs and the American Journal of Managed Care. He is a member of the board of directors for the International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research and the American Society of Health Economists. Dr. Goldman’s work has been featured in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Business Week, U.S. News and World Report, The Economist, NBC Nightly News, CNN, National Public Radio, and other media.

Dr. Goldman has received several prominent awards. In 2016, he was appointed a Distinguished Professor at USC and in 2009 he was elected to the National Academy of Medicine (formerly the Institute of Medicine). He also was a recipient of the MetLife Foundation Silver Scholar Award, honoring his research to define the value of healthy aging and medical innovations to help individuals live healthier and longer lives; the Eugene Garfield Economic Impact Prize, recognizing outstanding research demonstrating how medical research impacts the economy; the National Institute for Health Care Management Research Foundation award for excellence in health policy; and the Alice S. Hersh New Investigator Award recognizing contributions of a young scholar to the field of health services research.

Dr. Goldman is also an Adjunct Professor of Health Services at UCLA and a research associate with the National Bureau of Economic Research. Prior to 2009, he held the Distinguished Chair in Health Economics at the RAND Corporation and was the director of RAND’s program in Health Economics, Finance, and Organization and the Bing Center for Health Economics.

He received his B.A. summa cum laude from Cornell University and a Ph.D. in Economics from Stanford University.

Julie M. Zissimopoulos

Julie M. ZissimopoulosJulie M. Zissimopoulos is an Associate Professor in the Sol Price School of Public Policy at the University of Southern California (USC). In addition to her faculty appointment, she serves as Vice Dean of Academic Affairs at the Price School, and is Director of Education and Training at the Leonard D. Schaeffer Center for Health Policy and Economics at USC, one of the nation’s premier health policy research institutions. She is also Co-Director of USC’s Resource Center for Minority Aging Research, funded by the National Institute on Aging, and a network associate of the MacArthur Foundation Research Network on an Aging Society. She was previously a senior economist at the RAND Corporation. She specializes in the economics of aging. Topics of special interest are savings and wealth, work at middle and older ages, financial and non-financial support between generations of family members and medical expenditures. Dr. Zissimopoulos’ research sponsors have included the National Institute on Aging and the Social Security Administration. She is a frequent speaker on the economics of aging and her work has been featured in the Los Angeles Times, on California Public Radio, PBS Newshour, and other media. Dr. Zissimopoulos received her B.A. summa cum laude from Boston College, her M.A. degree in international affairs from Columbia University, and a Ph.D. in economics from the University of California, Los Angeles.

Bryan Tysinger

Bryan TysingerBryan Tysinger is the Director of Simulation and Data for the Roybal Center for Health Policy Simulation. Mr. Tysinger holds a Master’s Degree in Policy Analysis from the Pardee RAND Graduate School and a B.S. in Applied Mathematics from Harvey Mudd College. He has been a research programmer and quantitative analyst at the Schaeffer Center since 2011, working primarily on microsimulation modeling. As Director of Simulation and Data, Mr. Tysinger oversees the technical development team, assesses the feasibility of new projects, and establishes priorities for development to support the Center’s goals.

Karen Byrnes

Karen Byrnes is the Project Manager for the Roybal Center for Health Policy Simulation. Her interests center on public-private partnerships and the interface between research, policy, and practice. Prior to joining the Roybal Center, Dr. Byrnes worked as the Manager of Global Giving and Business Development for TOMS Shoes.  She has also held management positions with UCLA’s Center for HIV Identification Prevention and Treatment Services, Helen Keller International, and the County of San Diego. Dr. Byrnes received her Ph.D. in Public Health and M.P.P. from the University of California, Los Angeles and served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Niger.

Researchers

 

Neeraj Sood

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Neeraj Sood, Ph.D., is Professor & Vice Dean for Research at the USC Sol Price School of Public Policy and Special Advisor to the Director at the Leonard D. Schaeffer Center for Health Policy & Economics. His prior work has focused on the economics of innovation, HIV/AIDS, health care financing, and global health. His research has been published in several peer-reviewed journals and books including leading journals in economics, medicine and health policy. He has testified frequently on health policy issues and his work has also been featured in several media outlets including the New York Times, Washington Post, U.S. News and World Report, and Scientific American. Dr. Sood was the finalist for the 16th and 21st Annual NIHCM Health Care Research Award, recognizing outstanding research in health policy. He was also the 2009 recipient of the Eugene Garfield Economic Impact Prize, recognizing outstanding research demonstrating how medical research impacts the economy.

Dr. Sood is on the editorial boards of Journal of Health Economics, Health Services Research and Forum for Health Economics and Policy. He is a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) and board member of the American Society of Health Economists. Prior to joining USC, Dr. Sood was a senior economist at RAND and Professor at the Pardee RAND Graduate School.

Darius Lakdawalla

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Darius Lakdawalla is the Director of Research at the Leonard D. Schaeffer Center for Health Policy & Economics. He is a widely published, award-winning researcher and a leading authority in both health economics and health policy. Dr. Lakdawalla also holds the Quintiles Chair in Pharmaceutical Development and Regulatory Innovation at the University of Southern California, where he sits on the faculties of the School of Pharmacy, the Sol Price School of Public Policy, and the Leonard D. Schaeffer Center for Health Policy and Economics, one of the nation’s premier health policy research centers.

His research has focused primarily on the economics of risks to health, the value and determinants of medical innovation, the economics of health insurance markets, and the industrial organization of healthcare markets.

Dr. Lakdawalla received his Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Chicago and his Bachelor’s Degree in Mathematics and Philosophy from Amherst College. His work has been published in leading journals of economics, medicine, and health policy.

Dr. Lakdawalla is currently a Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research, Associate Editor for the Review of Economics and Statistics, The American Journal of Health Economics, and The Journal of Health Economics. He is also an Editorial Board Member at the American Journal of Managed Care: Evidence-Based Diabetes and the American Journal of Managed Care: Evidence-Based Oncology.

Duncan Ermini Leaf

Leaf_DuncanDuncan Ermini Leaf is a Research Programmer at the Leonard D. Schaeffer Center for Health Policy and Economics.  His specialty areas include simulation and computational methods for statistical inference and learning.  Dr. Leaf joined the Schaeffer Center in 2012 after finishing his M.S. and Ph.D. in Statistics at Purdue University. He also holds a B.A. in Computer Science from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.  His work is focused on general improvements to the Roybal Center’s simulation models and analyses supporting specific simulation projects.  Recent projects include adapting the Future Elderly Model to simulate health outcomes in Los Angeles County, exploring the effects of palliative care interventions on medical costs and quality of life, and simulating the effects of an early-childhood education intervention through later life.

Henu Zhao

Henu Zhao is a Research Programmer at the Leonard D. Schaeffer Center for Health Policy & Economics.  Her specialty areas include advanced statistics and microeconomic theories and modeling.  Dr. Zhao joined the Schaeffer Center in 2015 after finishing her Ph.D. degree in Policy Analysis at the Pardee RAND Graduate School.  While at Pardee RAND she worked as an Assistant Policy Analysis at the RAND Corporation.  She also holds an M.A. in public management from the Tsinghua University and a B.A in information resources management from Renmin University of China.

Sarah Brandon

Sarah Brandon is a Project Specialist at the Leonard D. Schaeffer Center for Health Policy and Economics. Working cross-functionally among key initiatives, she is responsible for project coordination and managing research dissemination to ensure the Center fulfills its commitment to impacting health policy. Sarah brings experience in technology communications and community organizing to the Center. She holds a B.A. in English with honors in Nonfiction Writing from Brown University and was raised in Los Angeles.

Collaborators

Irene Vidyanti

Irene Vidyanti

Irene Vidyanti is a Data Scientist/Modeler at the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (LADPH) and a collaborating programmer with University of Southern California’s Schaeffer Center of Health Policy and Economics. She holds a PhD in Industrial and Systems Engineering from University of Southern California and a BA/M.Eng in Information and Computer Engineering from Cambridge University.

Her expertise is in using systems science to aid policy decision-making and evaluate the impact of interventions on health and other sectors. Her current responsibilities include various modeling efforts to assist LADPH to assist planning and evaluation of its projects. She leads the development of the Future Los Angeles Model, a dynamic microsimulation model of long-term health and economic outcomes for Los Angeles County residents age 25+, for use to evaluate an array of health intervention efforts, such as evaluating the impact of sodium reduction initiatives or increased tobacco tax in Los Angeles County.

Ricardo Basurto-Dávila

Ricardo Basurto-DávilaRicardo Basurto-Dávila is a health economist at the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health’s Office of the CEO. In his current position, he leads the Policy Analysis Unit, which supports the Department’s decision-making process through economic evaluations and analytical studies of policies and programs that affect population health. Dr. Basurto-Davila was previously a Prevention Effectiveness Fellow at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, where he conducted economic evaluations of the efforts implemented by the United States and other countries to respond to the 2009 H1N1 influenza pandemic. Prior to that, he was an Assistant Policy Analyst at the RAND Corporation, where his work focused on migration, social and environmental determinants of health, and inequalities in health and health care. He earned a B.A. in economics from Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey in Mexico, a M.S. in economics from the University of Texas at Austin, and the Ph.D. in Policy Analysis from the Pardee RAND Graduate School in Santa Monica, CA.