About Us

Jay Himmelstein

, M.D., M.P.H.
Chief Health Policy Strategist
Center for Health Policy and Research
Jay Himmelstein

Dr. Himmelstein is a Professor of Family Medicine and Community Health, Quantitative Health Sciences and Internal Medicine at UMass Medical School. He also serves as Chief Health Policy Strategist for UMass Medical School’s Center for Health Policy and Research, and Senior Fellow in Health Policy for NORC at the University of Chicago where he provides expertise in health information technology and health insurance exchange policy, public sector health delivery system reform, and state-based health care reform implementation. His professional career in research, policy development, and service is dedicated to improving health care and health outcomes for those served by the public sector.

Currently, Dr. Himmelstein is the Principal Investigator for the CCIIO-funded New England States Collaborative for Health Insurance Exchange Systems (NESCIES). Also known as the Massachusetts Early Innovator Cooperative Agreement, NESCIES was established to support health care reform through the creation of health insurance exchange (HIX) information technology components for Massachusetts that are consumer-focused, cost-effective and sustainable, and that can be leveraged by New England and other states to operate Health Insurance Exchanges.

Dr. Himmelstein also serves as a Senior Advisor to the CHPR Office of Health Policy and Technology which provides policy, research, and implementation support to public agencies at the intersection of health technology and human services.  

An elected member of the National Academy of Social Insurance, Dr. Himmelstein has served as an expert consultant to the Social Security Administration, and to the Institute of Medicine (IOM), most recently as a member of the IOM Committee on Medical Evaluation of Veterans for Disability Compensation. He served as a Health Policy Fellow on the health staff of Senator Edward M. Kennedy from 1991 to 1992. Dr. Himmelstein serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation and has served as an ad hoc reviewer for several peer reviewed journals including Health Affairs, the Journal of the American Public Health Association, the Journal of the American Medical Association, and Health Care Finance and Review. He currently serves on several non-profit boards including the Massachusetts Health Policy Forum and the Health Foundation of Central Massachusetts.

During his career at UMass, Dr. Himmelstein has held numerous positions in research and academic administration including Director of the Occupational and Environmental Health Program (1988-1996), Robert Wood Johnson Foundation National Health Policy Fellow (1991-1992), Director of the Robert Wood Johnson Workers Compensation Health Initiative (1994-2000), Director of the Center for Health Policy and Research (1997-2007), Director of the Center for MassHealth Evaluation and Research (1997-2002), Assistant Chancellor for Health Policy (1992-2007) and Director of the Center for Health Policy and Research's Public Sector Health Information Technology and Exchange Policy Group (2005 -2011), and is the founding director of  Work Without Limits, a Massachusetts Disability Employment Initiative (www.workwithoutlimits.org).

Dr. Himmelstein is board certified in internal medicine and occupational and environmental health/preventive medicine. He received his bachelor’s degree from Johns Hopkins University, his medical degree from the University of Maryland Medical School, and received Master’s degrees in Public Health and Physiology from the Harvard School of Public Health.