Halm named inaugural vice chancellor of population health at Rutgers

Dr. Ethan Halm, a professor of internal medicine and population and data sciences at University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center for the past 13 years, has been named the first vice chancellor of population health at Rutgers University.

In the role, Halm will oversee initiatives that will examine and offer better solutions to prevent disease, and to manage populations with chronic illnesses such as diabetes and heart disease that cost the United States billions each year in health care costs.

Halm will join Rutgers in January 2022. Brian Strom, chancellor at Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences and executive vice president for Rutgers Health Affairs, said he is happy to welcome him aboard.

“Dr. Halm’s role will ensure Rutgers and its clinical partners will better understand the health challenges facing our state and then position the health care system to deliver higher quality, evidence-based treatments to improve health care outcomes on a population level,” he said.

Halm’s research focuses on improving cancer screening and chronic disease management, developing clinical prediction models using electronic health records data, understanding patient, provider, system and community factors that influence the quality and outcomes of care, and implementing interventions to foster more evidence-based, patient-centered, equitable and cost-conscious care.

At Rutgers, Halm will head the new Consortium of Population Health at Rutgers-RWJBarnabas Health, encouraging collaboration, scholarship and innovation between population health investigators, educators, students and clinicians.

As the deputy chief population health officer for the health system, Halm will be responsible for building and aligning population health efforts across Rutgers Health, RWJBarnabas Health and University Hospital in Newark — setting an innovative platform for data-driven science to inform and evaluate the impact of population health and health care delivery initiatives.

While health care has traditionally focused on single patients, population health aims to improve the outcomes of groups of individuals with chronic conditions, while lowering health care costs overall. Despite spending more than other developed countries, health outcomes in the U.S. are not better.

“I am very excited to join the Rutgers and RWJBarnabas Health leadership teams to help advance the population health agenda across all aspects of our clinical care, research, education and community engagement activities,” Halm said. “By doing so, we can improve health and reduce disparities in the populations and communities we serve and be a state and national leader in this emerging field.”