UNH Names Woodward McKerley Chair in Health Economics

By Sharon Keeler
UNH News Bureau

April 9, 2001

DURHAM, N.H. -- Robert Woodward, associate professor in the Health Administration Program of Washington University's School of Medicine, has been named as the first Forrest D. McKerley Endowed Chair in Health Economics at the University of New Hampshire. It is a joint appointment in UNH's School of Health and Human Services and the Whittemore School of Business and Economics.

"We are delighted to have Bob Woodward joining us," says David Hiley, UNH provost and vice president for academic affairs. "He brings an outstanding record of research and its applications and teaching in health economics. He is an ideal person to realize Forrest McKerley's vision for this endowed chair."

UNH's McKerley Chair was established in 2000 through the generosity of Forrest D. McKerley, who graduated from the university in 1957 with a B.S. in business administration. McKerley has been involved in the health care field for most of his career, including positions as president of McKerley Health Care Centers and currently as chief executive officer of Secure Care Products, Inc.

"I'm honored to be named as UNH's first McKerley Chair," says Woodward. "Forrest McKerley is a state treasure. He is committed to improving the health and educational opportunities throughout the state, and is an active and articulate advocate with a wealth of experience, and has some notable commercial successes. I am looking forward to the opportunity to learn from him."

Woodward was named Outstanding Teacher of the Year by Washington University's Health Administration Program classes of 1987 and 2000. He is the author of more than 70 articles, book chapters and abstracts on various topics in health care delivery and economics.

"We are very excited to have attracted Bob Woodward to the university," says David Pearson, interim dean of UNH's School of Health and Human Services. "He is a national leader in the field of health economics, and an outstanding teacher and researcher. As McKerley Chair, he will bring his expertise to the state level, helping to develop policies for the cost-effective provision of quality health care."

Woodward's research interests include pharmo-economics, health care reform, and financial incentives and physicians' professional ethics. His work has been supported by many private and public corporations and organizations, including Hoffman-LaRoche, Inc., the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and the National Institutes of Health.

Woodward says the McKerley Chair offers him a unique opportunity to combine economic theory with the practicalities of improving health services delivery.

"On one hand, the recognition implicit in the position -- an endowed chair at the University of New Hampshire -- represents the realization of one professional goal," says Woodward. "On the other hand, the position offers the opportunity to help the university continue to grow its already substantial reputation in health services delivery. The various departments of the School of Health and Human Services, the Institute on Disability and the Institute for Health Policy and Practice serve as existing success stories."

Woodward adds that one of his roles will be to serve as a bridge between the School of Health and Human Services and the Whittemore School of Business and Economics to advance and inform the teaching and research of health economics in both areas. A long-term goal is the development of a Ph.D. program in health economics.

Woodward earned his Ph.D. in economics from Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri. He holds a B.A. in economics from Haverford College in Pennsylvania.

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