About Us

Dr. Wennberg and The MacLean Center Prize

Dr. John Wennberg is the Peggy Y. Thomson Professor Emeritus for the Evaluative Clinical Sciences at Dartmouth Medical School. He is the Founder and Director Emeritus of The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice. At Dartmouth, he has been a Professor in the Department of Community and Family Medicine and the Department of Medicine. Dr. Wennberg is the creator and founding editor of The Dartmouth Atlas of Health Care, now in its 15th year of publication, which examines the patterns of medical resource intensity and utilization in the United States. The Dartmouth Atlas project has also reported on patterns of end of life care, inequities in the Medicare reimbursement system, and the underuse of preventative care.

Dr. Wennberg received his undergraduate education at Stanford University and completed graduate work at McGill Medical School and Johns Hopkins School of Public Health. He was trained at Baltimore City Hospital, D.C. General Hospital and Johns Hopkins Hospital, where he completed his Fellowship in Renal Disease and Pharmacology. While pursuing his Master’s degree in Public Health at Johns Hopkins, Dr. Wennberg became interested in the application of epidemiological principles to the health care system.

With colleague Alan Gittelsohn, he developed a strategy for studying the population-based rates of health resource allocation and utilization (small area analysis), which revealed large variations in the rates among local and regional health care markets in New England, much of which appeared to relate to the distribution of supply of resources and to differences in local medical practices.

Dr. Wennberg and colleague, Dr. Al Mulley, are co-founders of the Foundation for Informed Medical Decision Making, a non-profit corporation providing objective scientific information to patients about their treatment choices using interactive media. In 2005, Dr. Wennberg and Dr. Mulley were co-recipients of the Picker Institute Award for Advancement of Patient Centered Care.

Dr. Wennberg has served on many national committees addressing issues related to health and health services, and has provided testimony to Congress on multiple occasions. He has served on the editorial boards of the Association of American Colleges, the Journal of Health Services Research & Policy, the Journal of Disease Management and Clinical Outcomes, and Health Expectations Journal.

Dr. Wennberg embodies the spirit of this new MacLean Center Award in Clinical Ethics and Health Outcomes. His scholarship and health policy work have touched many patients and continue to contribute to policy choices that relate to new developments in our changing health care system.