About the Lown Institute Hospitals Index

About the Lown Index

The Lown Institute Hospitals Index is a new kind of hospital ranking, one that takes into account the full breadth of what hospitals do. It evaluates hospitals’ performance based on how well they treat their patients, their commitment to providing high-value care, and their investment in community health.

The Lown Institute is a nonpartisan think tank that believes a radically better American health system is possible. We conduct research, convene experts, and spark public debate to bridge the gap between existing public policy solutions and the care that Americans want and need. The Lown Institute received no funding from any outside source for this project.

The Lown Hospitals Index serves as the data source for the  “Best Hospitals for America” feature in the Washington Monthly’s July/August 2020 issue.

our staff

Vikas Saini

President

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Vikas Saini

President

Vikas Saini, MD is President of the Lown Institute. He is a clinical cardiologist trained by Dr Bernard Lown at Harvard, where he has taught and done research. He has also been an entrepreneur as scientific co-founder of Aspect Medical Systems, the pioneer in noninvasive consciousness monitoring in the operating room with the BIS device. He was in private practice in cardiology for over 15 years on Cape Cod, where he also founded a primary care physician network participating in global payment contracts. Dr. Saini is Board-certified in Cardiovascular Disease, Internal Medicine, and Nuclear Cardiology. He has served on the faculty of Harvard Medical School and the Harvard School of Public Health, where he initiated the first course focused on policy translation for cardiovascular disease prevention. In April 2012, Dr. Saini convened the Avoiding Avoidable Care Conference with the noted author Shannon Brownlee. This was the first major academic conference focused on the problem of overuse of health care services. Dr. Saini led the international writing group of the Right Care series of papers commissioned by The Lancet and published in January 2017. With Ms. Brownlee, he is a convener of the Right Care Alliance, a grassroots network of physicians, nurses, patient activists, and community leaders dedicated to creating public demand for care that is safe, effective, affordable, and just. Dr. Saini has spoken and presented research about avoiding unnecessary care at professional meetings around the world and has been quoted in numerous print media, radio, and television.

Shannon Brownlee

Senior Vice President

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Shannon Brownlee

Senior Vice President

Shannon Brownlee, MSc, is senior vice president of the Lown Institute. She and Lown Institute president Dr. Vikas Saini are co-founders of the Right Care Alliance, a network of activist patients, clinicians, and community leaders devoted to organizing a broad-based movement for a radically better health care system. Before joining the Lown Institute, Brownlee served as acting director of the health policy program at the New America Foundation. As a senior fellow at New America, she published the groundbreaking book, Overtreated: Why Too Much Medicine is Making Us Sicker and Poorer, which was named the best economics book of 2007 by the New York Times. She was a senior writer at US News and World Report and Discover Magazine, and is the recipient of numerous awards, including a Congressional Commendation, and was named one of “four writers who changed the world” by the World Congress of Science Journalists. She is the author of several peer-reviewed articles in medical journals, including a 2017 four-part series on overuse and underuse in The Lancet. She has served on numerous scientific panels, working groups, and roundtables. From 2014-16 she was an editor of the “Less is More” section of JAMA Internal Medicine, and was a lecturer from 2011-14 at the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice. Her stories and essays have appeared in such publications as The Atlantic, New York Times Magazine, The Washington Post, Times of London, Time, New Republic, Los Angeles Times, and Health Affairs. Brownlee is a nationally recognized speaker, has been featured in documentary films, and has appeared on such broadcast outlets as the ABC World News, Good Morning America, Fox News, NPR, and the Diane Rehm Show. She is quoted regularly in the press. Brownlee was formerly a visiting scientist at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and is currently a lecturer in the Department of Policy and Management at the George Washington University School of Public Health. She is a member of the board of the Robert Graham Center of the American Academy of Family Practice and holds a master of science from the University of California, Santa Cruz.

Aaron Toleos

Vice President of Communications

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Aaron Toleos

Vice President of Communications

Aaron’s varied career in communications has led to notable achievements including a US Supreme Court victory, being named “straight person of the year” by The Advocate magazine, and numerous awards for digital achievements in public higher education. Previously, he had roles at the Paraprofessional Healthcare Institute (PHI), the leading authority on the nation’s caregiving workforce, and as the founding director of KnowThyNeighbor, a social justice organization that played a disruptive and influential role in the fight for marriage equality. Aaron graduated from the College of William & Mary with a BA in history and government and earned an MA in English from Salem State University.

Carissa Fu

Director of Programs

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Carissa Fu

Director of Programs

Carissa joined the Lown Institute in July 2014 as a Project Administrative Assistant and previously worked at the Boys’ & Girls’ Town of Italy and Museum of Chinese in America. She is a graduate of Boston University School of Medicine with a MSc in Forensic Anthropology and holds an AB in Anthropology and Certificate in Gender and Sexuality Studies from Princeton University. In her spare time, she competes in the sport of Taekwondo, often representing the United States in international competitions.

Judith Garber

Health Policy and Communications Fellow

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Judith Garber

Health Policy and Communications Fellow

Judith joined the Lown Institute team as the Health Policy and Communications Fellow in the fall of 2016, after receiving her Master of Public Policy degree from the Heller School of Social Policy. She previously worked at the Aspen Institute Financial Security Program, the Midas Collaborative, and Pearson Education. She has a BA in American Studies and Political Science from Rutgers University. In her free time, Judith enjoys playing competitive ultimate frisbee and listening to musical theater.

John Talbot, MBA, JD

Director of Business Operations

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John Talbot, MBA, JD

Director of Business Operations

John joined the Lown Institute team as the Director of Business Operations in the Spring of 2019 and has learned to wear many hats around the organization over time. He started his career in the Information Technology field working for Pathfinder International, a nonprofit in Watertown, MA.  After spending years traveling the globe for Pathfinder, he made a significant life change and attended law school full time.  After earning a law degree and passing the Bar Exam, he worked in a variety of positions at: Millennium Pharmaceuticals, Boston Baked Bonz, and Framingham State University.  John also formed his own private law practice focused on helping victims of debt collectors and those denied unemployment benefits by the state. He is a proud Triple-Husky with three degrees from Northeastern University: BS (Operations Technology Mgmt), MBA (High Technology) and JD (Public Interest Law). In his free time, he plays with his three adorable rescued labs, cooks, gardens and hikes.

Valérie Gopinath, MS

Senior Data Scientist

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Valérie Gopinath, MS

Senior Data Scientist

Valérie is the Senior Data Scientist. Prior to Lown, she developed and implemented data-driven approaches to execute marketing strategies at management and marketing consulting firms working at the intersection of consumer data, AI/ML, and software and technology platforms. She has served as an AI/ML expert on behavior-based analyses and customer research with clients in retail, health care, insurance, financial services, telecommunications, media entertainment, high-tech, airline and auto industries.  More recently, she has focused on health care journey analytics and patterns of patient interactions with providers and insurers, mining EHR, medical and RX claims, customer service and call center data. Previously, Valérie worked at Aetna where she mapped patient experience across touchpoints such as medical and Rx claims, precertification, drug prior authorization, customer service calls, online self-servicing, complaints and appeals.  Prior to Aetna, she ran a marketing analytics consultancy, was Analytic Director at TTEC Digital and Senior Analytic Manager at Valassis leading teams of analysts on the delivery of behavior-based segmentation, customer valuation, and predictive modeling.  She was previously an Associate in the Customer Strategy Practice  at Oliver Wyman and a statistician in health research for a large environmental consulting firm. Valérie graduated from Carleton College with a BS in Mathematics and earned an MS in Mathematical Statistics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Paula Smith, MPH

Data Scientist

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Paula Smith, MPH

Data Scientist

Paula Smith joined the Lown Institute as a Data Scientist in spring of 2019. She previously worked at Partners Healthcare, Valetude, and Jebbit focusing on risk score analysis and statistical natural language processing. Paula holds a master’s degree in Public Health with a specialization in Quantitative Policy Analysis from the University of Alabama in Birmingham. She received her BA from Boston University in Earth Sciences.

Nicole Goldstein

Communications Associate

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Nicole Goldstein

Communications Associate

Nicole Goldstein graduated from Northeastern University with a BA in communications and media screen studies and a minor in media production. She has previous work experience in video production, graphic design, marketing and event management. In her free time, Nicole teaches salsa and bachata classes.

Kelsey Chalmers

Data Scientist

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Kelsey Chalmers

Data Scientist

Kelsey joined the Lown Institute as a Data Scientist early 2020. Prior to this, she worked as a health policy researcher at the University of Sydney, Australia, where she also received her PhD in public health, with a focus on measuring overuse of medical care. She graduated from the University of Queensland with a degree in Mathematics and Statistics.

our board

Nassib G. Chamoun

Chairman

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Nassib G. Chamoun

Chairman

Nassib Chamoun is the Founder of Health Data Analytics Institute, serves as its President and Chief Executive Officer, and is the primary inventor of its broad-based health data analytics platform. Previously, Chamoun was Founder, President and CEO of Aspect Medical Systems, which he led from startup to a $100M global, publicly-traded company. Chamoun is the primary inventor of Aspect’s premier product, the Bispectral Index™ (BIS™) technology, the first clinically validated direct measure of the effects of anesthetics on the brain. BIS™ technology is available in a majority of hospitals in the US, Europe, and Japan, has been used on approximately 100 million patients and has been the subject of more than 3,500 published articles and abstracts. BIS™ technology has been proven to reduce the risk of awareness with recall during surgery, facilitate faster wake-ups with less recovery time and reduce anesthetic use. In 2009, Chamoun guided the acquisition of Aspect Medical by Covidien (now Medtronic), a leading $12 billion global healthcare products company. From 2009 to 2010 he assisted the CEO of Covidien in the capacity of Vice President of Technology, Research and Clinical Development. While at Aspect Medical, Chamoun invented the Risk Stratification Index (RSI), a broadly applicable and robust system for assessing hospital length of stay and mortality in surgical patients based solely on administrative data. Over the years, he has published several peer reviewed papers on RSI, including in collaboration with Cleveland Clinic and the Lown Institute. Chamoun presently serves as Chairman of the Board of the Lown Institute, is a member emeritus of the Northeastern University Corporation and served as Director and Vice President of the Anesthesia Patient Safety Foundation from 2004 to 2010. Chamoun earned a bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from Northeastern University and a master’s degree in Computer Engineering from Boston University. Subsequently, he was a fellow in cardiovascular physiology at the Lown Cardiovascular Laboratory at the Harvard School of Public Health and was pursuing his PhD in biomedical engineering, when he withdrew to found Aspect Medical.

James L. Joslin, CFP

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James L. Joslin, CFP

A founding principal and chairman of TFC Financial Management, James L. Joslin has more than 45 years of experience in private wealth management. His background includes investment analysis, portfolio management, and trust banking, as well as the domestic and international marketing of these services to individuals and institutions. Prior to starting TFC, Joslin was the principal of J.L. Joslin Associates, which provided consulting services to major financial companies serving affluent investors. Joslin also held senior portfolio management and business development positions at Jennison Associates, Eaton Vance Corporation, Thorndike, Doran, Paine and Lewis, and Wellington Management Company – all major firms in the individual and tax-qualified money management business. Currently, he is a Trustee of the Maine Maritime Museum, a Board member of the International Museum of World War II, as well as an Advisory Board Member of the MGH Center for Law, Brain, and Behavior, and Treasurer of the Pioneer Institute.

Michael Fine, MD

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Michael Fine, MD

Michael Fine is a writer, a community organizer, a family physician, and a public health provocateur. He is currently Chief Health Strategist to Mayor James Diossa and the City of Central Falls, Rhode Island, and Senior Clinical and Population Health Services Officer of Blackstone Valley Community Health Care, Inc., which together  opened the first Neighborhood Health Station in the US, in February of 2019.  He served in the Cabinet of Governor Lincoln Chafee as Director of the Rhode Island Department of Health (HEALTH) from February of  2011 until March of 2015, overseeing a broad  range of public health programs and services. Dr. Fine’s career as both a family physician and manager in the field of healthcare has been devoted to healthcare reform and the care of underserved populations. Before his confirmation as Director of Health, Dr. Fine served as the Medical Program Director at the Rhode Island Department of Corrections. He was a founder and Managing Director of HealthAccessRI, the nation’s first statewide organization making direct (prepaid, reduced fee-for-service) primary care available to people without employer-provided health insurance. Dr. Fine practiced for 16 years in urban Pawtucket, Rhode Island and rural Scituate, Rhode Island, after serving as a National Health Service Corps Scholar in Hancock County Tennessee, the then fifth poorest county in the US.  He was a VISTA Volunteer, as a community organizer on 167th Street and 3rd Avenue, in the South Bronx, before medical school at Case Western Reserve University and residency at Brown. He is the former Physician Operating Officer of Hillside Avenue Family and Community Medicine, the largest family practice in Rhode Island, and the former Physician-in-Chief of the Rhode Island and Miriam Hospitals’ Departments of Family and Community Medicine. He currently serves on the Boards of Crossroads Rhode Island, the state’s largest service organization for the homeless, the Lown Institute, the, RI New Leaders Council and RICARES. Dr. Fine is a past President of the Rhode Island Academy of Family Physicians and was an Open Society Institute/George Soros Fellow in Medicine as a Profession from 2000 to 2002. He is the author for four books, including Health Care Revolt: How to Organize, Build a Health Care System, and Resuscitate Democracy – All At The Same Time (PM Press, 2018) and Abundance, a novel (PM Press 2019).

J. Breckenridge Eagle, MPH, MBA

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J. Breckenridge Eagle, MPH, MBA

Prior to retiring, Mr. Eagle served as Chairman of Aspect Medical Systems, Inc. and was a member of the company’s Executive Committee from 1996 through the company’s sale to Covidien in November 2009. Previously, he was the President of a private medical management company specializing in the development of primary care practices in New England, and served as chief financial officer and general manager of The Health Data Institute, Inc., one of the first companies to use cost and utilization data to identify opportunities for cost control and quality improvement in the US healthcare system. He also worked in the healthcare consulting practice of the public accounting firm Ernst & Whinney, and in positions in finance and health services research at the Boston University Medical Center. Mr. Eagle earned his BA and MPH from Yale University and an MBA from the Harvard Business School.

Patricia Gabow, MD

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Patricia Gabow, MD

Dr. Gabow is a national leader in delivery system innovation and the care of vulnerable populations. She retired in 2012 after 20 years as CEO of Denver Health and Hospital Authority (DHHA), an integrated health care system serving one of the poorest populations in the state of Colorado. Earlier in Gabow’s career, she was an academic practitioner and medical researcher in nephrology focusing on polycystic kidney disease. She is the author of more than 130 articles, 36 books and book chapters, and a book, The Lean Prescription: Powerful Medicine for Our Ailing Healthcare System. She has received numerous awards, including the American Medical Association Nathan Davis Award for Outstanding Public Servant, the National Healthcare Leadership Award, the David E. Rogers Award from the Association of American Medical Colleges, the Health Quality Leader Award from the National Committee for Quality Assurance, and the Distinguished Graduate Award from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine; the Gustav O. Lienhard Award from the National Academy of Medicine.  She serves on the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Board of Trustees. She is a member of the Association for Manufacturing Excellence Hall of Fame and the National Academy of Social Insurance. Gabow graduated from Seton Hill University and the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. She is professor emerita of the University of Colorado School of Medicine and a master of the American College of Physicians.

Aretha Delight Davis, MD, JD

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Aretha Delight Davis, MD, JD

Dr. Davis is Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of ACP Decisions. She has had a long-standing interest in applying her legal skills for vulnerable populations within the healthcare system to promote more patient-centered care. Prior to her medical career, Dr. Davis was a practicing attorney who advocated on behalf of Medicaid recipients and the uninsured as well as represented individuals and corporations in corporate criminal matters. She received her undergraduate degree from Harvard, a law degree from the University of Pennsylvania, and a medical degree from Harvard.

Joseph Brain, SD

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Joseph Brain, SD

Dr. Brain is the Cecil K. and Philip Drinker Professor of Environmental Physiology at the Harvard School of Public Health. He has two masters degrees from Harvard and received his doctoral degree there in 1966. He has been a faculty member at Harvard since 1969. He served as the head of the Harvard NIEHS Center for Environmental Health. This Center, with more than fifty faculty participants, emphasizes the discovery of environmental causes of disease and the development of strategies to improve human health through primary prevention. Dr. Brain has published more than 200 journal articles and book chapters.

David Bor, MD

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David Bor, MD

Dr. David Bor is Chief Academic Officer at Cambridge Health Alliance (CHA) and the Charles S. Davidson Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School (HMS). Since joining CHA in 1981, he has made major contributions to CHA as a clinician, teacher, and administrative leader. This included advancing patient care by spearheading new programs for HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and community-based primary care. As Chief of Medicine for over 20 years, he recruited outstanding primary care and specialty teams. He co-founded both the Cambridge “Health of the City” program and the Institute for Community Health, which have focused on issues like childhood obesity, men’s health, and substance abuse. He led the steering committee for the Cambridge Integrated Clerkship that has revolutionized clinical medical education and is being adapted world wide. In the academic arena, Dr. Bor has worked with hundreds of young physicians, fostering an environment of learning, sharing, and innovation. These efforts have earned him the HMS Dean’s Award for Community Service, the A. Clifford Barger Award for Excellence in Mentoring, and membership in the HMS Academy, whose focus is excellence and innovation in medical education. In his current role, Dr. Bor ingrains academics as fundamental to CHA. He envisions CHA as a national model for integrated public health and health care and for medical education innovation.

metrics advisory council

William B. Adams

Co-Chair, Patient Council, Right Care Alliance

William B. Adams

Co-Chair, Patient Council, Right Care Alliance

Kevin Barnett, DrPH, MCP

Senior Investigator, Public Health Institute

Kevin Barnett, DrPH, MCP

Senior Investigator, Public Health Institute

Andrew Bazemore, MD, MPH

SVP of Research and Policy, American Board of Family Medicine

Andrew Bazemore, MD, MPH

SVP of Research and Policy, American Board of Family Medicine

David Bor

Chief Academic Officer, Cambridge Health Alliance

David Bor

Chief Academic Officer, Cambridge Health Alliance

Candice Chen, MD, MPH

Associate Professor of Health Policy & Management, Milken Institute School of Public Health, The George Washington University

Candice Chen, MD, MPH

Associate Professor of Health Policy & Management, Milken Institute School of Public Health, The George Washington University

Joanne M. Conroy, MD

CEO and President Dartmouth - Hitchcock

Joanne M. Conroy, MD

CEO and President Dartmouth - Hitchcock

Adam Elshaug

Professor of Health Policy, Melbourne School of Population and Global Health

Adam Elshaug

Professor of Health Policy, Melbourne School of Population and Global Health

Elmer Freeman

Executive Director, Center for Community Health Education Research and Service

Elmer Freeman

Executive Director, Center for Community Health Education Research and Service

Patricia Gabow, MD

Former CEO, Denver Health and Hospital Authority

Patricia Gabow, MD

Former CEO, Denver Health and Hospital Authority

Paul Glastris

Editor in Chief, the Washington Monthly

Paul Glastris

Editor in Chief, the Washington Monthly

Merrill Goozner

Editor Emeritus, Modern Healthcare

Merrill Goozner

Editor Emeritus, Modern Healthcare

Paul A. Hattis MD, JD, MPH

Associate Professor, Tufts University School of Medicine

Paul A. Hattis MD, JD, MPH

Associate Professor, Tufts University School of Medicine

Emma Hoo

Director, Pacific Business Group on Health

Emma Hoo

Director, Pacific Business Group on Health

Jeffrey Levi

Professor of Health Policy and Management, George Washington University

Jeffrey Levi

Professor of Health Policy and Management, George Washington University

Sara Rosenbaum, J.D.

Harold and Jane Hirsh Professor of Health Law and Policy, George Washington University

Sara Rosenbaum, J.D.

Harold and Jane Hirsh Professor of Health Law and Policy, George Washington University

Aaron Schwartz

Resident, Department of Internal Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital

Aaron Schwartz

Resident, Department of Internal Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital

Pritpal S. Tamber

Independent Writer, Researcher, and Consultant in Community Health & Medical Information; Founder of the Creating Health Collaborative

Pritpal S. Tamber

Independent Writer, Researcher, and Consultant in Community Health & Medical Information; Founder of the Creating Health Collaborative

Gary J. Young, J.D., Ph.D.

Director, Northeastern University Center for Health Policy and Healthcare Research

Gary J. Young, J.D., Ph.D.

Director, Northeastern University Center for Health Policy and Healthcare Research

Kevin Barnett, DrPH, MCP
Senior Investigator
Public Health Institute

Hospitals are in a unique position to improve health equity, using data and health expertise to focus assets in communities where health inequities are concentrated."

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