Dr David Blumenthal Looks Back as The Commonwealth Fund Celebrates 100 Years

As The Commonwealth Fund celebrates 100 years, David Blumenthal, MD, MPP, looks back at the work it has done.

This year, the Commonwealth Fund is celebrating their 100th year, and you have launched a website in commemoration. How has the organization worked to improve healthcare over the years?
Well, we have over the last 100 years we’ve been committed to improving the health of the American people as well as working on international issues and to improving the care, especially of vulnerable populations. Some of the things we’ve done over the years, we were among the original supporters of the Pap Smear. We’ve also helped fund rural hospitals in the south and that led to the program called the Hillburton Act which funded hospitals throughout the United States in the 40s and 50s. We were the first supporter of hospice in the United States, we funded a demonstration at Yale, and we were early on in supporting the development of health maintenance organizations. We were early funders of Harvard community health plan in Boston which was one of the first successful plans outside of the Kaiser pre-paid group pay practice model.

To visit the Commonwealth Fund's centennial website, click here.

Has the Commonwealth Fund done work internationally?
The Commonwealth Fund has also done a lot of international work and that’s becoming more interesting now to people in this particular time. We’re very proud of the fact that we have constantly demonstrated the alternatives and the availability of alternatives to the way we deliver care in the United States and we are continuing to do that. We believe that we have the best information available on alternative approaches to healthcare based on the other countries that we study intensively.

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