Dr. McGinnis is a physician, epidemiologist and long-time contributor to national and international health programs and policy. An elected Member of the Institute of Medicine (IOM) of the National Academies, he has since 2005 also served as IOM Senior Scholar, Executive Director of the IOM Roundtable on Value & Science-Driven Health Care, and founder of the IOM initiative on advancing a continuously learning health system.
He previously served as founding Director, respectively, of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s (RWJF) Health Group, the World Health Organization’s Office for Health Reconstruction in Bosnia, the federal Office of Research Integrity, and the federal Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. In a tenure unusual for political and policy posts, he held continuous appointment through the Carter, Reagan, Bush and Clinton Administrations at the Department of Health and Human Services, with policy responsibilities for disease prevention and health promotion (1977-1995).
Programs and policies he conceived and shepherded include the Healthy People process setting national health goals and objectives (1979-present), the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (1984-present), the Dietary Guidelines for Americans (with USDA, 1980-present), the Ten Essential Services of Public Health (1994-present) developed by the Public Health Functions Steering Group (of leading public health organizations), the RWJF Active Living family of programs (2000-present), the RWJF Young Epidemiology Scholars Program (2001-present), the RWJF Health and Society Scholars Program (2002-present), and the current Learning Health System initiative of the IOM.
International posts include service in India, in 1974-1975, as Epidemiologist and State Director for the World Health Organization’s successful smallpox eradication program, and in Bosnia, in 1995-1996, as Chair of the joint World Bank/European Commission Task Force on Post-War Reconstruction of the Health and Human Services Sector.
Perhaps best known for his research and publications on the fundamental determinants of health, Dr. McGinnis also brings national and international experience with health policy to Nemours. He adds dimensions to Board consideration and support as the organization strives to raise the bar on standards for the health and health care of children.