The heart of NYU Wagner's programs is our faculty. An amalgam of full-time, clinical/research/visiting, and adjunct professors, they are outstanding teachers, expert researchers and committed practitioners.
The 18th Annual Kovner-Behrman Health Forum at NYU Wagner featured Carolyn Clancy, M.D., Assistant Deputy Undersecretary for Health for Quality, Safety and Value at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. In a spirited and informative keynote speech, she described the Veterans Health Administration and its continung drive toward excellence and high achievement.
Dr. Clancy was introduced with welcoming remarks by Wagner's Professor John Donnellan, who worked extensively in New York City for the VA after earning his MPA from Wagner in 1984. As a graduate student, his professor and mentor was Professor Anthony Kovner, now his colleague, who sat front-and-center in an audience which consisted of many Wagner Health Policy & Management alumni, faculty, and students, and a range of healthcare professionals.
Carolyn Clancy, a general internist, a researcher on disparities in healthcare and other pressing issues, and an accomplished and seasoned U.S. healthcare administrator, described a vast, mission-driven, national VA healthcare system that has led the way in healthcare innovation, safety, efficiencies, and needs-responsive medical services. It consists of 151 medical centers, well over 985 outpatient centers, and 70 mobile health units. Its size, she said, is demonstrated by its staff of 822,000 employees. No less than two-thirds of U.S. doctors have received training in a VA facility. "Pretty amazing," she said.
The organization aims to become even more patient-driven, she noted, adding that the philosophy that comes clearly from the top, and is taken to heart across the agency, is: "We owe it to them [our nation's war veterans] to help them do much better, so they can get back to the rest of their lives."
The Kovner-Berhman Health Forum was established by Professor Kovner in 1996. It convenes leading health expects for a dialogue about how to improve the healthcare delivery sytsem. With extensive experience as both a health practioner and academic, Anthony Kovner saw the value of bridging the gap between the two sectors. Each year, experts at the forum engage a different healthcare topic that is relevant to both practioners and researchers, with the goal of learning from one another and improving overall health outcomes.
Microfinance's global acclaim has been fueled, in part, by anecdotes about cash-strapped micro-entrepreneurs propelled out of poverty by bits of extra cash in the form of microloans. But research by NYU Wagner's Professor of Public Policy and Economics Jonathan Morduch shows that little actually is known about the magnitude of very poor people who benefit from microloans -- or to what degree. The evidence that does exist, meanwhile, is flawed.
Professor Morduch is a leading microfinance expert, the co-author of the 2005 book "The Economics of Microfinance" (MIT Press), and lead researcher of the NYU Wagner-based Financial Access Initiative supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. On January 21, 2008, he delivered a Distinguished Lecture hosted by the Center for Analytical Finance of the Indian School of Business in Hyderabad. Entitled "Microfinance: The Next Capitalist Revolution?", the presentation focused on expanding concepts of microfinance to meet the needs of the next generation of unbanked customers. The lecture focused on consumer finance, livelihoods strategies, and the roles of the private and poverty sector.
While in India, Professor Morduch also delivered presentations at the Reserve Bank of India, the Delhi School of Economics, and the National Council on Applied Economic Research.
Professor Morduch also visited Japan in December, 2007, where he gave the keynote speech at a symposium on microfinance attended by academics, policymakers, and bankers, held at the Japan Bank for International Cooperation. He delivered talks at Kobe University, the University of Tokyo, and the Ministry of Finance.
Friday, February 1, 2008, Professor Morduch discusses his groundbreaking new paper, "How Can the Poor Afford Microfinance," at the First Annual Forum on Financial Access, hosted at New York University by the Financial Access Initiative. The conference, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., includes a student debate competition moderated by a senior writer and editor from The Economist and discussions by leading experts on microfinance and poverty. For further information, click below.
Don't miss a highlight of New York University's weeklong commemoration of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., when Dr. Cornel West talks about activism at NYU's Kimmel Center on Thursday, Feb. 9, and is joined by Mitchell Moss, the Henry Hart Rice professor of urban policy at NYU Wagner, who will talk about cities.
This University-wide event, which runs from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m., showcases "7 Issues, 7 Leaders, 7 Minutes." NYU's Kimmel Center for University Life is located at the corner of Washington Square South and LaGuardia Place, and the event is in its Eisner & Lubin Auditorium. Professors West and Moss are among the seven featured presenters.
The theme of this year's MLK Week at NYU (Feb. 6-11) is: "The Future of Diversity: Here & Now."