Samantha DuPont

Health Policy Consultant

Policy expertise

Patient engagement, mental health, aging.

Health care trends I’m watching

I’m following the metamorphosis of the health care delivery system as it adopts a more holistic approach to health.  I’m watching how patient-centeredness is moving toward empowering patients to become active decision-makers in their care.  I’m interested in seeing how the health care system will integrate other types of providers, such as mental health practitioners, social workers, home health workers, and patients’ family and friends into care teams.

Professional accomplishments

Throughout my career, I have been involved in consumer/citizen/patient advocacy efforts and have worked to bring research into the hands of thought leaders and decision-makers.  I was a trial paralegal for a plaintiff’s law firm representing patients who were injured by the arthritis drug Vioxx, which eventually led to the largest pharmaceutical settlement in U.S. history.  I worked as a research associate at Public Agenda, a nonprofit public opinion research and public engagement organization in New York, co-founded by former U.S. Secretary of State Cyrus Vance and social scientist Dan Yankelovich.  I co-authored several reports illuminating Americans’ opinions on policy issues such as the cost of health care, HIV/AIDS, and K-12 and higher education.  At Kaiser Permanente, I’m a contributing author and co-manager of the KP Policy Stories project, which seeks to influence health policy and practice by sharing compelling stories of Kaiser Permanente’s successes with delivery system reform.

Interests and experience

In 2012, two graduate colleagues from UC Berkeley and I led a highly successful quality improvement project for a Kaiser Permanente hospital in San Rafael, CA.  As part of an ongoing effort to improve care for patients with delirium, we conducted research on family members’ perspectives of patient care.  As a policy consultant for Kaiser Permanente, I am helping to strengthen our communications strategy by expanding our presence on social media and developing new multimedia products.

What Drives Me in Health Policy

True health care reform will only come about if we engage all stakeholders.  Within “the four walls” of the medical office or hospital, this involves integrating patients, family members, caregivers and non-medical providers into the care team.  At a policy level, we must engage all of these actors — in addition to community organizations, advocates, businesses, and others – to understand, and respond to, the complex web of factors that influence health.  I feel extremely fortunate to work at Kaiser Permanente, not only because we have a mission to treat the whole person – mind, body and spirit – but also because we believe that health systems must be involved in changing economic, social and environmental conditions to improve population health.

Selected publications

Education

  • Master of Public Health, Health Policy and Management, University of California, Berkeley
  • Bachelor of Arts, Science in Society Program, Wesleyan University

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