Janet Coffman, MA, MPP, PhD, aims to build bridges between academia and policymakers. At the PRL-IHPS, her work as principal analyst for medical effectiveness for the California Health Benefits Review Program (CHBRP) is a prime example of bridge building. Established in 2002, CHBRP responds to requests from the California State Legislature to provide independent analysis of proposed health insurance benefit mandates and repeals. The program is administered by the University of California's Office of the President and involves faculty and staff from several UC campuses, other universities in California, and an actuarial firm. Since Dr. Coffman joined the program in October 2005, she has authored the medical effectiveness sections of 44 CHBRP reports on a wide variety of topics, including asthma education, gynecological cancer screening, HIV testing, mental health parity, tobacco cessation., She also leads CHBRP’s ongoing efforts to strengthen methods for identifying and analyzing pertinent medical literature.
Dr. Coffman’s other research interests include innovations in management of asthma and other chronic illnesses, access to care for vulnerable populations, development of evidence-based health policies, and health care workforce issues. She has published in a wide range of journals, including Health Affairs, Health Services Research, Pediatrics, and Psychiatric Services.
Dr. Coffman received a doctoral degree in health services and policy analysis from the University of California, Berkeley in 2005. She also has a master's degree in public policy from UC-Berkeley. She previously worked for the United States Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs, the San Francisco Department of Public Health, and the UCSF Center for the Health Professions.
Dr. Coffman’s research has made important contributions to health workforce policy in California. While at the Center for the Health Professions, she co-authored articles and reports on options for addressing health workforce shortages, geographic misdistribution, and lack of racial/ethnic diversity among health professionals. While at UC-Berkeley, she was the lead author of a report on California’s physician workforce that served as a major resource for the University of California Health Sciences Committee’s strategic plan for expansion of health professions education. She also served on a subcommittee that advised the Health Sciences Committee regarding public health education. In 2010, she wrote an analysis of the impact of national health care reform on California’s health workforce needs for the California Program on Access to Care. She is currently leading a survey on California physicians’ use of health information technology for the California Department of Health Services and the California HealthCare Foundation.