Thought Leader, Care Redesign

Sara J. Singer, MBA, PhD

Associate Professor of Health Care Management and Policy
Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health


Sara J. Singer, M.B.A., Ph.D., is an Associate Professor of Health Care Management and Policy at the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health and of Medicine at Harvard Medical School in the Mongan Institute for Health Policy, Massachusetts General Hospital. Her research in the field of health care management and policy focuses on how organizational leadership and culture impact efforts to implement health delivery innovations, integrate patient care, and improve safety and reliability of health care organizations. A key feature of this research is the development of survey instruments that measure provider and patient perspectives on key interpersonal and organizational factors, enabling benchmarking, rapid and reliable feedback about the effectiveness and comparative effectiveness of delivery system innovations, and broader dissemination of more successful interventions. Dr. Singer acts as Co-Chair of the Harvard PhD in Health Policy Program Management Track (2013-present), Director of the Healthcare Management Field of Study for the Masters in Public Health Program at the Harvard Chan School (2015-present), Implementation Research Director for the Safe Surgery 2015 initiative (2010-present), Evaluation Co-Chair for Massachusetts’ Proactive Reduction in Outpatient Malpractice: Improving Safety Efficiency and Satisfaction (PROMISES) program (2010-present), and Evaluation team member for the Academic Innovations Collaborative / Comprehensive, Accessible, Reliable, Exceptional and Safe (AIC / CARES) Collaborative (2012-present). She is a member of the University Benefits Committee (2012-present). She also co-founded and served as Executive Director for the Center for Health Policy at Stanford, where she was also a Senior Research Scholar and Lecturer (1993-2003). Dr. Singer served as Staff Director for the California Managed Care Improvement Task Force (1997-98), a Senior Legislative Assistant for Health Policy in the US House of Representative (1994), and Health Policy Analyst at the Office of Management and Budget (1992).

Dr. Singer has published more than 90 articles in academic journals and books on healthcare management, health policy, and health system reform. Her publications have won numerous awards, including best paper awards from the Academy of Management’s Health Care Division in three consecutive years 2009, 2010, and 2011. She is the recipient of the 2013 Avedis Donabedian Healthcare Quality Award from the American Public Health Association and the 2014 Teaching Citation Award from the Harvard School of Public Health. Dr. Singer has conducted numerous studies for the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Veterans Administration Health Services Research & Development, and private foundations related to measuring and improving organizational culture, learning, teamwork, patient safety, integrated patient care, and the financing and delivery of health care. She holds an A.B. degree in English from Princeton University, a M.B.A. degree with a Certificate in Public Management from Stanford University, and a Ph.D. from Harvard University in Health Policy/Management with a concentration in organizational behavior. Her husband, Gordon Bloom, is founder of the Social Entrepreneurship Collaboratory (SE Lab) at Harvard, Princeton, and Stanford Universities. They live with their children, Audrey (16) and Jason (12) in Newton, Massachusetts.

Care Redesign I

My Favorite Slide: What Is the Right Size for Your Team?

Bigger is not always better for effective teamwork and communication.

Care Redesign Panel Clip Still: Primary Care Providers as Whole Care Coordinators

Care Redesign I

Primary Care Providers as Whole Care Coordinators

Patients need someone knowledgeable about all the care they receive, but should that someone just be the primary care doctor?

Sara Singer and Bas Bloem Panel Clip Still: When Patients Want the Doctor, Not the Team

Care Redesign I

When Patients Want the Doctor, Not the Team

How do you navigate the way work gets done with the way patients perceive they want care?

Sara J. Singer Video Still: High-Performing Teams: Health Care's Next Frontier

Care Redesign I

High-Performing Teams: Health Care’s Next Frontier

No individual leader or team member can create a great team alone.

Sara J. Singer Bastiaan R. Bloem Video Clip Still: The Power of Physician-Patient Partnership

Care Redesign I

The Power of Physician-Patient Partnership

Do we underestimate a patient’s capacity to share in clinical decision making?

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