Susan Dentzer is Senior Policy Adviser to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the nation’s largest philanthropy focused solely on US health and health care, and is also one of the nation’s most respected health care journalists and thought leaders.
A compelling, thoughtful, and entertaining speaker widely recognized for her ability to communicate clearly with both expert audiences and the general public, she is an on-air analyst on health issues with the PBS NewsHour and a regular commentator on health policy for National Public Radio and other television and radio networks. She speaks widely and also is known as a gifted interviewer and moderator, and is at home in a variety of settings, including corporate and academic audiences.
Dentzer wrote and hosted the 2015 PBS documentary, Reinventing American Healthcare, focusing on the innovations pioneered by the Geisinger Health System and spread to health systems across the nation.
Dentzer served from 2008-2013 as the editor-in-chief of Health Affairs, the nation’s leading journal of health policy. She also previously led the NewsHour’s health unit, reporting extensively on-air about health care reform debates from 1998 to 2008. Dentzer is an elected member of the National Academy of Sciences (formerly the Institute of Medicine) and also serves on the academy’s Board on Population Health and Public Health Practice. She is also an elected member of the Council on Foreign Relations; a fellow of the National Academy of Social Insurance; and a fellow of the Hastings Center, a nonpartisan bioethics research institute. She graduated from Dartmouth, is a trustee emerita of the college, and chaired the Dartmouth Board of Trustees from 2001 to 2004. She has served as a member of the Board of Overseers of Dartmouth Medical School for more than two decades.
Dentzer is a member of the Board of Directors of the International Rescue Committee, a leading humanitarian organization. She also serves on the board of directors of Research!America, an alliance working to make research to improve health a higher priority; is a public member of the Board of Directors of the American Board of Medical Specialties, which assists 24 medical specialty boards in the ongoing evaluation and certification of physicians; and is a member of the board of directors of the Public Health Institute, the nonprofit organization addressing public health issues and solutions nationwide. She is a member of the Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured, the RAND Health Board of Advisors, and the March of Dimes national advisory board.
Dentzer holds an honorary master’s degree from Dartmouth and an honorary doctorate in human letters from Muskingum University. She, her husband, and their three children live in the Washington, DC area.
“Your insightful and thoughtful remarks and your candor responding to questions brought precisely the type of focus we hoped would transpire during the Conference morning session. The attendee evaluations of the Conference were uniform in their praise of your good work and that of fellow Panel members. Our constituents in the business community simply cannot ignore the imperative of health care reform communicated by your clear-headed thinking and the understated, yet forceful manner in which you chose to convey that message. You are a most gracious and kind person. I wish you best of luck going forward and I will keep Health Affairs on my short list of 'must read' policy journals."
"Susan was wonderful, and please convey our sincere appreciation to her. We have received very favorably comments on her session!"
"Ms. Dentzer'sspeech went very fine and the audience was very positive. From the first feedback, everybody found the speech extremely interesting. Some people also asked us how to invite Ms. Dentzer for some of their own conference!"
"Susan was terrific! Excellent presentation - it was obvious from the question and answer session that the audience was very engaged. She was also very gracious to stay and interact with participants at the reception that followed her presentation."