Lauren Hughes, MD, MPH, MSc, is a physician and health policy leader working at the nexus of primary care and public and population health to improve the lives and well-being of vulnerable communities. She desires to change policies and systems in innovative, equitable, and sustainable ways so that through better health, marginalized populations can pursue greater educational and economic opportunities.
Dr. Hughes is a practicing family physician, associate professor of family medicine, and the State Policy Director of the Farley Health Policy Center at the University of Colorado, where she leads initiatives to translate data for policymakers to inform the design and implementation of evidence-based health policy. Her research interests include strengthening rural health care delivery systems, the future of primary care and public health post-COVID, and reforming graduate medical education governance, financing, and social accountability. Dr. Hughes previously served as Deputy Secretary for Health Innovation in the Pennsylvania Department of Health, where she launched the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program and the Pennsylvania Rural Health Model, a new payment and delivery model that transitions rural hospitals from fee-for-service to multi-payer global budgets. She serves on the Boards of Directors of the American Board of Family Medicine and the Rural Health Redesign Center Organization, is an alumna of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholars Program, formerly led the American Medical Student Association as its national president, and worked on Capitol Hill for Iowa Senator Tom Harkin. Dr. Hughes has been a visiting scholar at the Robert Graham Center, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation, the Commonwealth Fund, and the ABC News Medical Unit in New York City. In 2016, she received the Early Career Achievement Award from the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine and the Women Leaders in Medicine Award from the American Medical Student Association. In 2018, Dr. Hughes was named a Presidential Leadership Scholar by Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush.