Duke is creating a new health policy center to develop ideas for healthcare reform, President Richard Brodhead announced Monday in a press release.

The center, which will be based at the Fuqua School of Business, was founded through a $16.5 million gift by Dr. Robert Margolis and his wife Lisa Margolis. Dr. Mark McClellan, former commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services under President George W. Bush, was named the director of the center, which seeks to promote collaboration among healthcare experts and translate ideas into practice. 

With expected participation from faculty members in Fuqua, the Sanford School of Public Policy, the School of Medicine and the School of Law, the Duke-Robert J. Margolis, MD, Center for Health Policy represents Duke's continued commitment to interdisciplinary research and real-world problem-solving, Brodhead said in the release.

"This new initiative marks an important and transformative collaboration within Duke, bringing together our campus schools and Duke Medicine," Provost Sally Kornbluth said in the release. "The Duke-Margolis Center under the direction of Mark McClellan will be the focal point for faculty and students to test ideas, bring them forward to create change and to realize Duke's full potential in a vital field."

As director, McClellan will oversee several fields of study at the center, including global health, public policy, biomedical research, clinical care and law. McClellan was chosen for his expertise in healthcare innovation and value, two areas that he has focused on as a senior fellow with the Washington-based Brookings Institution.

"His experience in the evolving health care landscape is virtually unmatched, and colleagues across the University will welcome his leadership," Brodhead said.

Margolis is the retired CEO of HealthCare Partners, a physician-owned medical group headquartered in Los Angeles. Margolis, who graduated from the Duke School of Medicine in 1971, said in the release that the center is motivated by "wide disparities" in access to and quality of health care in the U.S. and around the world.

"Duke is uniquely positioned to rigorously study, research and evaluate new and best practices in the U.S. and abroad and advocate for public policies that promote equitable, efficient and high-quality care for all Americans," he said.

The center will also have an office in Washington directed by Dr. Gregory Daniel, a Brookings fellow and leader of the institute's biomedical innovation portfolio.