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January 25, 2014 / stacieshap

Don Berwick

berwickStacie’s Blogging the Governor’s Race! Read more in her series, here:


Don Berwick began his career as a Pediatrician.  He received his Undergraduate Degree from Harvard College, his Medical Degree from Harvard Medical School, and his Master’s in Public Policy from the JFK School of Government.

Along with his work as a Pediatrian, Don has taught at Harvard Medical School and Harvard School of Public Health.  He is Adjunct Staff at Children’s Hospital, and is a consultant in Pediatrics at Mass General.  Since 1983, he has spent much of his career focusing on issues of quality control and improvement in healthcare practices, and in 1989,  he co-founded  The Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI), the largest healthcare improvement agency in the world.

Don has always had an interest in public policy, but he got his first real dose of “political life” while in Washington D.C. serving as the Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid under President Obama.  The decision to change course and go from working behind-the-scenes to seeking public office was largely inspired by his time in D.C., where he witnessed first hand the dysfunction of our government.

His political philosophy is steeped in hometown values and the desire to help others.  He finds inspiration in the following Hubert Humphrey quote that he passed each day on the way to his office in DC:

 “It was once said that the moral test of government is how that government treats those who are in the dawn of life, the children; those who are in the twilight of life, the elderly; and those who are in the shadows of life, the sick, the needy and the handicapped.”

Don’s Management Style:

Don spent nearly 20 years as President and CEO of The Institute for Healthcare Improvement, and his management philosophy is much like that of the “Golden Rule”;  treat others as you would like to be treated.  He sees those in his workforce as his partners in a common goal and believes in the importance of making work meaningful for everyone.  He also believes in  developing strong and supportive collaborative teams, and allowing people to take risks in an effort to be creative and innovative.

Don has always managed with an open door policy and intends to continue to do so if elected Governor. And although, on a personal level, he comes off very mild mannered he likes to point out;  “if you disagree with me, I will fight you.  I’m not as nice as I look”.

On the issues – in brief:  (For more information check out Don’s issues page.)

Healthcare – He’s proud that Massachusetts has led the country in the fight for making healthcare a right.  If elected Governor he intends to switch Massachusetts’ current healthcare system to a Single Payer system.

Education – He considers education a mainstay enterprise and the key to a just society.  He supports pre-K early education for all, middle school focus on teacher development (rather than the teaching to the test philosophy),  and higher education accessible to all.

Climate Change – He would like to double down on the progress Deval Patrick has already made.  Put more resources into wind and hydro.  And invest in measures to reduce loss of energy due to inefficiency.

Revenue – He supports making our tax code more progressive by asking the wealthy to give a little more.  He would also like to close certain loopholes in our tax code. He sees reforming our healthcare system as a major revenue booster.

Transportation –  He believes public transportation is vital to our economy, quality of life, and reducing our carbon footprint.  He supports a large investment in the transportation system to make up for the many years of neglect,  and to provide for our current and future needs.

Other issues:

Don supports a woman’s right to choose, repealing the defense of marriage act, raising of the minimum wage, immigration reform, and publicly funded elections.  He strongly opposes casinos, and will support a repeal of the casino law.


Read more from Stacie on the Governor’s Race:


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