Jim Hester has been active in health reform and population health for almost four decades. His focus at Population Health Systems is the development of sustainable financial models that reward improvements in population health. He is currently advising a number of communities, the state of Vermont, and CDC. Previously, he was Senior Advisor to the Director of the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI) in CMS assisting in the start up of the center and the development of its initial portfolio of initiatives. Serving as the Director of the Population Health Models Group, he was responsible for creating the population health agenda for CMMI and developing a partnership with CDC. Prior to joining CMS, he was Director of the Health Care Reform Commission for the Vermont state legislature and he has been active in health care reform in Vermont since 2001. Dr. Hester has held senior management positions with MVP Healthcare in Vermont, ChoiceCare in Cincinnati, and Tufts Medical Center in Boston. He began his managed care career as Director of Applied Research for Kaiser Permanente in Los Angeles. He first analyzed complex systems in the aerospace industry working on the Apollo project’s rocket engines at NASA and high-powered gas dynamic lasers at Avco Everett Research Laboratory.
Dr. Hester earned his Ph.D. in urban studies, and his M.S. and B.S. degrees in Aeronautics and Astronautics, all from MIT. He has a continuing interest in health services research and teaching and has held faculty appointments at the University of Vermont, University of Cincinnati, Harvard School of Public Health and the University of Massachusetts. He has served on the boards of a wide variety of organizations including the Public Health Institute, Martin’s Point Healthcare, the Vermont Program for Quality Health Care, and MIT. He was a member of the Vermont Business Roundtable and the Executive Committee of the Lake Champlain Chamber of Commerce. He lives in Burlington, Vermont where he pursues his hobbies of backpacking, photography and spoiling his 3 grandchildren.