The origins of the Dreyfus Health Policy & Research Center can be traced back to the late 1960s when Dr. Albert L. Rubin and Barry H. Smith met at M.I.T.. Their meeting began a long relationship that involved clinical neuroscience, kidney health, and the structure and function of the U.S. healthcare delivery system.
Following a stint at the National Institutes of Neurological, Communicative Disorders and Stroke (NINCDS) Dr. Smith returned to New York City and neurosurgery at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC) in 1988. During this period, Jack Dreyfus approached him regarding joining the Dreyfus Health Foundation. While at the Dreyfus Health foundation Dr. Smith discovered a serious flaw in the system for approving new uses for old drugs, which in turn led him to discovering even broader issues across the US health delivery system. Dr. Smith gained Jack Dreyfus’ agreement to develop an international better-health program that ultimately became Problem Solving for Better Health (PSBH).
PSBH was developed with many global partners, anchored by Pamela Hoyt-Hudson and Karen Meerabux , spread to 32 countries from Bulgaria to Zambia involved over 100,000 people and supported 70,000 better-health projects.. The net result has been improved health and quality of life for millions of individuals, leveraging the power of the “ordinary” people to take much more responsibility for their own health and lives. More information can be found in our book, Problem Solving for Better Health: A Global Perspective.
In 2008 Dr. Smith was asked to become the President and CEO of The Rogosin Institute, with its world-class focus on the treatment of kidney disease, including dialysis and transplantation.
While at Rogosin Dr. Smith founded the Center for Health Action and Policy and the Dreyfus Health Foundation (both led by Pamela Hoyt-Hudson and Karen Meerabux) which helped to develop the concept “dialysis clinic without walls” to ensure dialysis centers became parts of the community they served, developed school programs in central Brooklyn as well as Asia and Africa. The aim of CHAP was to improve the lives of people already living with kidney disease or kidney failure and on dialysis, as well as increasing the availability of kidney transplants through living and deceased organ donation. The overriding concern was to deliver a program that prevented as much chronic and end-stage kidney disease as possible, thereby reducing the need for dialysis and transplantation.
In 2020 it became clear that this vital work needed an independent entity, separate from The Rogosin Institute and the NewYork-Presbyterian Healthcare System and the Dreyfus Health Policy and Research Center was born as its own non-profit (501c3) organization, which was accomplished in partnership with Dialysis Clinic, Inc.
The aim of the Dreyfus Health Policy and Research Center is to drive the creation of a health system that prioritizes wellness, disease prevention, early detection of disease, with appropriate intervention guided by risk stratification. Continuing to provide care for those who are ill must remain part of the new system, but stopping disease before it starts, and intervening early must be the priority.