Skip to main content

Stephen M. ​Shortell, PhD, MPH, MBA

Professor Emeritus
  • Founding Director, Center for Healthcare Organizational and Innovation Research (CHOIR)
  • Founding Co-Director, Center for Lean Engagement and Research (CLEAR) in Healthcare
  • Blue Cross of California Distinguished Professor Emeritus, Health Policy and Management
  • Dean Emeritus, School of Public Health (2002–2013)

Stephen M. Shortell is a Professor Emeritus of Health Policy and Management and Dean Emeritus whose expertise is in policies and practices to reform health care delivery and improve the value of care (lower cost and higher quality) provided to patients.
Phone: (510) 410-9082
Address: 590A University Hall
Berkeley, CA 94704


Stephen M. Shortell is a Professor Emeritus of the Graduate School and Dean Emeritus at UC Berkeley’s School of Public Health where he has held the Blue Cross of California Distinguished Professorship in Health Policy and Management He received his PhD in the Behavioral Sciences from the University of Chicago in 1972 and has also taught and conducted research at the University of Washington and the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. During the course of his career he has served as Principal Investigator on numerous research grants including serving as PI on the National Surveys of Physician Organizations (NSPO) 1, 2, and 3). His particular expertise is in conceptualizing, measuring, and analyzing organizational factors that are associated with hospital, physician organization and health system performance. He is currently conducting research on Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) integrated care models, innovations in healthcare delivery, developing taxonomies of healthcare organizations and systems, and examining the application of the Lean management/operating system in U.S. hospitals. His more than 300 peer-reviewed papers have appeared in a wide variety of organizational and health services/health policy research journals, and he is the author or co-author of ten books. Dr. Shortell is an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine (formerly the Institute of Medicine), past editor of Health Services Research, and past president of the Association for Health Services Research (Academy Health). He has been the recipient of the distinguished Graham Prize ( formerly Baxter Prize) for his innovative contributions to health services research, the Distinguished Investigator Award from Academy Health, the AHA/HRET TRUST Leadership Award, the John M. Eisenberg Excellence in Mentorship Award, and many other awards. In 2006-2007, he was a Fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University.

Research Interests

  • Organizational correlates of quality and outcomes of care
  • Evaluation of the Lean Management/Operating System on performance improvement
  • Strategic change in the health care sector: e.g., evolution of integrated delivery systems and Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs)
  • Strategic alliances between physicians and other health care entities
  • Patient activation and engagement


  • PhD – Behavioral Science
    University of Chicago, 1972
  • MBA – Business Administration
    University of Chicago, 1970
  • MPH – Hospital Administration
    University of California, Los Angeles, 1968
  • BBA – Business Administration
    University of Notre Dame, 1966


Courses Taught

    • PH 237C
    • PhD Health Policy Colloquium