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Dartmouth Names Endowed Professorship After Atlas Founder

Hanover — Dartmouth College has honored a pioneer in health care research and founder of The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy & Clinical Practice with an endowed professorship.

On Tuesday, Dartmouth announced the John E. Wennberg Distinguished Professorship, named for the man whose work through The Dartmouth Atlas explored geographic variations in health care. An endowed professorship is the highest honor awarded by Dartmouth to a faculty member at The Dartmouth Institute and provides a stable source of income to enable a professor to pursue research, teaching and other academic activities.

“There could be no better way to salute Jack and the pioneering work he’s done in helping define the map of American health care,” said Philip Hanlon, Dartmouth’s president, in a statement.

Wennberg’s work has led researchers to explore questions around why variations exist in health care practice and spending, leading to changes in policy and practice, and ensuring that patients are well-informed. He joined the Dartmouth faculty in 1980 and founded The Dartmouth Institute in 1988. The institute has established a new discipline and educational focus in the Evaluative Clinical Sciences, introduced the concept of shared-decision making for patients, and developed the first comprehensive examination of variations in the U.S. health care system through The Dartmouth Atlas.

The professorship that is named for Wennberg is endowed through 25 donors.