2022

Dr. Xi Zhu named first holder of UCLA Fielding School’s Paul Torrens Chair in Healthcare Management


The Paul Torrens Chair in Healthcare Management at UCLA FSPH provides critical support for the teaching & research efforts of promising FSPH faculty.

Dr. Xi Zhu, an expert in organizational behavior and theory dedicated to identifying strategies for improving the performance of healthcare organizations and preparing healthcare management professionals to thrive in a rapidly changing landscape, has been appointed the Paul Torrens Chair in Healthcare Management at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health. The chair, which provides critical support for the teaching and research efforts of promising early-career UCLA Fielding School faculty members, was made possible by an outpouring of support from alumni whose careers have been significantly influenced by Torrens, a professor emeritus and member of the school’s faculty since 1972.

Dr. Paul Torrens is a giant in the field of healthcare management as well as a beloved colleague and mentor to countless leaders who have driven healthcare improvements in California and beyond, and his impact is reflected in the accomplished alumni, friends, and leading healthcare organizations who have come together to establish this chair in his name,” said Dr. Ron Brookmeyer, dean of the UCLA Fielding School and distinguished professor of biostatistics. “By supporting talented young healthcare management faculty members, the Torrens chair fortifies one of our school’s great areas of strength — a strength that Paul Torrens has been instrumental in building.”

A $1 million gift from Tom and Edna Gordon and the Don S. Levin Trust in 2019 established the term chair. After making the gift, Tom Gordon invited other senior healthcare management executives to join him in honoring Torrens. So far, 20 donors have contributed nearly $1.7 million, with the largest contributions following the initial gift coming from Dr. Arthur (Artie) Southam, a member of Kaiser Permanente’s national executive team and UCLA Fielding School alumnus; and Cedars-Sinai, whose president and CEO, Thomas Priselac, teaches in the school’s executive MPH program.

The Torrens chair is housed in the school’s Department of Health Policy and Management, which prepares healthcare leaders through various full-time and executive degree programs; and its holder will work closely with the Center for Healthcare Management, established in 2019 to bring together academic researchers, students, and practitioners to address challenges and advance the field. The center is home to a monthly series of public programs in which health leaders discuss timely issues affecting the industry — named the Paul Torrens Health Forum at UCLA FSPH in Torrens’ honor in 2017.

Initially trained as a physician, Torrens has gone on to a long and distinguished career in healthcare management and health policy. But arguably his greatest impact has come from the teaching and mentorship he has provided as a UCLA Fielding School faculty member, which has made a difference in the careers of numerous current health professionals, particularly in Southern California.

Among those inspired by Torrens was Tom Gordon, who served as executive vice president of Cedars-Sinai Health System for more than two decades, overseeing the organization’s medical network of primary care and specialist physicians. After Torrens invited Gordon to deliver a guest lecture to his students in 1995, the pair forged a close friendship and Gordon began an active and continuing role at the school as a preceptor, mentor, and guest lecturer. He currently teaches a course on leadership in the executive MPH program within the UCLA Fielding School’s Department of Health Policy and Management.

“This chair helps to ensure that Paul Torrens’ legacy at UCLA will be remembered for generations to come — and that the culture of collegiality and leadership he imparted to so many of us, which we then brought to our own organizations, is passed on to future generations of students at the UCLA Fielding School,” Gordon said.

After obtaining his bachelor’s degree and master’s in business administration from East China University of Science and Technology in Shanghai, Zhu earned his PhD in sociology from the University of Minnesota and spent nearly a decade on the faculty of the University of Iowa College of Public Health before joining the UCLA Fielding School faculty in 2020. In 2019, he was named an Emerging Leader by the National Academy of Medicine.

Embedded in Zhu’s research focusing on the micro- and macro-organizational behaviors in healthcare delivery systems is a strong commitment to pursuing health equity, both in the research questions he addresses and in his efforts to work with community stakeholders to translate evidence into practice. Zhu is also devoted to mentoring master’s and PhD students, an important part of continuing Torrens’ legacy.

“The U.S. healthcare delivery system has been undergoing a fundamental transformation to become more efficient, patient-centered, and value-based, as well as to be connected to the public health and social services sectors,” Zhu said. “I am passionate about the real-world impact our work can make through training the next generation of leaders for healthcare management practice, policy, and research in this changing environment. The Paul Torrens Chair is an incredible honor for me because it recognizes the importance of healthcare management in contributing to the public good.”

by Dan Gordon


The UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, founded in 1961, is dedicated to enhancing the public's health by conducting innovative research, training future leaders and health professionals from diverse backgrounds, translating research into policy and practice, and serving our local communities and the communities of the nation and the world. The school has 761 students from 26 nations engaged in carrying out the vision of building healthy futures in greater Los Angeles, California, the nation and the world.

Faculty Referenced by this Article

Dr. Xi Zhu
Xi Zhu
Health Policy and Management
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Ron Brookmeyer
Ron Brookmeyer
Biostatistics
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Hyun J. Grace Kim
Biostatistics
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Sean Darling-Hammond
Sean Darling-Hammond
Biostatistics Community Health Sciences
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Neal Halfon
Health Policy and Management
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Corrina Moucheraud
Corrina Moucheraud
Health Policy and Management
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Dr. Beth Glenn
Beth Glenn
Health Policy and Management
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Yusuke Tsugawa
Yusuke Tsugawa
Health Policy and Management
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Laura Erskine
Laura Erskine
Health Policy and Management
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Dr. John Lu
Z. John Lu
Health Policy and Management
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David Gjertson
Biostatistics
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Brunilda Balliu headshot
Brunilda Balliu
Biostatistics
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Aronberg, Sandra
Sandra Aronberg
Health Policy and Management
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Dr. Joann Elmore
Joann G. Elmore
Health Policy and Management
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Dr. Risha Gidwani
Risha Gidwani
Health Policy and Management
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Emily Abel
Emily Abel
Health Policy and Management
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Dr. Alice Kuo
Alice Kuo
Health Policy and Management
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Dr. William McCarthy
William J. McCarthy
Health Policy and Management
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Dr. Anthony Schiff
Anthony Hunter Schiff
Health Policy and Management
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Jody Heymann
Jody Heymann
Epidemiology Health Policy and Management
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Dr. Daniel Eisenberg
Daniel Eisenberg
Health Policy and Management
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Honghu Liu
Biostatistics
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James Macinko
James Macinko

Professor of Community Health Sciences & Health Policy and Management, and Associate Dean for Research

Community Health Sciences Health Policy and Management
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Julie A. Elginer

EMPH Academic Program Director with expertise in healthcare marketing, finance, and reproductive health policy, teaching in the EMPH, MPH, MHA program

Health Policy and Management
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Vickie Mays
Vickie Mays
Health Policy and Management
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Emmeline Chuang
Health Policy and Management
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David Elashoff
Biostatistics
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David Hayes-Bautista
Health Policy and Management
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Dr. Yvonne Flores
Yvonne Flores
Health Policy and Management
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Barbara Berman
Health Policy and Management
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Dr. Lillian Gelberg
Lillian Gelberg
Health Policy and Management
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Dr. Paul Fu, Jr.
Paul Fu, Jr.
Health Policy and Management
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Brennan Spiegel
Health Policy and Management
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Sudipto Banerjee
Sudipto Banerjee
Biostatistics
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Lori Pelliccioni
Health Policy and Management
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Dr. Ninez Ponce
Ninez Ponce
Health Policy and Management
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Dr. Thomas Rice
Thomas Rice
Health Policy and Management
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Paul Chung
Paul Chung
Health Policy and Management
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Thomas Belin
Thomas R. Belin
Biostatistics
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Jack Needleman
Jack Needleman
Health Policy and Management
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Annette Maxwell
Health Policy and Management
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Robert Brook
Health Policy and Management
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Xiaowu Dai headshot
Xiaowu Dai
Biostatistics
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Mangione, C
Carol Mangione
Health Policy and Management
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Michelle Keller
Michelle S. Keller

Dr. Michelle S. Keller is a health services researcher whose research focuses on the use and prescribing of high-risk medications.

Health Policy and Management
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Catherine M. Crespi headshot
Catherine M. Crespi
Biostatistics
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Dr. Weng Kee Wong
Weng Kee Wong
Biostatistics
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Dr. Jonathan Fielding
Jonathan Fielding
Health Policy and Management
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Thomas Priselac
Health Policy and Management
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Dr. Stephanie Taylor
Stephanie L. Taylor

Nationally recognized health services researcher and sociomedical scientist with 25+ years' experience in effectiveness and implementation research.

Health Policy and Management
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Isomi Miake-Lye
Isomi Miake-Lye
Health Policy and Management
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Dr. Naomi Zewde
Naomi Zewde
Health Policy and Management
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Ron D. Hays
Ron D. Hays

@UCLA since 1997

Health Policy and Management
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silhoette
Ty Robbins
Health Policy and Management
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Image of Dr. Susan Ettner
Susan Ettner
Health Policy and Management
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Gerald Kominski
Gerald Kominski
Health Policy and Management
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Comanor, Bill
William Comanor
Health Policy and Management
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Steven Teutsch
Health Policy and Management
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Jeanne Miranda
Jeanne Miranda
Health Policy and Management
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Dr. Jennifer Wortham
Jennifer Wortham
Health Policy and Management
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Dr. Donatello Telesca
Donatello Telesca
Biostatistics
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Robert Kaplan
Robert Kaplan
Health Policy and Management
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Dr. Kenneth Wells
Kenneth Wells
Health Policy and Management
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Gordon headshot
Thomas D. Gordon
Health Policy and Management
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Freund, Deborah
Deborah Anne Freund
Health Policy and Management
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Alan Tomines
Health Policy and Management
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Galper, Michael
Michael Galper
Health Policy and Management
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Kadiyala, Srikanth
Srikanth Kadiyala
Health Policy and Management
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Roshan Bastani Headshot
Roshan Bastani
Health Policy and Management
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Leah Vriesman
Leah Vriesman
Health Policy and Management
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Jason H. Moore, Ph.D.
Jason H. Moore

Automated and accessible artificial intelligence methods and software for biomedical data science.

Biostatistics
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Nadereh Pourat
Nadereh Pourat
Health Policy and Management
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Dr. Jin Zhou
Jin Zhou
Biostatistics
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Sangeeta Ahluwalia
Sangeeta Ahluwalia
Health Policy and Management
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Diana Hilberman
Diana Hilberman
Health Policy and Management
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Dr. Frederick Zimmerman
Frederick Zimmerman
Health Policy and Management
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Dr. Christina Ramirez
Christina Ramirez
Biostatistics
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Balgrosky headshot
Jean Balgrosky
Health Policy and Management
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William G. Cumberland
Biostatistics
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Dr. Kristen Choi
Kristen Choi
Health Policy and Management
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Burt Cowgill
Burt Cowgill
Health Policy and Management
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Li, Jingyi Jessica
Jingyi Jessica Li
Biostatistics
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Olivia Jung
Olivia Jung
Health Policy and Management
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Warren Scott Comulada
Warren Scott Comulada
Health Policy and Management
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Headshot
Damla Senturk
Biostatistics
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Mark Litwin
Health Policy and Management
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Dr. Samuel Sessions
Samuel Sessions
Health Policy and Management
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Dr. Aria Fallah
Aria Fallah
Health Policy and Management
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Martin L. Lee
Martin L. Lee
Biostatistics
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Dr. Dylan Roby
Dylan Roby
Health Policy and Management
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Dr. Gang Li
Gang Li
Biostatistics
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Avram Kaplan
Avram Kaplan
Health Policy and Management
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Hua Zhou
Hua Zhou
Biostatistics
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Rosenstock
Linda Rosenstock
Environmental Health Sciences Health Policy and Management
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Davidson - headshop
Pamela Davidson
Health Policy and Management
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Catherine Ann Sugar
Catherine Ann Sugar
Biostatistics
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Patricia Ganz
Patricia Ganz
Health Policy and Management
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Dr. Arturo Vargas Bustamante
Arturo Vargas Bustamante
Health Policy and Management
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Dr. Zhe Fei
Zhe Fei
Biostatistics
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Dr. Elizabeth (Becky) Yano
Elizabeth (Becky) Yano
Health Policy and Management
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Arlene Fink
Health Policy and Management
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Jose J. Escarce
Health Policy and Management
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Clifford Ko
Clifford Ko
Health Policy and Management
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Moira Inkelas
Moira Inkelas
Health Policy and Management
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Andrew Holbrook
Andrew Holbrook
Biostatistics
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Dr. Marc Suchard
Marc Suchard
Biostatistics
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Dr. Felicia Hodge
Felicia Hodge
Health Policy and Management
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Michael Ong
Michael Ong
Health Policy and Management
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Dr. Dorota Dabrowska
Dorota M. Dabrowska
Biostatistics
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Dr. Hilary Aralis
Hilary Aralis
Biostatistics
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Ron Andersen

Dr. Ron Andersen is the Wasserman Professor Emeritus in the UCLA Departments of Health Policy and Management.

Health Policy and Management
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Abdelmonem Afifi
Abdelmonem A. Afifi
Biostatistics
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Dr. Michele Guindani
Michele Guindani
Biostatistics
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Dr. Robert Erin Weiss
Robert Erin Weiss
Biostatistics
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Dr. Paul Torrens and Dr. Arthur Southam
Dr. Paul Torrens (left) and Dr. Arthur Southam (right)
Tom Gordon and Tom Priselac
Tom Gordon (left) and Tom Priselac (right)

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