Dr. Kavita Patel is a non-resident Fellow in the Department of Economic Studies at the Brookings Institution, one of the nation’s premier research and thought leadership organizations. At the Institution, Dr. Patel is specifically working on helping health care systems understand how to transform their clinical environments to become more accountable for the care they provide as well as other aspects of health reform implementation. She is also still a practicing primary care physician at Mary’s Center, a Federally Qualified Health Center in Washington DC.
Previously, Dr. Patel served in the Obama Administration as director of policy for the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs and Public Engagement in the White House, where she played a key role in the design of health care reform legislation. As a Senior Aide to Valerie Jarrett, President Obama’s Senior Advisor, Dr. Patel helped lead the mission in policy development and evaluation of policy initiatives and connected to health reform, financial regulatory reform, and economic recovery issues.
Dr. Patel also has a deep understanding of Capitol Hill from her time spent on the late Senator Edward Kennedy’s staff. As deputy staff director on health, she served as a policy analyst and trusted aide to the Senator and was part of the senior staff of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee under Senator Kennedy’s Leadership. Her legislative efforts also include drafting the 21st Century ALERT Act, which was a comprehensive cancer care reform bill, enacting a waiver for Massachusetts that allowed the state to pursue payment reform policy, and legislation related to agency reauthorization of the Food and Drug Administration.
A graduate of the University of Texas at Austin, Dr. Patel earned her masters in public health from the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) and her medical degree from the University of Texas Health Science Center. Dr. Patel completed her training in internal medicine at Oregon Health and Sciences University where she also served as Chief Resident of Medicine. After that, she entered and completed the Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars Program. A Clinical Scholar at UCLA, Dr. Patel focused her research on mental health care disparities in African American populations in Los Angeles. Following her experience as a Scholar, Dr. Patel served as a health services researcher at UCLA and then moved on to become an Associate Scientist Research at the RAND Corporation where she focused on a career of intense research and received the RAND President’s Award for her work with quantitative, policy related research.