Melinda J.B. Buntin is a health economist and a Bloomberg Distinguished Professor at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and the Johns Hopkins Carey Business School.

Dr. Buntin’s body of work bridges health care policy and public health by advancing understanding of the U.S. health care delivery system and its costs, with an emphasis on improving the value of care.

Dr. Buntin received her Ph.D. in health policy with a concentration in economics at Harvard University in 2000. She started her professional career at RAND Health and transitioned into several health policy leadership roles.

During the next decade, she was the Director of the Office of Economic Analysis, Evaluation and Modeling at the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology and then a Director in the Health, Retirement and Long-Term Analysis division at the Congressional Budget Office.

In 2013, she became the founding Chair of the Department of Health Policy at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. During her tenure she grew the faculty over twofold, started a Health Policy track in the MPH program, and established the Ph.D. program in Health Policy.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Buntin was named the deputy editor of JAMA Health Forum, a new online information channel published by JAMA Network. She also established the Vanderbilt Health Policy and Public Health Covid-19 Advisory Panel in Tennessee; among other activities, the group developed a predictive model of the spread of COVID-19 within the state and its implications for hospital capacity.

In July 2023, she joined the faculties of Health Policy and Management at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and of the Carey Business School. Dr. Buntin is primarily based at 555 Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington DC, where she aims to inform health care policy through the newly established Center for Health Systems and Policy Modeling.

This Center will address emerging issues in health policy with rigorous empirical work—predictive models and causal inference methods from econometric study designs—with the goal of providing insights to the health care sector, businesses, and policymakers on how to improve health care delivery and outcomes.