Welcome to The Community Guide! Let us know what you think of the website by completing this quick survey.

Ron Z. Goetzel, PhD, MA

Appointed to the CPSTF: 2006

Ron GoetzelRon Z. Goetzel, PhD, MA wears two hats. He is senior scientist and director of the Institute for Health and Productivity Studies (IHPS) at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and vice president of consulting and applied research for IBM Watson Health. The mission of the IHPS is to bridge the gap between academia, the business community, and the healthcare policy world – bringing academic resources into policy debates and day-to-day business decisions, and bringing health and productivity management issues into academia. Before moving to Johns Hopkins University, Dr. Goetzel was on the faculty at Emory and Cornell Universities. Dr. Goetzel is responsible for leading innovative projects for healthcare purchaser, managed care, government, and pharmaceutical clients interested in conducting cutting-edge research focused on the relationship between health and well-being, medical costs, and work-related productivity. He is an internationally recognized and widely published expert in health and productivity management (HPM), return-on-investment (ROI), program evaluation, and outcomes research. Dr. Goetzel has published well over 200 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters and frequently presents at international business and scientific forums.

Dr. Goetzel served as principal investigator (PI) for a project sponsored by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) focused on obesity prevention at the workplace. He was PI for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Senior Risk Reduction Demonstration, New Opportunities for Healthy Aging in Medicare initiatives, and other demonstrations focused on Cancer Prevention and Treatment for Ethnic and Racial Minorities, Chiropractic Care, Vision Rehabilitation, and Health Improvement Incentive Structures for Medicaid Beneficiaries. He also served as PI for the Federal Employee Worksite Health and Wellness Initiative administered by the Office of Personnel Management. For the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Dr. Goetzel was PI for a New York City-based project supporting collaboration between the private and public sectors directed at employer health promotion programs. He was PI on a CDC cooperative agreement focused on promoting health policy and disease prevention, with a specific task related to estimating the cost burden of vaccine-preventable diseases in adults (Zoster).

As PI for a study funded by the National Association of Chronic Disease Directors, and with close cooperation of the CDC, Dr. Goetzel identified the characteristics of promising practices in workplace health and productivity management programs. He also worked with the Department of Defense (DoD) on two health promotion and resilience training demonstrations for the U.S. Army and Air Force. He supported the Office of the Secretary of Defense as the evaluation contractor for the Healthy Base Initiative focused on managing obesity and tobacco use in the military.

Dr. Goetzel is PI on three CDC projects currently underway: Worksite Health ScoreCard Evidence Review and Update, Workplace Health Promotion Technical Assistance and Dissemination Center, and Workplace Health Research Network. He is also working with the Bipartisan Policy Center evaluating the CEO Council on Health and Innovation Physical Activity Challenge Pilot.

In the private sector, Dr. Goetzel has led multiple evaluations of health promotion and disease prevention programs at Boeing, Chevron, General Electric, Dow Chemical, Citibank, Johnson & Johnson, IBM, Procter & Gamble, Duke University, University of Michigan, Vanderbilt University, Motorola, Novartis Pharmaceuticals, PepsiCo, Prudential, PPG, Mass Mutual, Whirlpool, and Bristol Myers Squibb. Public sector partners have included King County Washington, Cayuga County New York, and the State of Delaware. Health plan and insurance company collaborators include Blue Cross Blue Shield Federal Employee Program, Health Care Services Corporation, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, Blue Shield of California, Highmark, American Specialty Health, Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, Mayo Clinic, and Kaiser Permanente. Dr. Goetzel also works with several associations and non-profits including the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Population Health Alliance, Health Enhancement Research Organization, Transamerica Center for Health Studies, American Heart Association, and The Health Project. Finally, Dr. Goetzel has established strong working relationships with vendors in the health promotion industry including StayWell, Johnson & Johnson, WebMD, Health Fitness Corporation, Virgin Pulse, Discovery Vitality, and Pfizer. Dr. Goetzel’s international work includes projects with Discovery Health in South Africa, the Ministry of Health in Israel, Social Service of Industry (SESI) in Brazil, and The Health Promotion Board of Singapore.

Dr. Goetzel is president and CEO of The Health Project, which annually awards organizations the prestigious C. Everett Koop prize for demonstrable health improvement and cost savings from health promotion and disease prevention programs. He is also a member of several committees organized by the Institute of Medicine (IOM).

Before joining Truven Health Analytics (formerly Medstat) in 1995, Dr. Goetzel was vice president of assessment, data analysis, and evaluation services at Johnson & Johnson. Dr. Goetzel was one of the original members of the core development and marketing group at Corporate Health Strategies. Earlier in his career, Dr. Goetzel was the medical school program evaluator at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, where he was appointed to the psychiatry faculty.

Dr. Goetzel earned his doctorate in organizational and administrative studies and his M.A. in applied social psychology from New York University (NYU), and his B.S. degree in psychology from the City College of New York (CCNY). He is located in Bethesda, MD.

National research or practice awards

  • Recipient of the Woodward Lecture Award in recognition of leadership and vision in promoting and expanding preventive medicine and population health improvement – U.S. Navy Environmental Health Center, Department of Defense
  • Recipient of the Award for Excellence and Innovation in Value Purchasing from the National Business Group on Health
  • Recipient of the Mark Dundon Research Award, HERO