Making A Difference

Promoting a Healthy Policy Agenda

Jason Lewis (MBA 1995)

As chair of the public health committee in the Massachusetts legislature, state senator Jason Lewis (MBA 1995) focuses on promoting prevention and wellness. In this video, he talks about applying his business training to public policy work.

“I've always been interested in public service. I was born and grew up in South Africa during the Apartheid (an Afrikaans word meaning ‘the state of being apart,’ literally ‘apart-hood’) years, so issues of human rights and social justice have always been important to me. Through my business career I was looking for ways to get more involved in the community. Starting in local government, one thing led to another and I ran for the state legislature in 2008 and now serve as a state senator in Massachusetts.

“I chair the public health committee for the state legislature, so a lot of my work is focused on health care and on public health specifically. My particular focus in the public policy area within health care has been focusing on promoting policies around prevention and wellness, the thinking being that, if we can help people to stay healthy—keep them out of the hospital—they will have a higher quality of life [and] be able to be more productive. We'll also be able to better contain rising health care costs.

“The skills that I gained at Harvard Business School, the relationships that I formed at Harvard Business School, the experiences are very valuable. A lot of issues we deal with in government are very complicated. There's a lot of different factors to be considered. And so bringing a very objective and analytical approach to that, I think, is important and helpful.”

(Published September 2015)

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