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Campus Address: 

Room 760c WARF
610 Walnut Street
Madison, WI 53726

Campus Phone Number: 
(608) 262-6731

Thomas R. Oliver, PhD, MHA

  • Professor


Thomas R. Oliver is Professor of Population Health Sciences at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health. He has served as Director of the UW Master of Public Health program and the Wisconsin Center for Public Health Education and Training and is a faculty affiliate with the Robert M. La Follette School of Public Affairs. Professor Oliver graduated from Stanford University with a bachelor's degree in Human Biology. He received a master's degree in Health Administration from Duke University and master's and doctoral degrees in Political Science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He completed a postdoctoral fellowship in the Pew Health Policy Program at the University of California, San Francisco. Before coming to Wisconsin, he taught at the University of Maryland and Johns Hopkins University. Professor Oliver's research examines critical issues in health policy, politics, and system reform. His current work includes studies of the role of intersectoral governance, leadership and partnerships to stimulate and guide population health improvement, key issues in US health policy, and comparative analysis of health policies in the US and European Union.

Courses Taught:
  • PHS 785: Health Systems, Management, and Policy (course director)
  • PHS 810-915: International Health Systems and Policy
  • PHS 717: Population Medicine and Epidemiology (co-instructor)


  • American Political Science Association
  • American Public Health Association
  • Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management
  • AcademyHealth

Select Publications

Oliver TR (ed.) Guide to U.S. Health and Healthcare Policy. Washington, DC: CQ Press, 2014.

Oliver TR. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services In Oliver TR (ed), Guide to U.S. Health and Healthcare Policy. Washington, DC: CQ Press, 2014, pp. 79-88.

Ceraso M, Swain GR, Vergeront JM, Oliver TR, Remington PL. Academic Health Departments as Training Sites for Future Public Health Leaders: A Partnership Model in Wisconsin. Journal of Public Health Management and Practice 2014; 20(3): 324-29.

Shickle D, Day M, Smith K, Zakariasen K, Moskol J, and Oliver T. Mind the Public Health Leadership Gap: Identifying Leaders for Public Health. Journal of Public Health 2014. doi:10.1093/pubmed/fdu003 (Advance Access published 12 February).

Zahner SJ, Oliver TR, and Siemering KQ. The Mobilizing Action Toward Community Health Partnership Study: Multi-Sector Partnerships in US Counties With Improving Health Metrics. Preventing Chronic Disease 2014.

Mayes R, and Oliver TR. Chronic Disease and the Shifting Focus of Public Health: Is Prevention Still a Political Lightweight? Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law 2012; 37 (April): 181-200.

Oliver TR. Medicare. In Paul J. Quirk and William Cunion (eds.), Governing America: Major Decisions of Federal, State, and Local Governments from 1789 to the Present. New York: Facts on File, 2011, pp. 651-61.

Oliver TR. Health Care Reform as a Halfway Technology. Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law 2011; 36 (June): 603-9.

Trubek LC, Oliver TR, Liang C-M , Mokrohisky M, and Campbell T. Improving Cancer Outcomes Through Strong Networks and Regulatory Frameworks: Lessons From the United States and the European Union. Journal of Health Care Law and Policy 2011; 14 (1): 119-51.

Woulfe J, Oliver TR, Zahner SJ, and Siemering KQ. The Role of Multi-Sector Partnerships in Population Health Improvement: Expectations and Evidence. Preventing Chronic Disease: Public Health Research, Practice, and Policy 2010; 7 (6) November.

Oliver TR. Population Health Rankings as Policy Indicators and Performance Measures. Preventing Chronic Disease: Public Health Research, Practice, and Policy 2010; 7 (5).

Oliver TR and Lee PR. The Medicare Modernization Act: Evolution or Revolution in Policy Development. In Leah Rogne, Carroll L. Estes, Brian R. Grossman, Brooke A. Hollister, and Erica Solway, Social Insurance and Social Justice: Social Security, Medicare, and the Campaign Against Entitlements. New York: Springer Publishers, 2009, pp. 63-93.

Oliver TR and Gerson J. The Role of Foundations in Shaping Health Policy: Lessons from Efforts to Expand and Preserve Health Insurance Coverage. In James Ferrisv (ed.), Foundations and Public Policy: Leveraging Philanthropic Dollars, Knowledge, and Networks for Greater Impact. New York: The Foundation Center, 2009, pp. 119-70.

Oliver TR and Singer RF. Health Services Research as a Source of Legislative Analysis and Input: The California Health Benefits Review Program. Health Services Research 2006; 41 (June): 1124-58.

Oliver TR. The Politics of Public Health Policy. Annual Review of Public Health 2006; 27: 195-233.

Oliver TR. Policy Entrepreneurship in the Social Transformation of American Medicine: The Rise of Managed Care and Managed Competition. Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law 2004; 29 (August-October): 701-33.

Oliver TR, Lee PR, and Lipton HL. A Political History of Medicare and Prescription Drug Coverage. Milbank Quarterly 2004; 82 (June): 283-354.

Oliver TR. 2001. State Health Politics and Policy: Rhetoric, Reality, and the Challenges Ahead. In Robert B. Hackey and David A. Rochefort (eds.), The New Politics of State Health Policy. Lawrence, KS: University Press of Kansas, 2001, pp. 273-91.

Oliver TR. The Dilemmas of Incrementalism: Logical and Political Constraints in the Design of Health Insurance Reforms. Journal of Policy Analysis and Management 1999; 18 (Fall): 652-83.

Oliver TR. The Collision of Economics and Politics in Medicaid Managed Care: Reflections on the Course of Reform in Maryland. Milbank Quarterly 1998; 76 (1): 59-101.

Oliver TR and Pamela Paul-Shaheen. Translating Ideas into Actions: Entrepreneurial Leadership in State Health Care Reforms. Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law 1997; 22 (June): 721-88.

Oliver TR. Analysis, Advice, and Congressional Leadership: The Physician Payment Review Commission and the Politics of Medicare. Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law 1993; 18 (Spring): 113-74.

Oliver TR. Ideas, Entrepreneurship, and the Politics of Health Care Reform. Stanford Law & Policy Review 1991; 3 (Fall): 160-80.

Oliver TR. Health Care Market Reform in Congress: The Uncertain Path from Proposal to Policy. Political Science Quarterly 1991; 106 (Fall): 453-77.