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Daniel E. Dawes J.D.

Daniel E. Dawes J.D.

Health Policy Expert & Author


Daniel E. Dawes J.D. is a nationally recognized healthcare leader, attorney, policy expert, administrator and author who has been at the forefront of recent major federal healthcare policy negotiations in the United States. A thought leader in health policy, his work focuses on health reform, health equity, mental/behavioral health, social determinants of health, poverty, and health system transformation, and bridges research, healthcare, population health and public health – the translation of research discoveries into all communities, including under-resourced, vulnerable and marginalized communities. Read More >

A published expert on health reform, health equity, health disparities, behavioral health, and social determinants of health, Dawes is the author of two groundbreaking books published by Johns Hopkins University Press: 150 Years of Obamacare and The Political Determinants of Health. His newest book, The Political Determinants of Health, answers the question, “How do policy and politics influence the social conditions that generate health outcomes?” Dawes argues that political determinants of health create the social drivers―including poor environmental conditions, inadequate transportation, unsafe neighborhoods, and lack of healthy food options―that affect all other dynamics of health.

Among his many achievements, he was an instrumental figure in shaping the Mental Health Parity Act, the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act, the Affordable Care Act, and other federal policies. Daniel has keynoted over 150 conferences, symposia, conventions, seminars, retreats and meetings and written extensively on health reform, health equity, and mental/behavioral health, including  the groundbreaking and best-selling health policy book, 150 Years of ObamaCare, published by Johns Hopkins University Press, which has received critical acclaim and endorsements from a bipartisan group of leaders, including Ambassador Andrew Young, Congressman Patrick Kennedy, U.S. Secretaries of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius and Louis Sullivan, Deputy Assistant Secretary Garth Graham, as well as Surgeons General David Satcher and Regina Benjamin.

Daniel E. Dawes is a professor of health law and policy, the Director of the Satcher Health Leadership Institute, Executive Director of Health Policy at Morehouse School of Medicine, and co-founder of the Health Equity Leadership and Exchange Network (HELEN). A scholar, attorney and health policy expert in the movement to advance health equity among under-resourced, vulnerable and marginalized communities, Dawes brings a forward-thinking, inclusive and multidisciplinary approach to health policy, and has been at the forefront of recent major federal health policy negotiations in the United States. He is also an Associate Professor at the H. Wayne Huizenga College of Business and Entrepreneurship at Nova Southeastern University in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. In addition, he has served as a distinguished guest lecturer at Harvard University, the University of Chicago, Yale University, University of Texas, University of Arizona, Georgetown University, and Saint Louis University.

Highly respected for his ability to achieve sound policy changes in a nonpartisan manner; Daniel lectures on health law, policy and management while serving simultaneously on several boards, commissions and councils focused on health equity and health reform. He is an advisor to international, national, regional, state, and municipal policymakers as well as think tanks, foundations, corporations, and nonprofit organizations. Read Less ^

Speaker Videos

150 Years of ObamaCare

Policy, Health Reform, and Health Disparities

Speech Topics

The Political Determinants of Health and How We Can Change Them

Now, more than ever, political decisions (on both sides of the aisle) are affecting our social conditions and have become the root cause of our nation’s declining health. Reduced life expectancy, worsening health outcomes, health inequity and declining healthcare options are the direct result of social drivers that include poor environmental conditions, inadequate transportation, unsafe neighborhoods, lack of healthy food options and more. Drawing upon his new book, The Political Determinants of Health and firsthand experience shaping major federal policies including the Affordable Care Act, Daniel Dawes walks audiences through the history of efforts to address these issues and the seemingly inseparable interconnection of politics and health. Daniel looks at health through the political lens so we can begin to partner, build capacity and create change. He also presents a novel non-partisan, multidisciplinary framework for addressing the systemic barriers that prevent the U.S. from becoming what it could be: the healthiest nation in the world.

Leveraging the New Determinants of Health to Improve Patient Outcomes

As a passionate advocate for underserved communities, Daniel Dawes has become a national thought leader on utilizing data on the social determinants of health to identify and eliminate healthcare disparities. But how can we also use data to reduce costs and improve outcomes for every single group and in every community? Dawes looks beyond social determinants to examine how the behavioral, community — even political — determinants of health can decrease the risk factors behind the poor health pandemic. In this dynamic presentation for healthcare and mental healthcare providers, employers, community leaders, policy makers and others, Dawes looks at the multiple factors affecting health and takes audience members further upstream to understand the root causes of disparities and how we can effectively disrupt the silos and engage in strategic partnerships to advance a more healthy, equitable and inclusive health system. It all begins with asking the right questions: Is a patient caring for a loved one and not taking care of herself? Depressed? Obese? Lonely? Are we effectively collecting, utilizing, and prioritizing the comprehensive data to identify these and other issues? Providing real life examples, he challenges audiences to look at both determinants and data in a whole new way. He also provides practical applications that they can immediately put into action.

The Right to Health: Advocating for Health Equity of Vulnerable Populations

Health System Transformation: Delivery & Payment System Reforms

Reimagining Healthcare: From the Bench to the Bedside to the Community & Beyond

Reimagining Behavioral Health: Innovating, Integrating & Improving Healthcare Delivery

In The News


Protecting Our Head Space

Connect with Daniel E. Dawes J.D.