Karen Timberlake was named director of the Population Health Institute at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health on October 1, 2011. As director, she leads the UW Population Health Institute in bridging between public health and health policy research and implementation into practice. Working with diverse public health and health policy practitioners and stakeholders in Wisconsin and nationally, the Institute advances public health and health policy decisions that improve the health of the people of Wisconsin and the nation. Karen is an Associate Professor (CHS) in the Department of Population Health Sciences. She also serves as the director of the Partnership for Healthcare Payment Reform (PHPR), a project of the Wisconsin Health Information Organization, which seeks to improve quality and efficiency in health care by reforming reimbursement to better align the incentives of payers, providers, employers and patients.
Prior to joining WHIO, Karen served as Secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Health Services from April 2008 through the end of 2010. As Secretary, Karen led key health initiatives, including co-chairing the state’s Office of Health Care Reform, developing a plan for statewide health information exchange, expanding access to affordable health insurance coverage through BadgerCare Plus, and advancing policies to improve the overall health status of the people of Wisconsin. She was credited for her collaborative approach to major initiatives including development of the state’s health plan, Healthiest Wisconsin 2010. Under her leadership, DHS also tackled a number of public health issues, ranging from expanding farm to school programs to reducing childhood obesity, improving birth outcomes for at-risk mothers in urban areas, and expanding screening for alcohol and drug abuse. Karen also served as executive assistant and deputy secretary at DHS.
Before joining DHS, Karen served as the Director of the Office of State Employment Relations from 2003 to 2007 and was an assistant attorney general with the Wisconsin Department of Justice from 1995 – 2002, serving as deputy administrator of the Division of Legal Services from 2000 through 2002.
Karen received a BA from Indiana University and a JD from Harvard Law School.
UW Population Health Institute
610 Walnut Street, 575-D WARF
Madison, WI 53726
Phone: (608) 265-4603