PHILADELPHIA – Kevin Volpp, MD, PhD, a professor of Medicine and Health Care Management in the Perelman School of Medicine and The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, is receiving the 2015 Matilda White Riley Award, issued today by the National Institutes of Health Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (OBSSR) as part of their 20th Anniversary celebration. The Matilda White Riley Award is given in recognition of an outstanding behavioral or social scientist whose research has contributed to both the deepening of knowledge and its application in a manner that furthers NIH’s mission of improving health.

Volpp, whose research focuses on the impact of financial and organizational incentives on health outcomes, is also founding director of the Center for Health Incentives and Behavioral Economics (CHIBE) and vice chair of Health Policy in the department of Medical Ethics and Health Policy at Penn. Recently, he has led studies focused on financial incentives for smoking that have shown tripling of long-term smoking cessation rates among General Electric and CVS Health employees, leading to positive changes in employee benefit design that have been implemented nationally.

The 8th Annual Matilda White Riley Award and Lecture are central features of the NIH Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research 20th Anniversary celebrations. This year’s award honors Volpp as one of two individuals who has made significant contributions to the field of behavioral and social sciences that have furthered the mission of the National Institutes of Health.

“It’s an honor to be recognized by the Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research in this way,” Volpp said. “I find that applying behavioral economics interventions to health is especially rewarding because of the enormous opportunities that exist to change the paradigm of the health care delivery system from treating disease to keeping people healthy.”

Volpp holds a doctorate and medical degree from the University of Pennsylvania, and a bachelor’s degree from Harvard College.

Penn Medicine is one of the world’s leading academic medical centers, dedicated to the related missions of medical education, biomedical research, and excellence in patient care. Penn Medicine consists of the Raymond and Ruth Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania (founded in 1765 as the nation’s first medical school) and the University of Pennsylvania Health System, which together form a $9.9 billion enterprise.

The Perelman School of Medicine has been ranked among the top medical schools in the United States for more than 20 years, according to U.S. News & World Report's survey of research-oriented medical schools. The School is consistently among the nation's top recipients of funding from the National Institutes of Health, with $546 million awarded in the 2021 fiscal year.

The University of Pennsylvania Health System’s patient care facilities include: the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and Penn Presbyterian Medical Center—which are recognized as one of the nation’s top “Honor Roll” hospitals by U.S. News & World Report—Chester County Hospital; Lancaster General Health; Penn Medicine Princeton Health; and Pennsylvania Hospital, the nation’s first hospital, founded in 1751. Additional facilities and enterprises include Good Shepherd Penn Partners, Penn Medicine at Home, Lancaster Behavioral Health Hospital, and Princeton House Behavioral Health, among others.

Penn Medicine is powered by a talented and dedicated workforce of more than 47,000 people. The organization also has alliances with top community health systems across both Southeastern Pennsylvania and Southern New Jersey, creating more options for patients no matter where they live.

Penn Medicine is committed to improving lives and health through a variety of community-based programs and activities. In fiscal year 2021, Penn Medicine provided more than $619 million to benefit our community.

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