Dr. Kissick, Wharton

Dr. William L. Kissick, emeritus professor in Wharton and the Schools of Medicine and Nursing, passed away June 30, 2013, at age 81.

Prior to joining Penn in 1968, Dr. Kissick first came to national attention during his work in the federal government. There, along with other White House assignments, he was one of two physicians on a small team that wrote what became the 1965 law establishing Medicare. For the rest of his professional life, he remained a nationally renowned expert on health care policy.

During his career at Penn that spanned over three decades, Dr. Kissick played a pivotal role in new interdisciplinary scholarship initiatives focused on stitching together the curricula of medical science and the business management of health care. This was triggered by the launch of Medicare and the realization that new sorts of research were needed to fill fundamental gaps in the evidence base essential to making informed policy decisions about the organization, management, financing and delivery of health care on such a large scale.

After Wharton established the Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics (LDI), the incoming Dr. Kissick was named to LDI's governing board and soon became its long-time chair. He also was the George Seckel Pepper Professor of Public Health and Preventive Medicine in the School of Medicine; and professor of health care systems and professor of health policy and administration in the School of Nursing.

Within two years, LDI had organized and launched the Wharton Health Care Management Program - a curriculum designed to produce, among other things, graduates who had both MD and MBA degrees.

Dr. Kissick was chair of the Faculty Senate during 1995-1996. He retired in 2001.

Born in Detroit, Michigan, Dr. Kissick earned his BA, MD, MPH and PhD from Yale University.

Dr. Kissick is survived by his wife, Priscilla Dillingham Kissick; and his children, Will, Rob, Jon and Liz; and grandchildren, Carrie and Eliza Kissick and Emma and Samuel Richards.

Donations may be made to the Dr. William Kissick MD Scholarship Fund at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, 3620 Locust Walk, Philadelphia, PA 19104.