History of David A. Winston

The Fellowship commemorates the contributions and personal qualities of David A. Winston who, for 20 years, played a significant role in shaping American health policy. David Winston served as a bridge between the public sector, which he knew well from long experience, and the private sector, in which he deeply believed. He moved comfortably and skillfully in either world. His advice and counsel were sought and accepted by leaders in both sectors and his knowledge and integrity earned him the respect and trust of the healthcare community.

David Winston began his career as a health policy advisor to the California State Legislature. After serving as Chief Deputy Director of the California Department of Health, he joined the faculty of the University of Southern California School of Medicine, researching health services and policy analysis. He came to Washington in 1977 to serve as Minority Staff Director for the Senate Subcommittee on Health and ultimately for the Senate Labor and Human Resources Committee. In 1980, David Winston was an important contributor to President Reagan’s transition strategy. He remained a consultant to the White House and was particularly influential in shaping the Administration’s position of deregulation and competition in the health sector.

David Winston moved to the private sector in 1981, focusing his energy on organizing the private sector and demonstrating that it could effectively communicate with and positively impact the federal policy making process. He served as president of the National Committee for Quality Health Care. At the time of his death in 1986, David Winston was Senior Corporate Vice President and head of the Washington office of Voluntary Hospitals of America.

David was the kind of person who made a tremendous contribution by working largely behind the scenes, but those who knew him were keenly aware of his central role.

Ronald Reagan

40th United States President

He was able to blend a very unique knowledge of health care issues in both the public and private sectors.

Richard S. Schweiker

Former Secretary, United States Department of Health and Human Services