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Gary Hirsch’s Consulting Experience

Mr. Hirsch’s work has included strategy development and program planning for a number of different health care organizations.  One area of industry specialization for him has been medical schools, hospitals and other health providers in the US, The Netherlands, Pakistan, and East Africa.  His work has also included the strategic management and modeling of:

  • Community-level delivery systems
  • Health status improvement for communities
  • Care of populations with particular problems such as cardiovascular disease
  • Health manpower policies for government agencies, public policy problems such as heroin addiction and provision of children's services
  • Complex organizations such as academic medical centers
Recent work has included modeling the prevalence, treatment, and cost of chronic illnesses such as diabetes and heart failure in a community.  Simulators based on these models enable a community to examine alternative approaches to preventing and managing chronic illness and assess which ones offer the most desirable impact.  His latest work includes supporting emergency preparedness of communities by modeling the impact of major incidents on health care systems and assisting a state children’s services agency in the creation of a new system of care.  Other models Mr. Hirsch has developed focus on contagious diseases and the control of epidemics.
All Materials Copyright Gary B. Hirsch
Health Care Emergency Preparedness
Overview of the health care emergency response system in a community and its connections to the population and other infrastructures
Flow of people through stages of the emergency health care system after a major incident such as a natural disaster or explosion
Presentation: Health Care Emergency Preparedness Modeling
(.ppt - 132k)
Paper: Health Care Emergency Preparedness Modeling
(.pdf - 269k)
Results of simulations with different assumptions about the severity of casualties that result
Gary Hirsch’s Approach to Consulting
My approach to consulting is informed by my training in System Dynamics.  Many of my consulting projects consist of developing and using System Dynamics models to understand the complex problems facing my clients.  The models enable them to systematically evaluate a number of policy options, find the combinations of interventions that work best, and avoid unintended adverse consequences.  I’ve also worked on many strategic management problems where a formal model was not developed, but the work benefited from a systemic approach. 
The emphasis in my consulting work is always on the interconnections between parts of a system and how those connections affect the success of organizational changes and new policies and programs.  Where is the system likely to resist change?  Are there dangerous forces that can send the organization spinning out of control in a vicious cycle of unwanted change?  How can the system function best as it interacts with its customers or patients?  How can that interaction promote or undermine an organization’s goals?  How can the system’s interconnections be harnessed to reinforce desirable changes and promote growth in capability and improved outcomes?  Answering these questions always produces results that are more coherent and better for the organization.
Improved Management of Chronic Illness
Flow of patients with diabetes in a county among different stages of the illness and between controlled and uncontrolled status
Long-range projection of diabetic population without any new programs in place
Effect of having new programs in place on deaths in the county from diabetes and heart failure
Paper on the Chronic Illness Modeling Work
(.pdf - 409k)
PowerPoint Presentation on the Chronic Illness Modeling
(.ppt - 333k)
Paper on Generic Model Contagious Disease with Application to Avian Influenza
(.pdf - 119k)
Improving Delivery Systems 
Stages in a contagious disease model for projecting the impact of avian influenza and other diseases
Rapid Response to Contagious Disease Outbreaks
Paper on the Dynamics of Health Reform
(.pdf - 164k)
Sources of leverage in improving the performance of human service systems