Gordon Kenneth MacLeod, M.D., F.A.C.P.
Department of Health Policy and Management
Graduate School of Public Health
Department of Medicine
School of Medicine
University of Pittsburgh

Photo of Gordon MacLeod

Professor Emeritus
Department of Health Policy & Management
Graduate School of Public Health
Clinical Professor of Medicine, School of Medicine 
Room A 668, Crabtree Hall
University of Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh, PA 15261
Work: (412) 624-3875; Home: (412) 661-5887
Summer: (508) 996-8082
Fax: (412) 624-3146
Email: gmacleod@pitt.edu


Dr. Gordon MacLeod has devoted almost all of his entire academic career to public health and patient care, primarily in academic settings giving special attention to the needs of ethnic minorities. In 1949, while serving in the U. S. Army Intelligence in Camp Gordon, GA, he engaged in an act of civil disobedience by sitting on the back of a segregated bus, was arrested, spent a night in jail, and was fined $5.00.

Dr. MacLeod has also shared his professional expertise working in the public sector at periodic intervals. He has twice served as a government executive. He was appointed the founding director of the federal government's HMO program, 1971-1973. In 1979, he was appointed Secretary of Health for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. He has also accepted several consulting assignments for foreign governments. His teaching, research and service activities as a university professor have been committed to promoting both domestic and international health care programs, giving the highest priority to improving the lot of the underserved and others deprived of quality health services both nationally and internationally.

MacLeod was born in Boston and was graduated from the nation's oldest school, the Boston Latin School. Following military service, he attended a work plan school, Blackburn College in Carlinville, IL, where he served as the Student Work Manager as a sophomore and later was appointed Director of Public Relations during his junior and senior years. Upon graduation from college, he was employed for two years as an industrial engineer and member of management at Procter and Gamble Co. Cincinnati, OH.

In a career shift, after two years as an engineer, he entered medical school at the University of Cincinnati. After graduation, he was trained in internal medicine at the Massachusetts General Hospital and in pharmacology at Harvard Medical School. Because of his management experience and medical background, he was invited to join the kitchen cabinet setting up the Harvard Community Health Plan. Subsequently, while serving as an associate clinical professor of medicine and public health at the Yale School of Medicine and Chief of the Yale Diagnostic Clinic, he was co-founder with I.S. Falk of the Community Health Care Center Plan in New Haven. Both Harvard's and Yale's community health care plans were university affiliated Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) prototypes.

 Because of Dr. MacLeod's pioneering experience with prepaid comprehensive health care plans in academic settings, Elliott Richardson, then Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, invited him to launch the federal government's Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) program where he shaped the beginnings of some 130 HMOs, forerunners to managed care, many addressing minority populations.

In 1974, the Graduate School of Public Health (GSPH) at the University of Pittsburgh recruited him to be its Chairman (1974-1983) and created the Department of Health Services Administration (HSA). Currently, he is an emeritus professor in the newly formed Department of Health Policy and Management. In 1990, he initiated a Multidisciplinary Master of Public Health (MMPH) degree program which has provided public health training for several hundred physicians and dentists as well as medical and dental students. From 2000 to 2005, Dr. MacLeod also served as Interim Director of the MMPH program. As Clinical Professor of Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh's School of Medicine, he made teaching rounds for some 25 years with medical students, residents, and fellows both in university and community teaching hospitals. His limited medical practice was confined mainly to treating indigent patients.  

He returned to government service in 1979 as Secretary of Health for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania on leave of absence from the University. While there, he put an end to the last U.S. national polio epidemic among the Amish by organizing a massive immunization campaign for some 147,000 Pennsylvanians over a three days period. He also managed the health aspects of the Three Mile Island nuclear power plant accident occurring 12 days after he was sworn in as Secretary. Subsequently, he chaired the American Medical Association (AMA) Committee on Environmental Emergencies. As fallout from this experience, he has frequently been requested to write and speak about the health effects of nuclear accidents throughout the country and around the world.

Among Dr. MacLeod's 115 publications is a study identifying striking differences in health outcomes of a minority ethnic population, the Maoris, in New Zealand, published in the journal, "Health Affairs" in 1994. He also co-edited in 1978,with Mark Perlman, University Professor of Economics, the first book ever written on capital financing of health care, Health Care Capital: Competition and Control in 1978. He served on the editorial boards of the "Journal of the American Medical Association" (JAMA) (1986-94) and the "Physician's News Digest of Western PA" (1996-present). Recent publications include 2 three-volume sets of course outlines and study manuals used for teaching a course entitled "A Cross-Cultural Approach to Health and Illness," while he circumnavigated the globe as Academic Dean on the University of Pittsburgh Semester at Sea's program aboard the S. S. Universe Explorer during the Fall of 1999; this floating campus accommodated 625 students and 30 faculty members. He sailed again in the summer of 2001, and taught a course on the health systems of the eight countries visited.

Internationally, his enthusiasm for studying and improving health education, delivery and financing systems has resulted in his visiting some forty countries worldwide. In 1973, he spent six months in Europe conducting a cross-national study on the role of consumers in health care governance in Britain, Denmark, and Germany under Ford Foundation auspices. In 1977, Dr. MacLeod was appointed by the World Health Organization to serve as consultant to the University of the Philippines and from 1980 to 1987, he headed a USAID project at the University of the West Indies. In 1993, he spent six months as a Fellow at the University of Auckland in New Zealand studying Maori health care. In 1994, he participated in another USAID project in Moscow and St. Petersburg guiding Russian hospital CEOs in restructuring their health care system.

Dr. MacLeod is a Fellow of the American College of Physicians and Diplomate of the American Board of Internal Medicine. He is a member of Alpha Omega Alpha and Delta Omega, honorary medical and public health societies, respectively. He has received a Certificate of Merit from the American Academy of Pediatrics, a Distinguished Service Award from the Maryland Public Health Association, a Ford Foundation Travel Study Award, numerous federal grants, a fellowship at the University of Auckland, and Blackburn College's Distinguished Alumnus award. As a member of a National Advisory Council of the National Institutes of Health, he was among those who approved the federal program to initiate the genome project in 1985. He also serves on the National Advisory Board of the Pittsburgh chapter of the Physicians for Social Responsibility. He was Student Marshall at Blackburn College in 1952 and Chief Academic Marshall at the University of Pittsburgh in 1997-8. In 1998, and was awarded the Outstanding Teacher Award by the Graduate School of Public Health.

During 1990, he was elected President of the faculty's executive committee at the Graduate School of Public Health and of the Pennsylvania Medical Society, and he was elected President of the University Senate and of the Faculty Assembly of the University of Pittsburgh in 1997. He also spent thirteen years as a delegate from Pennsylvania Medical Society to the AMA House of Delegates; he has served as president of the U.S. Medical Administrators Conference, of Integrated Health Care Services, Inc., and a board member of the Pittsburgh Chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union and as a Board member and an officer of the International MedicAlert Foundation. He served as President of the Medical History Society at the University of Pittsburgh from 2002 to 2004. He has also served on the Boards of Directors of two Pittsburgh area hospitals, and on the Board of Visitors of the Case-Western Reserve School of Nursing in Cleveland. He continues to serve as a board or committee member of several academic, community, regional, and national organizations. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of The Institute for Research, Education, and Training against Addiction, addressing this minority affliction.

Updated 2006