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Carlson, Rick J. 1940-

CARLSON, Rick J. 1940-

PERSONAL: Born November 17, 1940, in Minneapolis, MN; son of John and Ethel (Anderson) Carlson; married Meg Dredge, September 4, 1965; children: Rebekah, Joshua. Education: St. Olaf College, B.A., 1962; University of Minnesota, J.D., 1965.

ADDRESSES: Home—75 Upper Alcatraz, Mill Valley, CA 94941. Office—c/o Institute for the Future, 2744 Sand Hill Rd., Menlo Park, CA 94025.

CAREER: Howard, Lefevere, Lefler, Hamilton & Pearson, Minneapolis, MN, attorney, 1965-68; Institute of Interdisciplinary Studies (currently InterStudy), Minneapolis, MN, research attorney, 1968-72; writer, 1972—; NewHealth Centers/Primary Prevention Programs, Inc., president and chief executive officer, 1987-90, special advisor and board member, 1990—; Epstein Becker & Green, P.C., United States, counsel; Age Wave Health Services, San Francisco, CA, vice chair; HealthMagic, Denver, CO, president and CEO; Direct Medical Knowledge (on-line consumer health information company), founder; The Health Strategies Group, LP, Aspen, CO, president. Senior research associate of National Academy of Sciences' Institute of Medicine; vice president and senior associate of Policy Center, Inc. (Denver) and Spectrum Research, Inc. (Washington, DC); research associate of University of California, San Francisco; chair, California Governor's Council on Wellness and Physical Fitness; first director of California Trend Report Project, sponsored by Naisbitt Group; consultant to Blue Cross/Blue Shield Associations of America, American Hospital Association, Health and Human Services Administration, Mac Arthur Foundation, and others; research affiliate for the Institute for the Future, Menlo Park, CA. Adjunct assistant professor at Boston University; instructor at University of Minnesota, 1970; Visiting Fellow at Center for the Study of Democratic Institutions, Santa Barbara, CA, 1972-73.


Planning and Law: Planners and Lawyers, American Rehabilitation Foundation Series, R. Carlson (Minneapolis, MN), 1969.

The Need to Study Laws Relating to Health Manpower, InterStudy (Minneapolis, MN), 1970.

(With Paul M. Ellwood, Jr. and others) Assuring the Quality of Health Care, InterStudy (Minneapolis, MN), 1973.

The End of Medicine, Wiley (New York, NY), 1975.

(Editor) The Frontiers of Science and Medicine, Wild-wood House (London, England), 1975, H. Regnery (Chicago, IL), 1976.

(With David DeWolf and Priscilla DeWolf) The Dilemmas of Corrections, Lexington Books (Lexington, MA), 1976.

(Editor, with Robert Cunningham) Future Directions in Health Care: A New Public Policy: Reports from a Conference, Ballinger (Cambridge, MA), 1978.

(With Clement Bezold and Jonathan C. Peck) The Future of Work and Health, Auburn House (Dover, MA), 1986.

(With Brooke Newman) Issues and Trends in Health, Mosby (St. Louis, MO), 1987.

(With Gary Stimeling) The Terrible Gift: The Brave New World of Genetic Medicine, Public Affairs Publishing (New York, NY), 2002.

Contributor to medical and legal journals, and to Center, Center Report, and Futures Conditional.

SIDELIGHTS: Attorney, author, and health care consultant Rick J. Carlson was one of the primary framers of the Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) Act (1972). He served as a research attorney at the Institute of Interdisciplinary Studies in Minneapolis, Minnesota, during the late 1960s. Throughout his career, he has served as a consultant in the fields of health care, prevention, health futures, health care information and technology, and U.S. public policy relating to health care. He has served as president or chief executive officer of several organizations providing legal, strategic, and consulting services to the health care industry as well as providing self-help and preventative information to consumers.

Two of Carlson's books, The End of Medicine and The Dilemmas of Corrections, were written as a result of his work as a Visiting Fellow at the Center for the Study of Democratic Institutions in Santa Barbara, California. In The End of Medicine, Carlson challenges the health care system to integrate holistic thinking and wellness programs into the medical care it provides. The Dilemmas of Corrections rose out of two major conferences Carlson chaired on Law and Justice for the Center. The book deals with the U.S. correctional system and was written for the Law Enforcement Assistance Administration. Carlson and Robert Cunningham edited the 1978 book Future Directions in Health Care, which is a compilation of papers presented at a 1977 conference sponsored by the Blue Cross Association.

With Clement Bezold and Jonathan C. Peck, Carlson published The Future of Work and Health in 1986. The book resulted from a report prepared by the Institute for Alternative Futures in partnership with the Washington Business Group on Health. The report was written for the U.S. Office of Disease Prevention and the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health. Carlson, Bezold, and Peck identify eight trends that would have an impact on work and health over the coming twenty-five years. Those trends deal with the effect of computers and automation on the number of jobs; an increase in the number of elderly people in the work force as a result of longer, healthier life spans; an increase in the number of "alternative" health care practitioners as well as routine self-care; greater attention to the protection of workers from toxic substances in the workplace; and the success of an informal economy in which churches, families, and communities are providing resources and care for the poor and the elderly. After citing demographics, the authors discuss trends that will shape the future of work and health, as well as health care and its financing. E. C. Goldin, in a review for the Journal of Risk and Insurance, recommended the book for risk management and insurance teachers and practitioners and for seminar courses in management, insurance, and health administration. "It identifies trends, but steers clear of painting a single picture of the way things will be," Goldin wrote. "It emphasizes that the future will be the result of choices made in the present." Goldin also praised the book's many understandable and text-enhancing figures and tables, as well as its extensive bibliography, which he said "should prove to be very valuable for students."

The Terrible Gift: The Brave New World of Genetic Medicine, written with Gary Stimeling in 2002, was the result of Carlson's work as a principal investigator for a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation-funded project, "Understanding the Human Genome: Implications for Public and Private Decision Makers," and his work as a research affiliate with the Institute for the Future. The book deals with the commercialization of modern medicine and health care, which makes health costs rise and patient-doctor relationships decline. It also deals with the authors' belief that health care is a right, not a privilege, and that research into the human genome could in the future result in abuses by the wealthy, who may pay for human clones to be used as organ donors. Carlson and Stimeling propose that biotechnology has great risks, not the least of which is the likelihood that it will fall into the wrong hands and that it will take away many of the medical freedoms now afforded the average person. In a Booklist review, William Beatty concluded that The Terrible Gift would be "a book to set genetics wonks a-chattering." A Publishers Weekly contributor was skeptical of the authors' reasoning, saying that readers may not accept their "science-fiction-style doomsday scenarios." Nevertheless, Carlson has been widely requested as a guest speaker on the subject since the book's publication. One of his talks is titled "The Genomics Wave: How It Will Wash across Health Care."



Booklist, May 15, 2002, William Beatty, review of The Terrible Gift: The Brave New World of Genetic Medicine, p. 1563.

Futurist, July-August, 1987, review of The Future of Work and Health, p. 46.

Journal of Risk and Insurance, June, 1989, E. C. Goldin, review of The Future of Work and Health, p. 364.

Library Journal, June 1, 2002, Mary Chitty review of The Terrible Gift, p. 183.

Publishers Weekly, May 6, 2002, review of The Terrible Gift, p. 46.


Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce, Business Matters Newsletter Web site, (January 28, 2003), "Exempla Health Care Presents the First-ever Health Care Policy Breakfast."

Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion Web site, (February 13, 2003), "1997 Partnerships for Networked Consumer Health Information Conference, Biographies of Conference Speakers: Rick J. Carlson."

University of California, Irvine, Graduate School of Management Web site, (February 13, 2003), "2002 Conference: Impact of Bio-Technology on Health Care Delivery."

University of Vermont Web site, (October 4, 2002), Jennifer Nachbur, "Genetic Medicine and Health Care Lecture on Oct. 10."*

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