The Department of Health Policy and Management can trace its origin to the founding of the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health in 1916 and the early leadership of Sir Arthur Newsholme.
Through the mid-1970s, the Department was known as the Department of Public Administration. In 1974, a merger with the Department of Health Care Organizations (formerly Medical Care and Hospitals) formed a renamed Department of Health Services Administration.
Then, in 1984, the Department of Health Services Administration merged with the Health Services Research Center to form the Department of Health Policy and Management under new chair Karen Davis, PhD. In 1987, the Department of Behavioral Sciences and Health Education was incorporated into the Department of Health Policy and Management.
In 1994, Donald Steinwachs, PhD, became chair of the department. During the summer of 2005, the faculty of Social and Behavioral Sciences left the department to form the foundation of a new department—Health, Behavior and Society. The Department has also served as the birthplace for many other departments in the Bloomberg School, including International Health, Population, Family and Reproductive Health, and Mental Health.
In the fall of 2005, Ellen MacKenzie, PhD, MSc, became chair of the department.