Steven Foldes, Ph.D., Principal

Steven Foldes, Ph.D.

Steven Foldes began Foldes Consulting LLC in 2011 as the capstone to an accomplished career envisioning, directing and communicating research and evaluation projects on health services.  An experienced research executive, he is recognized for creating and leading successful multi-disciplinary research and evaluation teams in business and government settings and for his ability to communicate results to executives and boards of directors.  Dr. Foldes also holds an appointment as Adjunct Associate Professor in the Division of Epidemiology and Community Health, University of Minnesota School of Public Health.

Research  Executive in Business and Government

Before starting Foldes Consulting, Dr. Foldes was the Vice President for Analytics and Reporting for Univita Health, Inc., a leadership position to develop a research and reporting team and to provide corporate level leadership for research and evaluation in geriatric care.  Previously, Dr. Foldes served as the Director of Research and Evaluation for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota, where he was a member of the leadership team of the Center for Prevention and developed and led a multi-disciplinary team of researchers in tobacco control and the promotion of physical activity and healthy eating.  Earlier in his career, Dr. Foldes directed research and evaluation for the Minnesota Department of Human Services, MedCenters Health Plan and the Foundation for Health Care Evaluation.  He also served on the board of directors of MEDICA, one of Minnesota’s largest health plans.

Broad Areas of Expertise

Dr. Foldes is broadly experienced in qualitative and quantitative research and excels in applying data to business questions to enhance understanding and decision-making.  Over the course of his career, he helped design, improve and evaluate the processes, outcomes and cost-effectiveness of services in such areas as prevention and health promotion, predictive modeling for disease management in publicly and commercially insured adult and geriatric populations, risk adjusted provider profiling and reporting systems, physician satisfaction and several chronic diseases, sometimes in partnership with multiple organizations and university collaborators.  Dr. Foldes is experienced with medical and pharmacy claims and EMR data, has created telephone surveys and web-based assessment instruments, and led community-based participatory research in minority communities.

Education and Post-doctoral Training

Dr. Foldes received his doctorate in social and cultural anthropology from the University of Chicago after completing his undergraduate education at the University of Southern California.  He received a NIMH National Research Service Award for post-doctoral study in applied anthropology and public policy at Northwestern University.  Selected as a Bush Foundation Leadership Fellow, he did post-doctoral work in public health at Harvard University, health services research at the University of Minnesota, and completed the Executive MBA program at the University of Minnesota Carlson School of Management.

Awards and Publications

Dr. Foldes has published over two dozen book chapters and articles in the peer-reviewed literature, which are widely cited, along with many community, policy and technical reports.  Internationally recognized in health services research and public health, Dr. Foldes received the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association’s first national “Best of Blue” award for health services research in 2001.  The American Neurological Association selected his article in Health Affairs on the economics of caregiver support programs as one of the three most important articles published on dementia in 2014.  His article quantifying the short-term medical costs of modifiable health behaviors among health plan members was nominated by the editor of the American Journal of Health Promotion for the 2009 National Institute of Health Care Management Research and Educational Foundation Award.  Dr. Foldes’ research on the health care costs of exposure to secondhand smoke was credited with helping to pass Minnesota’s Freedom to Breathe legislation in 2007, and has been replicated in several other states.

He is a peer reviewer for many journals, including the Annals of Internal Medicine, the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, Medical Care, the American Journal of Managed Care and the American Journal of Health Behavior.  He was a founder of the national Blue Cross and Blue Shield Health Services Research Alliance and of the Minnesota Health Services Research Conference.  Dr. Foldes has been repeatedly honored by leading organizations in Minnesota’s Southeast Asian and Latino communities for his contributions to health promotion in their communities.