Curriculum

We fuel leaders with the knowledge, network and cross-industry expertise to address complex global and industry-specific challenges.

Brown’s rigorous curriculum, world-class faculty and dynamic, diverse community allows you to build the network and skills vital for advancing your business without interrupting your career. The Master of Science (ScM) in Healthcare Leadership is an accelerated 16-month program of intense study focused on leading transformative change in the healthcare industry. 

Outstanding faculty from Brown's School of Public Health and other university departments as well as highly accomplished practitioners bring diverse perspectives and expertise to the program. The faculty and participants have a depth of experience in the healthcare industry and are fully engaged in addressing the gaps and constraints of the current system. The course of study is tailored to this industry and leadership development is purposefully considered in the healthcare context.

Students in this program will:

  1. Benefit from Brown’s strength in public health, public policy, health economics, and evidence-based medicine
  2. Examine the conditions and limitations of healthcare systems around the world and confront the challenges of reformulating them
  3. Contribute significantly to peer-to-peer learning while working closely with expert faculty 
  4. Gain a comprehensive perspective that goes beyond local concerns, and develop the knowledge and skills to create flexible, responsive and sustainable organizations across the healthcare industry
  5. Leave the classroom well-positioned to lead in the clinical, corporate, and public sectors; interpret and use data for sound decision making; and promote outstanding healthcare for patients as well as financial health for their organizations

"The program’s content is incredibly practical. On day one, I was already using ideas and concepts that I learned in my healthcare policy and finance courses. As the program progressed, I started looking at the healthcare system through different disciplinary lenses."

Dr. Pedro F. Escobar-Rodriguez, Class of 2018 Director of Women’s Services at San Jorge Children’s Hospital in Puerto Rico

Courses

Instructors: Jon Kingsdale and Marie Ganim

In this course, students appraise past and current healthcare policy developments. Students explore some of the peculiar features of medical care in the U.S. from the patient’s perspective, and in terms of coverage, financing, and special populations. Students put the U.S. healthcare system in perspective by critically examining various methods of health services delivery and financing in other countries. Participants examine various efforts in the U.S. to change the delivery of medical care as they question assumptions, think creatively, and consider integrated patient care solutions. The objective is to ground the students’ ability to lead change in an understanding of the current financing and delivery system, to provide some sense of the degree of change in the status quo that is possible, and to prepare them to lead new paradigms of integrated care in the U.S. and globally.

On completion of this course, students will be able to compare and contrast U.S. healthcare policies to those of other nations, and explore the potential applications of importing and exporting these practices to demonstrate how political, economic, social, and cultural determinants have shaped the evolution of current national, regional, and local healthcare policies. Throughout this course, students collaborate to develop their critical challenge projects and a healthcare system model focused on integrated patient care.

Instructor: Laurence Chait

Achieving “high performance” is key to creating and maintaining a flexible, responsive, innovative organization that is capable of adapting to the constantly changing health care environment. In this course, you will discover how to create and sustain a high performance organization by applying the principles of the High Performance Model of value creation. The model includes strategic planning, process improvement, and resource and organizational alignment. You will work to understand the model, consider how it relates to value creation in your own and other healthcare organizations, and apply the model to create value for both your organization and your Critical Challenge Project. Ultimately, you will become an active, confident, and competent participant in the design, execution, and implementation of effective strategic (and non-strategic) planning projects.

 

Instructor: Jim Austin

Healthcare leaders require critical leadership and marketing skills to help them guide the transformation of their organizations. In this course, students apply themselves to real-world situations covering decision-making under uncertainty, negotiation and conflict management, team building, brand stewardship and deployment of social media. Based on their personal leadership styles, students utilize these different case settings to create a specific plan for their own continuous leadership development. 

 

Instructor: Randy Peto

No leader can be effective without a deep understanding of measuring processes and outcomes, building optimum systems of healthcare (including basic skills in planned tests of change, e.g., PDSA cycles), harnessing the intrinsic motivation of the workforce, and providing a supportive environment to increase meaning and engagement at work and reduce burnout.  The course also provides experience in using specific quality improvement tools and analyzing one’s own workplace for key elements of a learning organization.  Emphasis is placed on positive cultures within organizations, especially a culture of psychological safety.

 

Instructor: Joseph Coyne

This course in Healthcare Finance and Cost Accounting uses case studies to apply management accounting tools for strategic decision-making in the C-Suite including: assessing healthcare products using the quadruple aim model; preparing real-time electronic dashboards using what-if scenario analyses; analyzing quarterly and annual year-over-year physician financial performance; and forecasting financial conditions for value-based contracting. A practical setting includes managed care organizations, multi-specialty medical groups, ambulatory surgery centers, and accountable care organizations. Students will complete this course with a financial analysis tool bag critical for taking corrective actions to improve financial viability and quality of care, both in the short-term and long-term.

Instructors: Anthony Napoli with Sandi Ferretti 

The Critical Challenge Project (CCP) course is an independent project that spans the duration of the program. Upon applying to the Master's of Healthcare Leadership program, each student identifies a critical challenge related to healthcare — relating to his/her organization or to a personal interest. Throughout the program, each student works collaboratively with a variety of people including their peers, professional colleagues, course faculty, advisors and chairs integrating various perspectives across healthcare sectors to develop possible solutions to his or her challenge.

 

Six new half-credit courses were added to the curriculum to achieve excellence, enhance long-term sustainability, and leverage the expertise of those in the School of Public Health.

 

Instructor: Henry Browning

The challenges within the healthcare industry are often profound and the industry is even more complex as healthcare reforms and market forces transform the way that healthcare is delivered and managed. MHL students must learn to effectively lead within any complex healthcare environment for graduates to have a meaningful impact in their organizations and the industry in general. Incremental change will not be good enough. The competencies of MHL graduates must evolve for them to thrive. This new leadership course is designed to support twelve leadership competencies that are necessary to be successful in the future.

 

Instructor: Judy Bentkover

This course is intended to provide a basic foundation in the methods and application of health economics; the concepts, topics, cases, and exercises are intended for healthcare leaders delivering care, paying for and producing healthcare goods and services, as well as those regulating, managing, and overseeing the delivery of healthcare. Applications to real healthcare delivery and financing issues are emphasized throughout the course, with students gaining experience analyzing health policy decisions that arise from basic economic choices that must be made concerning the efficient and equitable production, allocation, and consumption of healthcare resources.  Upon completion of this course, students will possess a technical understanding of the theory, principles, and methods of health economics  as well as the ability to understand, interpret, critically review, and determine the economic repercussions of alternative health policies.  Finally, students will be prepared to undertake various types of economic evaluations of health-related projects, given real world constraints of time, data, and budget. 

 

Instructor: Liz Tobin-Tyler

This course provides an overview of core health law principles with a focus on legal relationships among patients, providers, payers and institutions. Students will examine how laws and regulations can support (or thwart) change through professional regulation, informed consent, malpractice litigation and corporate transactions within healthcare systems. In addition to exploring the legal frameworks underlying the health care system, students will consider broader legal and bioethical issues such as the right to die, human reproduction and medical decision-making; and how public health laws are evolving to address the realities the new era of pandemics like COVID-19.  The practical and effective use of laws, legal counsel and negotiation skills as part of the core tools of a healthcare leader will be explored and developed.

 

Instructor: Ian Saldanha

Epidemiology and biostatistics are two foundational fields in healthcare research. Participants learn about key concepts from these fields that are used to inform healthcare decisions. The course addresses how various biases can compromise the validity of research studies and thus can undermine evidence-based healthcare. Participants engage with examples of various study designs and discern the advantages and drawbacks of each. Participants work in groups to design hypothetical epidemiologic research studies, think through many of their details, present their studies, and critique each others’ studies. Even though participants may not be involved in designing epidemiologic studies in their careers, this course develops critical thinking skills to understand research studies, their strengths and weaknesses, and their implications so that participants can make informed healthcare and healthcare organizational decisions.

 

Instructor: Anthony Napoli, MD

This course will introduce the principles and methods of data analytics as they apply to the healthcare context. We will illustrate the methods by which big data can contribute to an understanding of the underlying problems and challenges confronting our healthcare system. We will also introduce a number of case studies illustrating how analytics can solve strategic and operational issues. Students will work in their teams to understand and solve the case studies.

 

Instructor: Mark Schneider

Health Care’s Digital Age brings new opportunities for innovation and new challenges for leaders.  Managing in this new era requires an understanding of the changes brought on by artificial intelligence, system Interoperability, quantum computing, block chain and mobile devices.  It also requires an understanding of the challenges of data overload, Internet misinformation, documentation inducing clinician burnout, and cyber-attacks.   This course will provide insight on the path and trajectory of information technology evolution.  It will explore key tradeoffs made in information technology planning such as the balance between access and security and it will lend perspective on the source of clinical data - the electronic patient record. 

The course will prepare leaders to anticipate technology changes, better manage the information technology function and become strategic change agents by leveraging information technology innovation.