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 health care 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 Anya Wallack

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

In this course, participants explore the meaning of value creation in healthcare organizations—how it relates to high performance, how it varies and is measured in different healthcare segments, and how it is embodied in the structure and performance of their own organizations. Understanding the tools and techniques of “high performance” is a key to building flexible, responsive, innovative organizations that can adapt and continue to create value in the constantly changing healthcare environment.

A primary focus of the course is on the role of the students as leaders in their own healthcare organizations. A holistic and highly practical High Performance Model of enterprise value creation is presented, and its elements and their relationships are discussed. These elements include tools and techniques such as strategic planning, process improvement, and resource and organizational alignment—as well as change management and knowledge leverage. The elements are discussed from the perspectives of a variety of healthcare organizations, including hospitals, medical practices, healthcare product manufacturers, care providers, insurance companies, and government agencies.

Most importantly, the model is discussed from a practical standpoint—how the participants can apply it to create value in their own organizations. Achieving “high performance” is a key to building flexible, responsive, innovative organizations that can adapt and continue to create value in the constantly changing healthcare environment. Also discussed is how collaborations among organizations in the healthcare arena can support and leverage value creation.

Upon completion of this course, students will be able to describe and give examples of how different healthcare organizations (including their own organizations) create or fail to create value; describe the High Performance Model of value creation, its elements, the relationships among those elements, and the significance of the model; and employ the model to create value for their own healthcare organizations, including the roles and effectiveness of strategy, process, resources, and organization.

Instructor: Jim Austin

In the rapidly changing landscape of today, healthcare leaders require critical management and marketing skills to help them guide the transformation of their organizations. In this course, students develop several essential management and marketing skills, specifically in negotiation, conflict management, collaboration, team building, branding, and social media. Students assess their personal leadership styles and build a robust plan for continuous leadership development. Particular emphasis is placed on assessing how these skills are applied in healthcare vis-a-vis other industries.

Upon completion of this course, students will be able to dissect leadership theory and practice to maximize the potential for effective leadership within their organizations and importantly contribute to critical negotiations for transformative change within the healthcare sector.

Through the continuous development of teamwork skills specific to healthcare organizations and analysis, role-playing, and discussion; students will create a robust personal plan for leadership development; emphasizing the specific management and marketing skills that contribute to their effective leadership.

Instructor: Mark Schneider

Participants identify and exploit the leverage available from information technology in improving patient care, through the study and use of electronic patient records, electronic personal health records, patient-provider-payer portals security requirements, computerized prescribing, electronic documentation, the use of data for standard reports, scorecards, dashboards, and sharing of information for research.

Upon completion of this course, students will be able to recognize the issues that led to the current state of health information technology (HIT) and the barriers that need to be overcome for HIT to be a positive agent for change in healthcare. Students will also be able to apply the knowledge they have gained to provide strategic vision and leadership regarding implementing HIT in their Critical Challenge.

Instructor: Randy Peto

In this course, students explore the quality improvement drivers, principles, systems, and tools that help create a healthcare learning organization. Students discover how quality improvement creates value, how to demonstrate the value of quality improvement to their colleagues, and how to ultimately develop a culture of learning within their organization. Students compare the learning needs of healthcare organizations to those in other industries. Students design and implement a quality improvement project within their own organization, and develop a “learning organization roadmap” for their organization.

Upon completion of this course, students will be able to assess the drivers and history of previous efforts to build systems of improvement within healthcare organizations; explore how to use systems, principles, and tools of improvement to increase quality and value within healthcare organizations; and develop a plan to transform their institutions into learning organizations.

Instructor: Joseph Coyne

This course focuses on the area of financial management as applied to international health organizations. The emphasis in this course is to apply the principles and concepts of international health financial management to global health providers that represent innovative new structures and organizations, such as Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) offering integrated patient care. Students will gain competency in the application of financial analysis tools and techniques internationally through a case study approach. The financial tools and techniques covered include: (1) working capital management and cash budgeting; (2) break-even analysis and contribution margin analysis using “what-if” scenarios; (3) pricing analysis techniques under different competitive conditions; (4) financial condition analysis using financial statements from international healthcare companies; (5) capital budgeting and cost of capital analysis techniques; (6) return on investment analysis techniques as applied to global healthcare investment ventures; and (7) financial forecasting of future cash flows. Students will gain competencies in interpreting data for sound decision making through application of these financial tools and techniques through case assignments and a class project to analyze the financial results of high performing healthcare organizations serving global markets.

Upon completion of this course, students will be able to utilize a comprehensive range of tools and techniques that can assist them in future financial decision making in complex, multinational healthcare organizations. Students will be able to employ these methods and tools in a meaningful manner that relates to their Critical Challenge Project.

Instructors: Scott W. Goodspeed

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.

 

Five 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: Robin Rose

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.  This course provides a high-level overview, understanding, and working knowledge of economic principles and methods applied in the healthcare sector.   Applications to real health care 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 health care 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 explores current topics in health law with a focus on legal relationships among patients, providers, payers and institutions. Students examine the law’s response to healthcare quality through professional regulation, malpractice litigation and newer models of healthcare system accountability. Using local examples of healthcare system consolidation, students analyze the role of antitrust law in reigning in anti-competitive practices. They discuss the law’s approach to fraud and abuse, including false claims, kickbacks and self-referral, as well as systemic factors leading to this problem. In addition to exploring the role of law in regulating the health care system, students consider broader legal and ethical issues in health and health care such as discrimination and unequal treatment; 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 of health in the U.S. and the global society: rising chronic disease, lower life-expectancy and the new era of pandemics like COVID-19.

Upon completion of this course, students will be able to describe several areas of health care governance that depend heavily on law and identify the principal statutes and cases applicable to those areas; delineate federal and state roles in health care governance; explain legal duties of providers and institutions to patients; analyze complex legal and ethical issues related to patient care; and assess tensions between public health law and individual liberties. 

 

Instructor: Ian Saldanha

This course introduces participants to the principles of two foundational and related fields in healthcare research: epidemiology and biostatistics. Participants learn about their theoretical underpinnings and concepts that are relevant to informing healthcare decisions. The course addresses how various biases can compromise the validity of research studies and thus undermine evidence-based healthcare. Participants engage with examples of various study designs and discern the advantages and drawbacks of each. Early in the course, participants suggest a topic for which the class, as a group, subsequently attempts to “design” a study.

 

Upon completion of this course, participants will be able to describe and differentiate among various epidemiologic designs used in clinical studies; calculate and interpret various statistical measures; assess various threats to validity in clinical studies; and critically review and assess the rigor and applicability of clinical studies to healthcare decisions. 

Instructor: Various Faculty