The specific objectives of the Health Policy program are: (1) to provide its students with a basic foundation of knowledge in public health and health policy, and (2) to teach concepts, principles, and scientific skills necessary for health services policy development and evaluation. The Health Policy program - within the Department of Health Policy and Management - aims to have students develop an understanding of the importance of data and research as policy and management tools. Students are taught to anticipate future needs relative to expanding technology, changing patterns of community health, and emerging societal and programmatic needs.
The program provides a unified approach to policy. It is built on the recognition that issues of health policy cannot be divorced from principles of sound management, nor can health care management or policy be developed without a fundamental understanding of morbidity, mortality, and epidemiologic methods. Further, the program recognizes that leaders cannot make successful decisions about the delivery of health care nor solve the health problems affecting society over the next decades without extensive analytic and decision-making skills. Students need to be able to translate sound scientific evidence into effective health policy. The program emphasizes training in quantitative methods, economics, financing, epidemiology, and evaluative methods for policy and management. Social and behavioral sciences are integral parts of many courses throughout the two-year curriculum.
Students design their own sequence of courses in health policy, and they may also specialize in particular substantive areas (e.g., addiction, health economics, vulnerable populations, global health, or consumer decision making). Students are required to take an integrative seminar in health policy.
Graduates of the program in Health Policy are employed in both the public and private sectors, including federal and state agencies, for-profit and nonprofit health care organizations, hospitals, and private consulting firms, as well as in research.