Jefferson to Establish New School of
Health Policy and Population Health
PHILADELPHIA – Robert L. Barchi, M.D., Ph.D., President of Thomas Jefferson University announced today the establishment of the Jefferson School of Health Policy and Population Health (JSHPPH), which will begin enrolling students for September 2009. David B. Nash, M.D., M.B.A., chair of the Department of Health Policy at Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University, and a recognized national leader in this field, will serve as the School’s founding dean. The interdisciplinary curriculum design of the new School allows medical, nursing and allied health students to take classes together to help them better prepare for and understand areas of health policy, population health and healthcare quality and safety. Recent college graduates and working professionals will also benefit from the innovative curriculum. Classes will be offered both online and in a traditional classroom format.
|David B. Nash, M.D, M.B.A,
Will Serve as Founding Dean
“The establishment of this new School builds on existing Jefferson strengths in health policy and population health, and provides a venue for this expertise that is recognized nationally and internationally,” says Dr. Barchi. “It reaffirms Jefferson’s position as a leading, innovative academic health center. It’s the right program at the right time.”
“The need to address the healthcare crisis in the United States – its quality, safety, affordability and accessibility, is incontrovertible,” says Dr. Nash, who also serves as the Dr. Raymond C. and Doris N. Grandon Professor of Health Policy. “It is no longer possible to prepare high-quality healthcare providers and educators without addressing these issues holistically from the perspective of population health and with the tools of health policy analysis.”
Unique Programs Set New School Apart from Others
The mission of JSHPPH will be to prepare leaders with global vision to develop, implement and evaluate health policies and systems that improve the health of populations and thereby enhance overall quality of life. The School will provide graduate academic programming, continuing education courses and conferences, and sustained research and consulting in areas of health policy, population health and healthcare quality and safety.
Building on the Master’s in Public Health (MPH) degree and certificate program presently offered through Jefferson’s College of Graduate Studies, the JSHPPH will create and offer programs that will differentiate its graduates from those of other universities in Philadelphia and across the nation.
Jefferson will be the only university in the nation to offer a Master’s Degree in Chronic Care Management. This program will prepare graduates to develop, implement and evaluate coordinated, system-based strategies to effectively prevent and manage complex health conditions of populations; and to promote patient engagement in shared decision-making.
The Master’s in Healthcare Quality and Safety program will be the only one of its kind in the region, and is designed to help healthcare systems and providers meet the challenge of public accountability for improving quality and safety. Graduates will learn how to analyze, measure and monitor the performance of healthcare systems; to foster a culture of safety; and to develop and implement effective quality and safety improvement strategies and programs.
JSHPPH will offer a Master’s Degree in Health Policy, as well as doctoral programs in Health Policy (Ph.D. or Dr.HP.) and Population Health Sciences (Ph.D.). Certificate programs will also be offered in each area and new dual degree programs are planned as future additions to the school.
Jefferson Addresses Healthcare Crisis
“Establishing a School of Health Policy and Population Health is in keeping with Jefferson’s historic tradition of clinical excellence and service to the community,” says Dr. Nash. “In order to maintain our high level of scholarly integrity, we must make health policy a central focus in the education of our students in medicine and all the related health professions.”
The need to establish the new School is clear given the critical state of the healthcare system in the United States:
- Chronic illness is epidemic and poorly managed, accounting for nearly 80 percent of all healthcare spending and affecting 133 million Americans;
- Health insurance premiums have risen almost 90 percent since 2000;
- 47 million Americans are uninsured and 16 millions are underinsured;
- Poor and minority populations have limited or no access to healthcare;
- The aging of the population is increasing demands on all sectors of the healthcare system;
- The Institute of Medicine estimates that almost 100,000 patients die annually due to medical errors;
- The failure to incorporate the latest in evidence-based practice leads to misdiagnosis and inappropriate care; and
- Threats of national disasters and global epidemics are ever-present and can easily overwhelm local or national healthcare resources.
The establishment of the School of Health Policy and Population Health will enable Jefferson to maintain and enhance its position as a leading academic health center and to expand its influence and contributions to the global community.