Philadelphia University + Thomas Jefferson University

MS in Population Health Pharmacy

Program Length

2-5 years

Master’s degree - 2 to 4 years, Certificate - 12 to 20 months; depending on pace through the program and the time required to complete the Capstone project.

Program Format

Online

All courses are offered asynchronously online using best practices and interactive learning and are taught by practitioner faculty with years of experience and recognized expertise.

Program Audience

Pharmacists

JCPH population health programs are designed for working professionals seeking part-time educational opportunities.

Deadline

Rolling Admission

Students can begin the program in September or January. Applications are considered when submitted.

Overview of Population Health Pharmacy

Population Health Pharmacy focuses on the impact of the distribution of health determinants on those receiving medication management services by pharmacists.  This also includes the strategies used to improve health outcomes associated with medication use.  With the rising health care costs and limited resources, pharmacists play an integral role in population health and there is an increasing demand for pharmacists with this expertise.  The Population Health Pharmacy degree will be a collaborative effort between the Jefferson College of Pharmacy and the Jefferson College of Population Health designed to give practicing pharmacists an expertise in population health pharmacy.  By leveraging pharmacy specific knowledge with population health principles, these graduates will be poised to meet the needs of the current resource-limited, fragmented US health care system.

The MS and Certificate in Population Health Pharmacy applies population health principles to various pharmacy settings:

  • It links the determinants of population health to healthcare scenarios and various populations
  • It integrates pharmacy informatics, biostatistical and pharmacoepidemiologic principles to analyze real life medication use scenarios.
  • It allows for the application of evidence based medicine to various populations
  • It evaluates population health management strategies to improve medication use outcomes and reduce cost

The pharmacy specific perspective will allow pharmacist learners to expand:

  • Influence over population healthcare within health systems or community pharmacy settings
  • Promote cost savings within health systems, managed care markets, or insurance companies
  • Continue to push boundaries and further expand the role of the pharmacy profession. 

Application Process

Read more about the application process on our apply page.

Curriculum

The MS in Population Health Pharmacy requires completion of 33 credits and includes a capstone presentation following completion of all coursework.

The Graduate Certificate in Population Health Pharmacy requires completion of 15 credits, all of which can be applied to the MS in Population Health Pharmacy.

Students can begin the program in the Fall (September) or Spring (January) terms.  All courses will be offered online in an asynchronous manner by experienced faculty.  Two, 7-week terms will be offered for the Fall, Spring, and Summer semesters.  Courses will be offered in a manner than allows students to graduate in as little as 2 years.   

Courses

*US Healthcare Organization & Delivery (3 credits)

Provides an overview of how health care is organized, delivered and financed in the United States. Traces the historical evolution in political, economic, and social contexts, including distribution and access to medical and other services, roles of public and private insurance for health care, and structure of healthcare benefits. Addresses current issues in US healthcare organization, delivery, and financing as well as policies and approaches that impact changes in healthcare delivery. Compares US organization and delivery to systems and models used in other countries.

*Essentials of Population Health (3 credits)

Introduces and extends the analytical framework provided by contemporary models of community health and community Health Assessment to explore how health outcomes for populations are influenced by social, economic, environmental, behavioral and political factors. Addresses distinguishing characteristics of populations defined by geography, diagnosis and/or point of care. Describes how clinical and non-clinical evidence is used to measure health-related outcomes, analyze patterns, communicate results, identify best practices and implement effective interventions. Poses ethical questions inherent to the study of the health of populations and to strategies for managing population health.

Intro to HC Quality and Safety (3 credits)

Presents concepts of health care quality and safety as horizontally and vertically integrated throughout the healthcare system. Provides models for demonstrating the association between quality and safety and healthcare economics, regulation, accreditation and information technology and relates these concepts to population health.

Health Policy: Analysis and Advocacy (3 credits)

Prepares students to apply policy analysis tools to define and address health policy issues and problems. Uses the Medicare program to illustrate the policy development process. Examines the complexity of policy problems and provides the basic tools used in policy design, feasibility analysis, implementation and evaluation. Builds on prior coursework and incorporates stakeholder analysis and role of socio-cultural contexts, and economic, legal, and ethical perspectives in establishing a policy analysis framework.

Evidence-Based Medicine and Care Pathway Development (3 credits)

Prepares students to implement evidence-based method in the creation of care pathway development that increases patient safety, improves health outcomes, and reduces health care resource utilization.  Reinforces concepts of biomedical literature review, health statistics, medication cost-effectiveness, and patient safety.

*Pharmacy Informatics and Healthcare Data Analytics (3 credits)

Focuses on the role of medication-related data within healthcare systems and the impact on health outcomes.  Includes data acquisition, analysis, use, and dissemination and the contribution to patient care.  Emphasizes the translation of data analytics into the application of healthcare practices and policies. 

*Pharmacy Benefit Design (3 credits)

Prepares students to apply evidence-based medicine to create cost-containment strategies that enhance patient health outcomes while serving to optimize the use of health care resources.  Focuses on pharmacy benefit design (commercial, Medicare), formulary management, specialty pharmacy management, contracting, pricing and rebating, and accountable care and programs.

Applied Pharmacoeconomics (3 credits)

Focuses on the theories, methods, and computer modeling of pharmacoeconomic principles.  Application of principles will be in the setting of improved resource allocation within medication use systems.

*Pharmacoepidemiology (3 credits)

Details the intended and adverse effects of drugs, vaccines, and biologics use in various populations as well as drug utilization patterns, adherence, and medication safety signal detection.

Capstone Seminar (3 credits)

Prepares students for development and implementation of capstone project. Enhances ability to interpret and apply data analytics, evidence-based medicine, pharmacoeconomics and medication cost containment strategies.  Discusses and presents practical examples. Stresses the application of population health pharmacy and impact on health outcomes.

Capstone (3 credits)

Students develop and present a population health pharmacy project. Serves as culminating experience that demonstrates satisfactory achievement in the principles of population health pharmacy.

Courses noted with an * are required for the Graduate Certificate in Population Health Pharmacy.

Program Outcomes

  • Identify and analyze the determinants of population health (healthcare, behavioral, genetic, social, environmental, cultural)
  • Assess the distribution and impact of determinants of population health on the impact on health outcomes as pertaining to pharmacy
  • Describe the problem of health disparities and the impact on population health
  • Recommend strategies to manage health disparities
  • Assess the current US healthcare system and its impact on population health
  • Makes evidence-based decisions for medication use protocols, disease state management policies, programs, and services
  • Apply pharmacoeconomic principles to evidenced based decisions and health policies
  • Evaluate and interpret the quality of evidence of biomedical literature using biostatistical, epidemiologic, and study design principles
  • Apply informatics technology to collect, assess and analyze population health information
  • Interpret and apply data analytics to improve population health medication use outcomes at institutional, community, regional and national levels
  • Create and apply cost management techniques to improve population health medication use outcomes
  • Evaluate the impact of health policies on population medication use outcomes
  • Articulate new approaches to pharmacy benefit design and management and specialty pharmacy
  • Recommend population health management strategies to improve medication use outcomes

Program Audience

The Graduate Certificate and Master of Science in Population Health Pharmacy are designed specifically for practicing pharmacists.  As pharmacists generally have a basic level of knowledge regarding population health, this degree will provide pharmacy specific population health content that is intended to elevate and expand existing pharmacists skill sets/skill sets.  The target audience for this program include pharmacists working within the following settings:

  • Community pharmacies
  • Health-systems
  • Managed care companies
  • Insurance companies
  • Medication safety organizations
  • State and federal agencies

Admission Requirements

  • Previous pharmacy degree from an accredited school of pharmacy or current enrollment in a pharmacy related program (PhD or Fellowship)
  • Application
  • Transcripts
  • 2 letters of recommendation
  • Personal statement of intent that explains how you plan to use the MS in Population Health Pharmacy degree to expand your skill set and advance your pharmacy career (300-500 words)
  • Demonstration of English proficiency
  • CV/resume

Contact Us:

Emily Hajjar, Pharm.D., MS, BCPS, BCACP, BCGP
Program Director
Associate Professor
Jefferson College of Pharmacy
901 Walnut Street, Suite 901
Philadelphia, PA 19107
215-503-9000