College of Public Health students graduating

Health Services Management Concentration

The MPH Program in Health Services Management will prepare students for careers in using administrative and policy strategies to improve population health within the transforming U.S. and global health systems. The program gives special attention to the organizational, analytic, and decision-making skills needed to work effectively across the public health and health care components of the health system to achieve greater coordination, equity, and efficiency. Graduates of the program will be prepared to assume program management, policy development, and leadership positions in a variety of settings within the health system, including: local, state, and federal public health agencies; health foundations and coalitions; policy analysis and research centers; health consulting firms; and advocacy organizations. The program is also ideal for individuals preparing to pursue advanced health professional degrees and engage in interdisciplinary practice in areas such as medicine, pharmacy, nursing, allied health, and social work.

Traditional MPH in HSM Concentration
Students may elect to take the traditional 2-years to complete the MPH, as outlined below.

14-Month MPH in HSM Concentration
Motivated students may complete our MPH in HSM within 14-months, as outlined below. The curriculum can also be completed over the traditional 2-year time frame, as outlined later.

Administrative and Policy Strategies to Improve Population Health: Illustrative Case Examples

The practice of public health is in the midst of fundamental transformation from its historical foundation as a predominantly governmental responsibility to its modern reinvention as a multi-sector enterprise focused on population-wide health improvement. Examples from across the U.S. illustrate the growing importance of using administrative and policy strategies to improve population health:

  • Brokering Multisectoral Collaboration for Health Improvement: Despite a deep economic recession that decimated state and local tax receipts, public health leaders in Oklahoma City have formed a broad-based public-private venture to pool resources and target services to improve population health in the city. The multi-million dollar venture brings together state and local public health agencies, area business leaders, health insurers, hospital systems, philanthropic institutions, and the state’s flagship health sciences university to create a one-stop, multi-purpose “health campus” in the city’s most vulnerable and disease-burdened neighborhood. The new health campus provides health promotion and disease prevention interventions, health education and health coaching programs, comprehensive primary medical care, social support services, and expanded access to healthy food outlets, recreation, and physical activity resources. Innovative zoning, bond financing, and private investment strategies have been critical to the success of this effort.
  • Creating Accountable Care Communities: More than 60 organizations in the Akron, Ohio area have come together to implement one of the nation’s largest demonstrations of the “accountable care community” concept, which aims to improve health and reduce health care costs through targeted collaboration, shared implementation costs and savings, and shared accountability among multiple community actors. Collaborating partners agree to share the costs of implementing a coordinated set of health improvement programs and services in the community, to use a standard set of metrics for evaluating program implementation and impact, and to share the resulting health care cost savings. The collaboration includes local and state public health agencies, area hospital systems, health insurers, foundations, businesses, and universities. An initial focus for the collaborative is the provision of comprehensive disease self-management support to community residents with diabetes and its antecedent risk factors. Broad community engagement efforts, an innovative financing and cost model, and detailed performance measurement have allowed the initiative to grow and flourish.​
  • Incentivizing Regional Public Health Delivery: A strong commitment to home rule and local government control has led most cities and towns in Massachusetts to maintain independent public health agencies and health districts, even in small and low-resource communities that cannot afford to offer a full range of disease prevention and health protection services for their residents. Recognizing the gaps in effectiveness and efficiency that this legacy approach engenders, a diverse collection of public health and community leaders formed an initiative to encourage cooperative, regional approaches to public health delivery among neighboring municipalities and community agencies. The coalition devised an innovative policy that uses federal and state public health funding streams, together with objective performance standards and measures, to incentivize the formation of regional public health delivery districts. These new districts are structured to address the complex array of legal, political, financial, and logistical hurdles that often make regional cooperation impossible. Most recently, these new districts have begun to assume broad responsibilities in implementing collaborative, community-level prevention programs designed to contain health care costs and share the resulting health care savings under the state’s health reform law and its $60 million Wellness and Prevention Trust Fund. Careful legal and policy analysis, intergovernmental strategic planning, and innovative financing strategies have allowed this initiative to move forward.

The spreading success of these and other health innovations across the U.S. and internationally depends on a new generation of public health leaders equipped with the skills to use administrative and policy strategies to generate productive collaborations that can improve population health.

Key Content and Skill Areas:

  • Public health organization and management
  • Health systems analysis and systems thinking
  • Political analysis and policy analysis
  • Financial management and economic analysis
  • Public health law and policy development
  • Acquisition, analysis, and application of data for decision-making

MPH in HSM Concentration-Specific Competencies

  1. Organize and lead population health improvement activities within defined lines of responsibility, authority, communication, and governance.
  2. Develop productive inter-organizational relationships with key stakeholders in the public and private sectors that influence population health.
  3. Develop and implement organizational strategic planning and community health improvement processes that take into consideration population health needs, public preferences, political dynamics, and the availability of resources.
  4. Select appropriate principles of budgeting and financial management to apply to the operation of public health organizations and activities
  5. Use principles of evidence-based public health to design and implement policies, programs, and strategies to improve population health
  6. Evaluate the health and economic impact of public health strategies in relation to established goals and objectives

MPH in HSM Courses:

Core MPH Courses:

STA 580 Principles of Biostatistics
CPH 601 Occupational and Environmental Health
CPH 604 Principles of Health Behavior
CPH 605 Principles of Epidemiology
CPH 650 Management of Public Health Organizations
CPH 663 Public Health Practice and Administration

HSM Elective Courses

CPH 602 Overview of U.S. Health Care
CPH 647 Research Methods
CPH 658 Health Economics
CPH 653 Public Health Law and Policy OR CPH 758 Health Policy
CPH 655 Public Health Accounting and Finance OR HA 637 Health Finance (Fall)
One additional elective

Required Practicum and Capstone Courses

CPH 609 Practicum
CPH 608 Capstone

Sample 14-month Course of Study:

Motivated students may complete our MPH in HSM within 14-months, as outlined below. The curriculum can also be completed over the traditional 2-year time frame, as outlined later.

Summer Semester I (6 credits)

CPH 650 Management of Public Health Organizations
CPH 663 Public Health Practice and Administration

Fall Semester (15 credits)

CPH 605 Principles of Epidemiology
CPH 601 Occupational and Environmental Health
CPH 602 Overview of U.S. Health Care
STA 580 Principles of Biostatistics
CPH 604 Principles of Health Behavior

Spring Semester (15 credits)

CPH 647 Research Methods
CPH 658 Health Economics
CPH 653 Public Health Law and Policy OR CPH 758 Health Policy
CPH 655 Public Health Accounting and Finance OR HA 637 Health Finance (Fall)
One additional elective course

Summer Semester II (6 credits)

CPH 609 Practicum (most students will begin the Practicum in the Spring semester)
CPH 608 Capstone

Traditional 2-year Course of Study:

Students may elect to take the traditional 2-years to complete the MPH, as outlined below.

Fall Semester (12credits)

CPH 650 Management of Public Health Organizations
CPH 663 Public Health Practice and Administration
CPH 605 Principles of Epidemiology
CPH 602 Overview of U.S. Health Care

Spring Semester (12 credits)

STA 580 Principles of Biostatistics
CPH 604 Principles of Health Behavior
CPH 653 Public Health Law and Policy OR CPH 758 Health Policy
CPH 655 Public Health Accounting and Finance OR HA 637 Health Finance (Fall)

Fall Semester (15credits)

CPH 647 Research Methods
CPH 658 Health Economics
CPH 601 Occupational and Environmental Health
CPH 609 Practicum
One additional elective course

Spring Semester (3 credits)

CPH 608 Capstone