May 7, 2012

Carey School to change program focus

Move highlights health care and life sciences

The Johns Hopkins Carey Business School has reorganized to focus its degree programs on the study of business issues related to health care and the life sciences, interim Dean Phillip Phan has announced.

“We’re making this move not just because we are Johns Hopkins, with the best medical institutions in the world, but also because health care is an increasingly important part of the economic discussion in the United States,” Phan said. “Health care is approaching 20 percent of the national gross domestic product, and it’s a key factor in the costs of any economic model, whether in manufacturing or services. Understanding the complexities of the modern health care industry is a crucial skill for any business manager. For those who manage in the health care sector, Johns Hopkins is the place to learn.”

To guide the reorganization, Phan has appointed Carey Business School Associate Professor Toby Gordon as faculty director of Health Care and Life Sciences Programs. Gordon, who holds a doctor of science degree from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, has taught in the schools of Public Health, Medicine and Business at Johns Hopkins since 1983. Her decades of experience in the university’s health system include positions as administrator of surgical sciences and vice president of strategy and market research.

“A number of business programs related to health care and life sciences have been in place at Carey over the past several years,” Gordon said. “But more recently we’ve decided, with the support of schools across Johns Hopkins University, to make the business of health care a much more prominent focus at Carey. It just makes sense organically, given the groundwork we’ve already laid in this area of study and our ties to a university world-famous for its medical care and training.”

The new focus includes an increase in cooperative research and teaching efforts with other divisions of Johns Hopkins, particularly its renowned schools of Medicine, Public Health, Nursing and Engineering. To date, about 10 professors from those schools have been jointly appointed to the Carey faculty. In addition, Carey faculty members have begun working with professors from the other Johns Hopkins divisions to explore joint research efforts, which could include the involvement of Carey students. Also, Carey and the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine plan to launch a dual MBA/MD degree program in the fall.

Gordon concurs with Phan that the Carey School’s focus on health care and the life sciences would appeal to any student of the modern business landscape, adding that it’s also a natural for current health care and life sciences professionals seeking a deeper understanding of their industry.

“Students coming to Carey will not only receive an excellent business education, but they’ll also be able to tap into the many resources available throughout the great research enterprise of Johns Hopkins University,” Gordon said. “On top of that, Baltimore is an amazing place to study health care, from the unmet needs in public health at one extreme to the very vibrant high-tech community at the other.”

Both Phan and Gordon point out that students will still be able to pursue traditional paths toward MBAs and other business degrees at Carey, including the full-time Global MBA launched in 2010.

“Students can use electives to focus their concentrations as they determine,” Gordon said. “We feel strongly that the best business schools have a mix of people representing various industries, sharing their views and experiences. The intention is not to have a school full of people from just one industry.”

“This new focus doesn’t mean we’re altering other, traditional areas where we’re strong,” said Phan. “For example, two years ago we revised our MS in Finance program to place more emphasis on investing and asset pricing, and the program is now so popular—enrollment in it has tripled—that we’ve had to launch a full-time version of it at our Washington, D.C., campus. Certainly health care is not a core focus of that program, nor of our real estate program. Those are two fields in which we play very well, and we won’t give that up.”