Williams College of Business Offers MBA Concentration in Health Industries

| August 11, 2010

To help health industry executives keep up with the rapid changes in their field, the Williams College of Business is offering MBA students the opportunity to focus their studies on health care and related industries.

The offerings are part of the College’s new Health Industries Concentration geared toward MBA students who work in the health industry. Passage of the national health care law -- and the changes it will generate -- heightened the need for the concentration.

“The businesses that thrive will be led by managers prepared to operate under these new sets of rules,” said Xavier professor Ginny Frings, who is an expert in the business of health care.

The concentration, a five-course sequence, will prepare students to work in industries involved with medical devices, pharmaceuticals, biotech, diagnostic equipment and furniture, physician offices, insurance companies, nursing homes, long-term care centers, government agencies and more.

The health industry will generate more than 3 million jobs until 2018, more than any other industry, according to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics. The industry accounts for 17 percent of the nation’s gross domestic product.

“If we fail to respond to this need, we will do a disservice to our existing MBA student body, which has displayed a strong interest in honing their skills in this area,” said Hema Krishnan, the College’s associate dean.

“To continue to maintain our national reputation,” she added, “it is imperative we offer such cutting-edge curriculum.”

An MBA concentration is a group of related courses – 12 credit hours – that an MBA student can take to gain deeper knowledge of an area of business that interests the student or is needed to be successful in his or her career. Not all MBA students have concentrations. The College’s other concentrations are Business Intelligence, Finance, International Business, MIS and Marketing.

The College has ties to dozens of senior executives who work in health care industries. It will tap those executives as guest lecturers.

The focus of the curriculum will be on overall cost control, enhancement of quality, capacity planning, understanding the relationships among industries in the health sector and other tools and techniques to enable executives to make sound decisions.

Only students who are in the advanced stages of their MBA program and who have completed all their main business courses are eligible to take the concentration. The rest of the MBA student population would be eligible to take some of the courses in the concentration as electives, as long as they have fulfilled the necessary prerequisites.

In addition, the concentration will be attractive to MBA alumni who are employed in the health industry and who are interested in developing their knowledge and skills to better meet the demands of the industry. Also, managers who do not work in the health care sector but who need a better understanding of it, including human resources executives, would be appropriate students.

Matt Williams, an executive for GE Healthcare who has worked in the health care industry for 17 years, praised the College for creating the Concentration. Williams is a 2009 graduate of the College’s Executive MBA program.

"We need leaders with advanced skills who can help navigate the complex health care environment in a way that shows solid business acumen while upholding the Jesuit tradition of serving the greater good,” he said. “I can't imagine a better time for the Williams College of Business to create such a crucial program."

The first course, Health Industry Landscape, is being taught this fall by Frings, who is a visiting professor of accounting and business law. Future courses are Economics of the Health Industry; Health Industry Legal, Ethical and Regulatory Environment; Health Industry Operations; and Strategic Health Industry Leadership.

More information about the concentration is available from the College’s MBA Office at 513-745-3525 or xumba@xavier.edu