Spring 2008 Faculty Files
Patrick Redmon has hardly broken in his office space midway through his second year at Xavier, but it's no question that he's found his niche in the HSA program as a consultant, professor, researcher and, not surprisingly, an economist.
"I had always wanted to get back into academics, even though I had learned a lot in my work in health economics," says Redmon who teaches the courses, Health Policy and Health Economics.
The former deputy director of the Maryland Health Services for seven years, Redmon's specialty in health economics was not his intended field of study when he graduated with his PhD in labor economics from Michigan State University.
"My first job out of grad school was with the government accountability office in Washington, and my first project was not in labor economics; it was a health economics project looking at how reimbursement for Medicare affected hospital closures," he says.
While labor economics deals more with the workforce within an institution, wages and compensation, health economics looks at how and where people invest in their health.
"The relationship between health and workforce issues was interesting to me, but it wasn't where I had done my research," he says. "Growing up in a rural area in Tennessee, that project sowed an interest in me and it stuck."
Redmon's background complements his teaching style and provides an experiential dimension for his students in the classroom, especially considering most of his students are economics majors.
"I've been working in public policy and have seen the need to take technical issues and explain them in a way that people who are not economists will understand them, even though they are making economic arguments," Redmon says.
The cross between economics and health is one that is easily applicable for HSA students as they face such issues in their residencies and later on in their careers.
Redmon knew he was on the right track shortly after he began teaching at Xavier when he received a significant e-mail-his first from a student. Shortly after, more followed, especially among students nearing their residencies.
"I have been amazed to see how students blossom in terms of being professional and knowledgeable when they end their class work and go into their residencies," he says. "I'll get questions from them asking about policy issues or where I can direct them to get information. In the classroom, sometimes, it's just doing the work, but to see that the material is really applicable and useful is quite fascinating."