First Graduation of Katz Executive MBA in Healthcare Program

Group picture of EMBA-H graduation class


The first cohort of students in the Executive MBA in Healthcare program at the University of Pittsburgh Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business graduated on Sunday, December 2, 2018. The class of 21 students included physicians, medical directors, nurse practitioners, chief medical information officers, emergency department chairmen, clinical trial managers, directors of behavior health, and more.

The students completed a 19-month course taught by Katz business professors, as well as instructors from the Graduate School of Public Health and executives from UPMC. In addition to completing 42 credits, the students worked together in teams to complete 12 practicums that addressed real-world challenges in their organizations.

Program participants applied their new-found knowledge to practicum topics that included reducing mortality, primary service care on a local university campus, an operating room performance platform for anesthesia services, targeted reduction of inpatient processing times to reduce emergency department overcrowding, and extended care team use on patient outcomes, satisfaction, and costs.

Dr. C. Wright Pinson, deputy vice chancellor for Health Affairs and CEO of Vanderbilt Health System, delivered the graduation remarks. As a physician who earned his MBA before attending medical school, he understands the importance of the business of healthcare.

“We need capable people armed with graduate training that focus on healthcare,” he said. “More and more all types of clinicians and many others are seeing the value of understanding the business and economics that go with taking care of patients. There is a great value in having both perspectives in our administrative and management decision making.”

As the co-sponsor and teacher in a Master’s in Healthcare Management at Vanderbilt University Owen School of Business, he emphasized that businesses need to adapt in order to survive. “Ambulatory healthcare today looks like Walmart,” he stated. “Ambulatory healthcare in the future…will look more like Amazon.”

Students participating in the program include employees of Excela Health, Fayette Physician Network, Forest Devices, Gateway Health, Allegheny Health Network, Geisinger Health System, Johnson & Johnson, Lancaster General Health, University of Pittsburgh Cancer Centers, UPMC Partners in Health, UPMC Presbyterian-Shadyside, UPMC Altoona/Bedford, UPMC Health Plan, Wellist, and The Wolff Center at UPMC.

Arjang Assad, dean of the Katz Graduate School of Business and College of Business Administration, strayed from his prepared remarks to note that “this class is like no other that I’ve presided over. We take enormous pride in our first inaugural cohort of the EMBA-Healthcare program.”

The second cohort in the program began classes in May and will graduate in December 2019. Applications are currently being accepted for the cohort that will begin in May 2019. Visit the Executive MBA in Healthcare page on our website for more information.