The mission of Health Policy and Management is to optimize the trade-offs among cost, quality and access to health services. Coursework prepares public health professionals for managerial and administrative positions in health organizations and institutions (both voluntary and private), and in planning and regulatory bodies of federal, state, and local health agencies. The Health Policy and Management area develops and uses theories and models based in organizational theory, economic theory, decision theory, and motivation theory to understand the health care system; identify and analyze its strengths and weaknesses, and design, implement, evaluate and improve programs.

The administration of health services offers a wide range of opportunities for incorporating elements of a comprehensive health program into successful delivery of services in a variety of settings: institutional and ambulatory care sites; planning and regulatory bodies in federal, state, and local health agencies; and voluntary or private service organizations. Students learn how to improve administrative practice, enhance the effectiveness of health service programs, and improve the health of the public through services that prevent disease and protect health. This is accomplished in a variety of ways, such as:

• understanding the social, economic, legal, and political issues germane to national and local health policies;
• understanding the history, dynamics, and function of the health care delivery system;
• applying concepts of administration to the management of health programs and institutions;
• planning and implementing research projects in collaboration with an agency or organization; and,
• mastering skills in managerial problem solving and in oral and written communication.