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Cornell University Cornell Brooks Public Policy

History and Mission

Sloan Program in Health Administration

Excellence in Innovation Since 1955    

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Cornell University is a world-renowned research university and one of the eight members of the Ivy League. Cornell’s mission, vision, and values (link to Cornell main page University Mission | Cornell University ) serve as a guiding light for the University and its 16 colleges (found here Colleges & Schools | Cornell University).

During the Sloan Program in Health Administration’s seven decades at Cornell, we have always maintained a commitment to delivering a rigorous business and management-based curriculum that prepares the world’s future leaders of the health care industry. It is this steadfast commitment that propelled the Sloan Program in Health Administration to be a key part of one of Cornell University’s most important current initiatives — the founding of the Jeb E. Brooks School of Public Policy in September 2022.

To be tapped as one of the anchor programs of the new Brooks School of Public Policy, Sloan drew upon its rich history in two previous colleges at Cornell. These colleges served Sloan well for nearly 70 years. While housed in these colleges, Sloan gained both the solid underpinnings of a business curriculum, and the appreciation that the United States health care industry is the largest sector of the economy, and is driven by federal and state public policies. In 2022, Sloan joined other academic units at Cornell to launch the new Brooks School of Public Policy.

In the Brooks School of Public Policy, the Sloan Program’s goal is to be a premier health care management education program so that we can help generate positive outcomes in the health care industry.  Our students are employed is every sector of health care.

  • 1955-1985                        Johnson Graduate School of Management
  • 1985-2021                        College of Human Ecology, Department of Policy Analysis and Management
  • 2022 – present                  Brooks School of Public Policy 

At Sloan, our degree programs have their own missions, visions, and values that define what we stand for and what we hope to accomplish:

MHA Program Founded in 1955 

  • Mission: To provide highly-motivated recent college graduates with a health care business management curriculum that allows them to develop the skills, knowledge, and leadership attributes to obtain early-career positions in a variety of health care organizations and eventually to help lead those organizations to improve health care delivery and population health. 
  • Vision: “To improve the operation of health care systems and the health of the community, and to be recognized as an outstanding healthcare management program by virtue of faculty scholarship and student achievement.”
  • Values: “Critical Thinking, Integrity, Leadership and Teamwork, Services Excellence, Evidence-Based Research, Sense of Community, and Experiential Learning”
  • We collaborate with other colleges at Cornell for dual-degree programs: BS/MHA, MHA/MBA, and MHA/MPS

Executive MHA (EMHA) 

The Executive MHA (EMHA) program, which trains health care professionals with 5 or more years of experience, was founded in 2019.  

  • Mission: To provide experienced health care professionals with a health care business management curriculum that allows them to develop the skills, knowledge, and leadership attributes in order to drive a variety of health care organizations to improve health care delivery, population health, and the efficiency of the system. 
  • Vision: “To improve the operation of health care systems and the health of the community, and to be recognized as an outstanding healthcare management program by virtue of faculty scholarship and student achievement.”
  • Values: “Critical Thinking, Integrity, Leadership and Teamwork, Services Excellence, Evidence-Based Research, Sense of Community, and Experiential Learning”

When the Sloan Program was founded in 1955, it became the nation’s first health care administration program with a two-year graduate curriculum. Since then, the CAHME-accredited Master of Health Administration program has been at the forefront of innovation in the field. 

It is driven by preeminent faculty, engaged alumni, and bright students who want to leave their mark on a dynamic, vital, and growing health care industry. 

The MHA degree curriculum will position you to become a future leader in health care because of the knowledge and skills you will develop in management, health care organization, and policy. You will be equipped to manage in a variety of settings — including health systems, long-term care organizations, pharmaceutical companies, health insurers, physician practices, start-ups and government agencies —with an emphasis on promoting quality, access, efficiency, and innovation. 

The MHA curriculum combines rigorous coursework with a robust practical training component, including a required summer internship, a colloquium series that brings industry experts to campus, Practitioner-Led Intensive Courses (PLICs) that build specialized skills, a health policy trek to Washington, D.C., a trip to Boston to study health care innovation, field trip immersion, workshops, a mentorship program, and a second-year capstone project.

 

The Rich History of the Sloan Program in Health Administration 

In the early 1950s, then-Cornell President Dean Malott visited Alfred P. Sloan, former head of General Motors and philanthropist through the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. Malott had visited Sloan to solicit his financial support for Cornell’s College of Engineering. 

According to Malott’s notes of the visit, Sloan said he hadn’t considered a donation to the engineering school, but was interested in improving the administration of hospitals. His interest stemmed in part from Sloan’s brother Raymond, who spent 20 years as director of the Modern Hospital in Chicago, was editor of its publication, and was a pioneer in examining the role of hospital design and color on care. 

“You at Cornell have a hotel school, and a hospital is really a specialized kind of hotel,” Sloan said. “I’ve been thinking that hospital administrators should be better trained”. At the time, hospital administrators typically pursued one year of coursework, and Sloan considered that insufficient, advocating instead for training aligned more with a business school model of management.  

As a result of the visit, the foundation ultimately decided in the mid-1950s to fund the development of a hospital administration program at Cornell. It was a new model for training hospital administrators and the first in the nation to follow a two-year management curriculum. Today, it is the dominant model for training health care executives.  

Sloan’s idea that hospitality, health care, and design should be linked has long been a driving force behind the Sloan experience. The relationship between the School of Hotel Administration, design programs and Sloan has become more formalized recently through the multi-school Cornell Institute for Healthy Futures, which explores innovations across health, hospitality, and design.  

 

Contact the Sloan Team