Stanford Introduces New Executive Program For Health Care Leaders Seeking to Reinvent Patient Care

The Innovative Health Care Leader: From Design Thinking to Personal Leadership Executive Program is a groundbreaking academic partnership between Stanford’s schools of business and medicine.

October 30, 2015

A computer links to many health care issues.


The Innovative Health Care Leader: From Design Thinking to Personal Leadership Executive Program is a groundbreaking academic partnership between Stanford’s schools of business and medicine.

For the first time, world-class faculty from Stanford Graduate School of Business (GSB) and the School of Medicine (SOM) will combine forces to deliver an extraordinary one-week program designed for executives who want to drive innovation in their health care organizations. The application deadline for the May 2016 program is April 18, 2016.

“The worldwide challenges of aging populations, chronic diseases, and imbalanced access to care have been exacerbated by soaring costs so that today’s health care leaders are faced with the conundrum of deploying dwindling resources to explosive needs,” said faculty co-director Sarah Soule, the Morgridge Professor of Organizational Behavior at GSB. “This groundbreaking Innovative Health Care Leader program leverages design thinking methodology, which allows us to break big problems down into manageable chunks, and then innovate to develop solutions in a less overwhelming way.”

While grappling with these larger issues, on an individual level both patients and physicians are increasingly frustrated with the impersonal, fragmented, and data-driven nature of their interaction.

“One of the great challenges in medicine in the modern era is balancing cutting-edge research without losing sight of a fundamental sense of caring for the patient,” said program co-director Abraham Verghese, MD, MACP, the Linda R. Meier and Joan F. Lane Provostial Professor, and Vice Chair for the Theory and Practice of Medicine at Stanford School of Medicine. “The health care leader of the future has to worry about the patient, but also about the welfare of the people taking care of them.”

The Stanford executive program, Innovative Health Care Leader: From Design Thinking to Personal Leadership, is designed for global physician and non-physician executives from large, established health care organizations and policy makers involved in health care. A selection process ensures a high-quality cohort.

To be held from May 22 to 27, 2016, at the state-of-the-art Knight Management Center complex, the program features experiential hands-on sessions utilizing design thinking to spur innovative solutions to specific challenges facing industry leaders. The rigorous curriculum, delivered by senior members of the faculty of both Stanford schools of business and medicine, covers:

  • Negotiations
  • Responsible use of big data in health care
  • Physician wellness
  • Scaling growth without compromising excellence
  • Leadership of hospitals
  • Academic medical centers
  • Other specific health care-related areas

“We’re capturing a synergy that Stanford is all about,” said Verghese. Unique among peer institutions, Stanford’s seven world-class schools are all within walking distance on one contiguous campus, enabling cross-disciplinary collaboration for creative thinking and breakthrough solutions.

“This intersection of some of the best minds in medicine and business will offer health care leaders tools for leadership and innovation to manage change and disruption in this ever-changing health care environment,” said Soule.

The Innovative Health Care Leader program is one of three new executive education offerings introduced this year, and one of two nontraditional courses with a strong personal leadership component intended to equip executives with knowledge and tools to create maximum impact in their respective organizations. The Stanford Executive Program for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender (LGBT) Leaders is the first executive education program offered by a leading business school to address the significant gap in LGBT leadership in the C-suite. And Strategy Beyond Markets: Building Competitive Advantage Through Government Relations and Public Affairs arms executives with concrete tools, analytical frameworks, and leadership skills to navigate the complex environment of legislators, regulators, interest groups, activists, and the media, to proactively manage risk and seize new opportunities.

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