Jefferson to open new pop health school

    Healthcare reform is materializing in Congress, and a new graduate school in Philadelphia plans to get itself in the fray.

    Regional healthcare leaders gathered this morning at Jefferson University to learn details of the college’s new School of Population Health. School leaders say they hope to influence the future of health reform.

    Listen: [audio:090716kgjeff.mp3]

    The School of Population Health will study the healthcare system as a whole — disease, economics, science, business, and medical care. David Nash is the school’s founding dean. He expects that faculty and students will do more than just study the healthcare system.

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    Nash: We believe our program is perfectly situated to literally help the nation to reduce waste, improve quality, lower cost, all of the goals of what health reform is all about.

    Nash boasts that the school is the second in the nation to offer a masters in healthcare quality and safety. Neil Goldfarb is the associate dean of research at the school.

    Goldfarb: There’s a big question about how safe the US health system is and what the quality is and what we’re getting for our money. Our research is trying to look at first, how do you measure quality.

    Goldfarb says the school will expand Jefferson’s research into issues that directly affect public health.

    Goldfarb: So we’re moving into doing more research on obestiy, we have a program on smoking cessation. Looking at healthy behaviors, evaluating employer-based health and wellness programs.

    He says the goal is to have an impact on local healthcare improvements and national policy. Doors open at the school in September and 100 students have enrolled so far.

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