Carey Business School Dean Alex Triantis On The Business Of Health

Carey Business School Dean Alex Triantis

Carey Business School Dean Alex Triantis

Few business schools have as enviable position in the business of health as Johns Hopkins University’s Carey Business School. By leveraging the university’s strengths in the health care sector, Carey has become a leading choice for young professionals who want to pursue a career in health.

In this wide-ranging interview with Poets&Quants Founder John A. Byrne, Dean Alexander Triantis, explains how the business school is marshaling the formidable resources of the university to make Carey the leading player in a sector that accounts for 20% of the U.S. economy’s GDP and the fourth most popular career choice MBAs after consulting, finance, and tech. Since becoming dean in 2019, Triantis has doubled down on the business of health, making the topic a strategic priority and a point of differentiation for the school.

“We start off with Johns Hopkins University, a name synonymous with health,” he explains. “We are in an incredible ecosystem. We have a great School of Medicine, School of Nursing and a School of Public Health. But it goes beyond that, with  the School of Engineering that has a great biomedical engineering department. We have Johns Hopkins Technology Ventures which is the commercialization part of the university that focuses on all innovations but in particular health So all of the pieces are there. Carey, as a young school, has harnessed the power of that ecosystem.”

A redesigned full-time MBA program now offers a health, technology and innovation track, with a 12-week paid internship that taps into the Johns Hopkins network to secure opportunities for students to find solutions for health care management and delivery. There’s a Health Care Management, Innovation, and Technology specialization as well In Carey’s Flexible MBA program. The school also offers a specialized master’s degree in healthcare management that is available to both full- and part-time students. And there are dual-degree options in which students can earn an MBA while also gaining an advanced degree in medicine, nursing, public health, or engineering.

Regardless of the program, the school’s approach is to focus on the role that innovation and technology play in disrupting the healthcare system. “If you are interested in pharma, medical devices, learning about all the types of insurance structures and the economics of healthcare, we have something for you,” says Triantis.  

The following transcript of the interview was edited.

John A. Byrne: Carey Business School has made the business of health a strategic priority. How have you done that?

Alexander Triantis: We start off with Johns Hopkins University, a name synonymous with health. We saw that in particular during the COVID years when everyone was tracking what was going on through Hopkins. There is a consulting company that does a brand study of the top brands in health every year and Hopkins was the only university in that survey. during the COVID period in particular.

We are in an incredible ecosystem. We have a great School of Medicine, School of Nursing and a School of Public Health. And it even goes beyond that, with a School of Engineering that has a great biomedical engineering department. We have Johns Hopkins Technology ventures which is the commercialization part of the university that focuses on all innovations but in particular health.

So all of the pieces are there. Carey, as a relatively young school, has harnessed the power of that ecosystem. Everything we do, we always look to our partner schools to magnify or leverage the strength we have in this area. We hire great faculty who want to be part of this ecosystem and we attract great students who want to be with those faculty and want all the special experiences we can provide for them.

Byrne: And it seems to me that you have made the business of health a  core focus in many of your programs.

Triantis: Let’s start with the full-time MBA About three or four years ago, we redesigned our MBA program to add a health technology and innovation track in addition to an analytics, leadership and innovation track. A little fewer than half of the students are in health technology and innovation. And they work very closely together but there are specialized courses for them and experiential.opportunities and so on.

In our Flexible MBA, we have a variety of specializations but one of them is in healthcare management, innovation and technology. You can see a theme in not only focusing on health care but on the role that innovation and technology have in disrupting the healthcare system. If you are interested in pharma, medical devices, learning about all the types of insurance structures and the economics of healthcare, we have something for you.  We have a specialized master’s of science program in healthcare management,  both full and part-time. We have executive education with academies and courses. And then the dual degrees with the schools of medicine, nursing, public health and biotechnology. We cover the gamut if you are looking to go deeper as well as having the breadth of the MBA.

Byrne: I love the fact that when you focus on the business of health you connect its future to technology and innovation which is vital to the future of health.

Triantis: What’s interesting is that we attract a lot of students from a healthcare background but we are also seeing an increasing number of students who are coming from different disciplines and work experience and are looking to get into healthcare. They are in finance and they see healthcare finance as a growing field. They are working in digital platforms and understand that some of the most innovative work is being done in healthcare. Many of those folks are coming to Hopkins because of what we are doing here and some of them discover it when they get here and discover that this is a part of the economy where the most is going on right now.

Byrne: You define the field as “the business of health,” not merely healthcare. Why and how much broader is that part of the GDP of our country today?

Triantis: Everyone cites a number of around 20% of GDP in the healthcare industry at large.. But that other 80% has woken up to the opportunities, whether it is the tech sector that sees great application opportunities or whether it is any industry thinking about the well being or healthcare of their employees and thinking about the impact of services and products on the health and well being of their customers.  As terrible as COVID was, it has awoken interest in this field and many of the companies that are not in the 20% of the economy now have chief medical officers focused on that whole ecosystem. Everyone is focused on the cost, the quality and the accessibility of healthcare. That is what is exciting.

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