About the Fleming Center
The George McMillan Fleming Center for Healthcare Management draws on the diverse academic and professional expertise of our accomplished faculty and partnerships with world-class institutions in the Texas Medical Center to advance healthcare management education and research. Preparing professionals to meet the unique challenges and changes confronting the healthcare industry is our central mission.
Welcome from the program director
We are delighted by your interest in our MPH and PhD programs in Healthcare Management.
It is an exciting time to work in healthcare management under the public health umbrella. With the healthcare system's increasing emphasis on prevention and population health, the traditional boundaries between healthcare services, community-based programming and policy interventions are dissolving. Graduates from our programs will work in all these areas, forging evidence-based changes that improve health services and community health.
We offer part- or full-time hybrid MPH and PhD programs, combining traditional face-to-face learning with online coursework as well as a completely online healthcare management MPH. Our five-course certificate in healthcare administration is ideal for health professionals who want to increase their management expertise. We are also proud to provide the Houston area’s only MPH program in healthcare management. The program is one of only five healthcare management MPH programs accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education (CAHME).
Our programs allow working professionals, as well as medical trainees, the opportunity to complete MPH or PhD degrees concurrently with their work or other educational concentration. All students majoring in healthcare management receive a broad grounding in public health and understanding of the full continuum of health care delivery – covering population health, healthcare delivery and effective operational decision-making. Students learn from, work with and are mentored by top-notch faculty members who lead an array of research and practice projects focused on improving health in the Houston area, across Texas, nationally and globally.
I am truly honored to have the opportunity to serve as program director for such a comprehensive, vibrant and growing department. Thank you for visiting our site. Let us help set you on the path to healthcare leadership.
Gretchen Gemeinhardt, Ph.D., MBA, FACHE
Program Director, Healthcare Management Program
What sets us apart
- Located in the world-renowned Texas Medical Center, the world’s largest medical complex
- Houston area’s only M.P.H. program in healthcare management
- One of only five M.P.H. programs in healthcare management in the country accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education (CAHME)
- Broad, multidisciplinary focus
- Active student involvement in leading professional organizations
Mission, Vision, Values
The Healthcare Management Program’s mission is to prepare early and mid-career professionals, in Texas, the nation and the world, for leadership positions in health systems management and policy. Our program promotes the mission of the School of Public Health by delivering the latest training in management and policy theory and practice related to a range of settings including hospitals, health systems, government, public and private payers, and community-based organizations. We provide students with grounding in population health and competencies needed to manage and critically evaluate existing programs and services in these varied settings. This is achieved through an educational process that exposes students to classroom instruction, research projects and practice experience.
To be the premier health management program in the Southwest recognized for academic rigor, breadth of faculty expertise, Texas Medical Center resources, and orientation to population health.
In addition to the values of the public health profession, the HCM faculty and students are committed to the following statement of values and expectations that are essential to our achievements and to maintaining our recognition as a top-ranked program in health management.
- Interdependence: We believe in the interdependency of policy, management and community benefit for enhancing the health of populations we serve.
- Transformation: We recognize the complexity of health and value the integration of research, teaching and practice in the pursuit of a more efficient and effective healthcare system.
- Discovery: We provide a broad range of active learning models that promote creative approaches to address complex health issues.
- Diversity: We advocate faculty and student diversity in academic background, professional knowledge, life experience, and career aspirations to reflect the populations we serve.
Beyond the classroom
Practical experience in healthcare management
Research, real-world cases, internships (practicums) and fellowships give students hands-on experience integrating healthcare management theory into practice. Our students also benefit from our faculty’s extensive academic and professional experience. Many faculty members serve as consultants to industry and offer valuable insight into the inner workings of healthcare organizations.
Before graduating, each healthcare management MPH student completes a practicum through the Fleming Center: 180 hours of hands-on experience in a community setting. Akin to an internship, the practicum is an essential part of a student’s public health education and should reflect his or her academic goals and professional interests. Check out these recent student projects, which highlight the diversity of our practicum experiences:
Surveying Parental Attitudes on Vaccination
A Fleming Center student worked with the Immunization Project to administer a survey on parental hesitancy towards childhood vaccines. She helped enroll more than 250 pregnant patients and co-parents to gauge their beliefs about childhood vaccines. Data from the study will be used to better understand attitudes and beliefs about vaccines among expectant parents and help determine effective vaccine education. Practicum highlight: “Enrollment was an opportunity to connect with patients on a personal level.”
Improving access to healthcare
Working with a Houston-area multispecialty medical practice, another student helped implement projects under the Medicaid Delivery System Reform Incentive Payment (DSRIP), a statewide program that increases quality and access to healthcare. He analyzed project data, used to report milestones to governmental organizations, and helped implement a project that integrates behavioral health with primary healthcare services. Lessons learned: “A practicum is an invaluable experience that contextualizes your in-class learning.”
Reducing appointment no-shows
Developing and implementing a new policy aimed at reducing appointment no-shows was the focus of one student’s work. The policy focused specifically on hypertensive and diabetic patients who visited a charity care clinic in the Houston area. Our student encouraged patients to maintain their regular follow-up appointments and educated them about their medications and health conditions. Practicum highlight: “A unique chance to see and appreciate the patient-clinic flow from eligibility to follow-up.”
Learning the financial processes of an academic medical center
Yet another Fleming Center student developed skills involved in the financial planning and budgeting process in his practicum at the financial department of a major Houston academic medical center. He created budget templates, learned how medical service revenue is recognized and discovered how start-up funds are provided to newly hired physicians. Advice for students: “If you cannot find a practicum that interests you, don’t be afraid to create your own. After all this is YOUR experience!”
Supporting teens with HIV
After observing HIV-positive teens in the juvenile justice system and a teen clinic, one of our students focused her research on finding support groups for this vulnerable population. She crafted a white paper outlining the need for support groups for teens living with HIV in Houston, and listed funding sources to help fill in the gaps in healthcare services. Practicum highlight: “I had the opportunity to observe physicians provide healthcare to adolescents at the Harris County Juvenile Justice Center and the UT Physicians Adolescent HIV Clinic.”
Rigorous training in healthcare management
The Fleming Center offers rigorous training in healthcare management paired with a one-of-a-kind focus on population health. We currently offer a master’s degree and doctoral degree in public health with an emphasis in health management and health policy. We also offer a graduate certificate in healthcare management for individuals considering an MPH in healthcare management, but would first like exposure to many of the courses.
Our degree programs are designed to prepare students for the modern healthcare workplace through a challenging curriculum and real-world learning experiences. Students gain in-depth knowledge of the public health industry and graduate from the program confident they can:
- Manage multidisciplinary managerial and public health functions within the health delivery system
- Develop relationships and processes with other members of the health delivery system, including physicians, community partners, and insurers
- Create a vision for the organization and the community and champion that vision internally and externally to stakeholders
- Lead a team and participate with team members to achieve outcomes
- Achieve their professional and personal goals
Master of Public Health
The MPH in Healthcare Management provides students with a solid foundation for managing in a complex healthcare environment. The program provides training for students with interests in administration and the management of a variety of healthcare environments, including hospitals, public health agencies, nursing homes, health systems, pharmaceutical firms, insurers and other organizations in the healthcare sector.
The MPH degree program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation Healthcare Management Education (CAHME). Considered the benchmark that ensures the integrity of healthcare management education, CAHME accreditation is highly sought after by students and employers. The Fleming Center's healthcare management program is one of just five MPH programs in the country to receive the prestigious accreditation.
Doctor of Philosophy in Management and Policy
The PhD in Health Management and Health Policy offers training for students who wish to practice health management at an advanced level or pursue academic careers in health management. The program develops researchers who can ask relevant questions, identify answers and drive policy and organizational change to improve healthcare access, quality and cost.
Certificate in Healthcare Administration
The Certificate in Healthcare Administration is intended for health practitioners and individuals wishing to increase their knowledge in healthcare management. The five courses in this non-degree program cover the core content of healthcare management. In-person classes are available at the Houston campus and via ITV across other UTHealth School of Public Health Campuses. Most courses are taught in the early evening, allowing working professionals to easily pursue the certificate.
A certificate is awarded to students who pass all five courses. The certificate program is designed to be completed in one year.
Teaching methods and assessments
Students are taught through a combination of lectures, cases and hands-on assignments. In-person classes are available at the Houston campus and via ITV across other UTHealth School of Public Health campuses. Some classes are also available online.
Assessments include case studies, field work, essays, short answer tests, class leadership, and individual and team presentations.
Letter grades (“A,” “B,” “C,” or “F”) are given for all MPH core courses. Elective courses may be letter-graded or graded on the basis of pass/fail (“P” or “F”) at the discretion of the instructor. Letter grades in pass/fail courses (i.e., an “F”) will not be included in the GPA calculated for letter-graded courses. A GPA will be calculated from all letter-graded courses.
In 2021-2022, the HCM MPH program had:
faculty members with academic and professional experience in healthcare management
100% of graduates completed the M.P.H. program within 3 years; 24 months is median time to graduate
100% of graduates report the degree prepared them to meet the demands of their job
80% of alumni reported acquiring knowledge and skills needed to advance in the field
80% of graduates reported being employed full time <6 months after graduation; 60% within 3 months
About half of enrolled students work full-time
Graduates in fellowships earn an average salary of $63,600
Median job salary for graduates $70,000
The Fleming Center executive edge
Our executive education courses help busy healthcare professionals sharpen their skills and build the sought-after managerial and leadership expertise necessary to excel in today’s evolving healthcare industry. Classes feature engaging instruction with an emphasis on organizational dynamics, planning and implementing change, working in teams and real-world problem solving. Courses are available in the following:
Target audience: Physicians in mid-level management positions or individuals desiring leadership experience
Course description: In this course, participants learn critical business concepts necessary to support their roles as developing leaders within the organization. They also learn to analyze their organization and prioritize options; plan, communicate and implement change; confidently lead teams within their organization; and identify, plan and operationalize a strategic project.
Format: Available to healthcare organizations. Course is customized to fit the organization that requests it, and the number of class sessions may vary accordingly.
Lean Six Sigma
Target audience: Healthcare managers seeking to lead process improvement
Course description: Through hands-on activities, lab exercises, presentations and lectures, this course provides a strong foundation in Lean Six Sigma methodology. Participants map processes, identify root causes of problems, implement improvements and lead project teams to help organizations achieve performance improvements. They also conduct a real-world quality improvement project and become certified in Lean Six Sigma Green Belt.
Format: Nine-week hybrid course focuses on group training and is available to requesting healthcare organizations. This course meets half of the time in a traditional face-to-face classroom environment, with the remainder of the course delivered electronically.
We also provide courses on Academic Medical Department Leadership and Nursing Leadership upon request.
Executive Education Leadership
Our Physician Advisory Panel includes:
- David Corry, MD, Baylor College of Medicine
- Terry Bowman McLendon, MD, Houston Methodist Hospital System
- Bela Patel, MD, UTHealth
- Heidi Schwarzwald, MD, Texas Children's Hospital
- Ron Walters, MD, MD Anderson Cancer Center
Opportunities to lead, collaborate and learn
The Fleming Center offers students many activities emphasizing leadership, teamwork, and learning from industry leaders, further enriching their academic experience.
A student organization focused on leadership and management, The Board seeks to enrich students academically, professionally and socially as they transition into their careers. The organization offers course selection help, peer to peer coaching, alumni networking and opportunities for involvement in professional organizations including the American College of Healthcare Executives and Healthcare Financial Management Association. The Board also sponsors career development workshops, and provides activities that encourage students to forge relationships with their peers and successful professionals in their field.
The Fleming Center’s annual case competition, co-sponsored by The Board, provides students with an exciting way to apply what they have learned in the classroom to a real-world problem. Teams of students compete to develop the best solution to a healthcare management-related case study. In the process, they bridge the academic and practice worlds, collaborate with their peers and take on leadership roles in a competitive setting. Last year, eight teams from seven universities participated--five from schools within Texas. Teams from UTHealth School of Public Health routinely take top honors in the competition. Fleming Center students also participate in case competitions sponsored by the National Association of Health Services Executives and Medical Group Management Association.