Health Policy

http://publichealth.hsc.wvu.edu/hpml

Degrees Offered:

  • Master of Public Health
  • Dual Degree MPH/MBA

Master of Public Health

The MPH degree with a major in Health Policy is focused on examining social and political systems that influence the health status of populations and then learning how to influence and/or design, implement, and manage broad, system-level instruments to improve population health outcomes. These instruments might include programs in public health agencies, not-for-profit organizations, or healthcare provider settings, or policies at the local, state, national, or international governmental levels.

The MPH major in HPML has a dual emphasis on acquiring both theoretical knowledge and practical skills. Thus, this degree is ideal for recent graduates or early- and mid-career public health professionals seeking to develop or advance their careers in a variety of health care settings. Additionally, the professional practice component of the program has been designed to place students in public health settings and apply their newly acquired knowledge and skills to address real-world problems.

Upon completion of the MPH degree with a major in HPML, students will be prepared to continue developing their careers as leaders, managers, public health professionals, policy analysts, program evaluators, advocates, or health program managers in a variety of public health, government, health care, or other professional settings. In addition, our students will be prepared to continue their graduate education at the doctoral level.

Dual Degree MPH/MBA

The Department of Health Policy, Management, and Leadership has an approved Dual Degree Program with the MBA program in the College of Business and Economics.  Program details are available from either program upon request.

Admission Guidelines (MPH in Health Policy)

  • Baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university with a preferred overall GPA of 3.0
  • GRE scores of 150 (verbal), 144 (quantitative), 4.0 (analytical writing)
  • TOEFL scores (minimum 550 paper-based) (minimum 213 computer-based) (minimum of 80 internet-based) or IELTS (minimum 6.5)

MPH Applicants (Fall Admissions Only)

If you are ready to apply to West Virginia University School of Public Health, the admissions team is here to assist you. Our School of Public Health is CEPH accredited, and we participate in SOPHAS (Schools of Public Health Application Service). Our MPH process is a two-step process. All MPH applications must be submitted through the national SOPHAS service and applicants must also submit a WVU Graduate application.

In addition to the general application, applicants must submit to SOPHAS a statement of purpose and objectives, official GRE test scores, three letters of reference, a current resume/curriculum vitae, and all university transcripts. SOPHAS requires original transcripts from all U.S. institutions attended. (Including Study Abroad) Please see each Major’s website for additional application requirements.

There is a $135 SOPHAS application fee. Applicants must indicate their first choice of MPH major, and may also indicate a second choice. A maximum of two choices is allowed. 

  • E-submit your application as soon as the applicant entered information is complete. Do NOT wait for SOPHAS to receive transcripts, recommendations or test scores.
  • Plan Ahead! Allow up to 4 weeks for SOPHAS to verify grades, process, and mail your application to your designated institutions after your documents have been received.
  • SOPHAS grants fee waivers based upon financial need for Peace Corps Volunteers, McNair Scholars, Gates Millennium Scholars Program, AmeriCorps, U.S. and International applicants.

Once the department has reviewed the SOPHAS application, students will receive a communication from the WVU School of Public Health regarding their recommendation for acceptance and instructions to complete the WVU graduate application and pay the $60.00 WVU application fee.

Admission decisions to the West Virginia School of Public Health are conducted in two rounds. Fully completed SOPHAS applications received by April 15 will be considered first. Incomplete applications and new fully completed applications received by June 1 will be considered for those degree programs/concentrations that have openings after the April 15 decisions. Applicants are strongly encouraged to submit their completed applications by the April 15 deadline in order to be considered during the first round.

Important: When sending GRE scores for consideration for admission to WVU, please use the WVU School of Public Health College GRE code: 0157. This code MUST be used, otherwise your GRE score will not be reported to SOPHAS and your application will be incomplete. Incomplete applications cannot be reviewed for an admissions decision. [Each program at West Virginia University has a specific code]

All other degrees and certificate programs will use the WVU application system.

Master of Public Health

MPH Major in Health Policy, Management, and Leadership Description

The MPH degree with a major in Health Policy, Management, and Leadership (HPML) is focused on examining social and political systems that influence the health status of populations and then learning how to influence and/or design, implement, and manage broad, system-level instruments to improve population health outcomes. These instruments might include programs in public health agencies, not-for-profit organizations, or healthcare provider settings, or policies at the local, state, national, or international governmental levels.

The MPH major in HPML has a dual emphasis on acquiring both theoretical knowledge and practical skills. Thus, this degree is ideal for recent graduates or early- and mid-career public health professionals seeking to develop or advance their careers in a variety of health care settings. Additionally, the professional practice component of the program has been designed to place students in public health settings and apply their newly acquired knowledge and skills to address real-world problems.

Upon completion of the MPH degree with a major in HMPL, students will be prepared to continue developing their careers as leaders, managers, public health professionals, policy analysts, program evaluators, advocates, or health program managers in a variety of public health, government, health care, or other professional settings. In addition, our students will be prepared to continue their graduate education at the doctoral level.

Health Policy, Management and Leadership Major Competencies

In addition to the standard MPH Foundational Competencies required of all MPH students, our major in Health Policy, Management and Leadership also prepares students to meet 5 competencies specific to the major.  These include:

  1. Develop a fundamental understanding of the process of the production and delivery of health policy and its outputs.
  2. Acquire the skills to effectively work within the healthcare/health policy system to assist in the formulation and articulation of health care management structures and processes, and work for its efficient and equitable delivery.
  3. Develop an understanding of the processes and applications of influence whereby an individual empowers a group to achieve common goals.
  4. Learn a broad set of analytic, statistical, economic, presentation, and interpersonal skills and tools to facilitate the communication of health policy and its understanding.
  5. Clarify the conditions of participation within the health sector and achieving results that exemplify what we believe to be good citizenship.

Major Requirements

A final GPA of 3.0 or higher is required for the successful completion of the program.
Students must earn a minimum grade of "C-" in all PUBH and HPML coursework.
MPH Foundational Courses:
PUBH 610Contemporary Foundations of Public Health Practice2
PUBH 611Epidemiology for Public Health Practice2
PUBH 612Research Translation and Evaluation in Public Health Practice4
PUBH 620Building and Sustaining Public Health Capacity2
PUBH 621Public Health Prevention and Intervention3
PUBH 630MPH Field Practicum3
PUBH 640Leadership and Collaboration in Public Health3
PUBH 641Systems Thinking in Public Health Practice2
PUBH 696Graduate Seminar1
HPML Major Courses:
HPML 601Foundations of Health Policy3
HPML 610Health Economics for Population Health3
HPML 620Managing Robust Public Health Organizations3
HPML 622Analytic Methods for Health Policy, Management, and Leadership3
HPML 623Healthcare Finance3
HPML 624Advanced Issue Analysis for Health Policy3
HPML 629Tools for Health Policy and Management Communication2
Electives:2
Approved Elective Courses
Total Hours44
  1. All students in the WVU SPH MPH program are required to maintain a portfolio that demonstrates their ability to meet the competencies associated with the MPH Foundational Courses, the Department Major Courses, and to apply a selection of those competencies in an approved practice-based setting(s).  This portfolio must be submitted for review at the end of each academic year, as well as reviewed and approved prior to the successful completion of the program.
  2. The MPH degree will be awarded based on successful completion of all academic requirements and demonstrated achievement of competencies via the student portfolio system and class-based evaluations of competency attainment.

 Suggested Plan of Study

First Year
FallHoursSpringHoursSummerHours
PUBH 6102PUBH 6202PUBH 6303
PUBH 6112PUBH 6213 
PUBH 6124HPML 6103 
HPML 6013HPML 6203 
 11 11 3
Second Year
FallHoursSpringHours 
PUBH 6403PUBH 6961 
PUBH 6412HPML 6243 
HPML 6223HPML 6292 
HPML 6233Elective1 
Elective1  
 12 7
Total credit hours: 44
Note: With approval from the MPH Program Advisor and the Director of Practice-Based Learning, PUBH 630: MPH MPH Field Practicum can be taken anytime during Year 2.Students must select at least nine credit hours for electives. 
 
 

Major Learning Outcomes

Health Policy

  1. Develop a fundamental understanding of the process of the production and delivery of health policy and its outputs.
  2. Acquire the skills to effectively work within the healthcare/health policy system to assist in the formulation and articulation of health care management structures and processes, and work for its efficient and equitable delivery.
  3. Develop an understanding of the processes and applications of influence whereby an individual empowers a group to achieve common goals.
  4. Learn a broad set of analytic, statistical, economic, presentation, and interpersonal skills and tools to facilitate the communication of health policy and its understanding.
  5. Clarify the conditions of participation within the health sector and achieving results that exemplify what we believe to be good citizenship.

Courses

HPML 601. Foundations of Health Policy. 3 Hours.

An in-depth look at the health policy process in the United States, special emphasis is taken to distinguish between public health policy, healthcare policy, and health in all policies. Additionally, students learn to differentiate between organizational policy and public policy. Attention focuses on the formation, implementation, and evaluation stages of policy.

HPML 610. Health Economics for Population Health. 3 Hours.

PR: HPML 601 and PUBH 612. Students acquire fundamental knowledge of health economics and economic approaches and methodologies to analyze critical issues in health care and health policy.

HPML 620. Managing Robust Public Health Organizations. 3 Hours.

Introduction to elements of organizational planning, management, and structure which create a resilient, learning public health organization. Effective public health organizational leaders understand how to provide trade-offs between efficiency, security, and equity, in a manner to optimize organizational value. This course provides an overview of human resources management, strategic planning, and operations planning to develop responsive and yet robust organizations.

HPML 622. Analytic Methods for Health Policy, Management, and Leadership. 3 Hours.

PR: PUBH 612 and PR or CONC: HPML 601. Students acquire a foundation in essential evaluation approaches and methods needed as professionals in health policy, management, and leadership including policy analysis, health services research, program evaluation, and decision analysis.

HPML 623. Healthcare Finance. 3 Hours.

This course provides an overview of the financial management of healthcare organizations.

HPML 624. Advanced Issue Analysis for Health Policy. 3 Hours.

PR: HPML 601. Advanced study of the policy making process, breaking down essential components in the agenda-setting phase including problematization, claims making, policy framing theories, and media analysis. Students gain knowledge and experience in planning, executing and evaluating an agenda-setting campaign including media and policymaking components related to the social determinants of health.

HPML 626. Internship. 1-6 Hours.

(May be repeated for a maximum of 6 credit hours.) The internship provides students the opportunity to develop their practical skills and enhance professional competencies by applying the knowledge and techniques gained from their MPH coursework to public health practice.

HPML 629. Tools for Health Policy and Management Communication. 2 Hours.

PR: HPML 601. Students are provided with a set of tools utilized to analyze, predict, and communicate a variety of policy and management related tasks.

HPML 660. Methods for Health Services Research 1. 3 Hours.

PR: BIOS 601 and HPML 622. Students acquire proficiency in health services research methodologies used to assess how health care services are organized, financed, assessed and delivered, and how these arrangements affect health care quality and outcomes, and population health.

HPML 661. Health Services Research Informatics. 3 Hours.

This course provides students with the applied practical understanding of and skills needed to access and use health care information systems used in performing health services research analysis.

HPML 670. Policy Analysis for Population Health 1. 3 Hours.

PR: BIOS 601 and HPML 601 and HPML 622. This course provides students an intermediate understanding of policy analysis approaches during the formation, implementation, and outcome stages of a policy's lifespan. A wide variety of healthcare and public health policies will be analyzed.

HPML 671. Population Health Policy Analysis Informatics 1. 3 Hours.

PR: BIOS 601 and HPML 601 and HPML 622. This course provides students with the applied practical understanding of and skills needed to access and use public health and policy information systems used in performing health policy analysis.

HPML 672. Global Health Policy. 3 Hours.

Using a health equity and social justice perspective, students will examine the major health issues facing the global health community, including health disparities, and the international institutions and policies developed to address these global health challenges.

HPML 675. Healthcare and Insurance Policy: Medicaid, Medicare, and the Affordable Care Act. 3 Hours.

Students will attain a thorough understanding of Medicaid, Medicare, and other healthcare delivery systems in the United States, with special attention paid to issues of Federalism, financing, and the political nature of health insurance delivery systems. The massive Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act legislation and its effect on the healthcare system in the United States will also be examined.

HPML 680. Performance and Economic Evaluation for Public Health. 3 Hours.

This course presents methods to demonstrate the business merit and worth of public health programs or policies. These commonly used techniques include measuring business performance, developing business case arguments, and performing economic evaluations.

HPML 681. Applied Health Care Leadership. 3 Hours.

An exploration of topics related to the theory and practice of leadership and activities designed to develop effective leadership skills that can be applied in both the healthcare management profession and society in general.

HPML 682. Managing Quality Improvement in Healthcare. 3 Hours.

Introduces students to the latest healthcare quality and patient safety improvement thinking through didactic sessions, interactive exercises and case studies with direct relevance for public health practitioners, healthcare administrators or clinicians. Examines healthcare quality and patient safety from a strategic viewpoint to make healthcare administrators effective decision makers. Provides students necessary theoretical knowledge to obtain a Six Sigma green belt.

HPML 683. Ethical Leadership in Public Health. 3 Hours.

Students will explore contemporary theory on both leadership and ethics and apply these to Public Health service.

HPML 691A-E. Advanced Topics. 1-6 Hours.

PR: Consent. Investigation of advanced topics that are nor covered in regularly scheduled courses.

HPML 695. Independent Study. 1-6 Hours.

Faculty-supervised study of topics not available through regular course offerings.

HPML 696. Graduate Seminar. 1 Hour.

PR: Consent. Each graduate student will present at least one seminar to the assembled faculty and graduate student body of his or her program.


Faculty

Chair

  • Robert Duval - PhD (Florida State University)

Professor

  • Jeff Coben - MD (University of Pittsburgh)

Associate professors

  • Thomas Bias - PhD (West Virginia University)
  • Steve Davis - PhD (West Virginia University)
  • Warren Eller - PhD (Texas A&M University)

Assistant Professors

  • Lindsay Allen - PhD (Emory University)
  • Lauri Andress - PhD/JD (University of Texas/South Texas College of Law)
  • Sarah Woodrum - PhD (University of Illinois - Chicago)

Adjunct Faculty

  • Ann Chester - PhD
    Assistant Vice President for Education Partnerships
  • Rahul Gupta - MD/MPH (University of Delhi; University of Alabama-Birmingham)
    State Health Officer and Commissioner, West Virginia Bureau of Public Health
  • Chris Haddox - PhD/MBA (West Virginia University)
    Assistant Professor, Interior Design & Design Studies
  • Patricia Moss - MSW (West Virginia University)
  • Lee Smith - MD, JD (Marshall University/West Virginia University)
    Executive Director, Monongalia County Health Department
  • Richard Wittberg - PhD
    Independent Researcher