Health Care Leadership and Management Certificate Boosts Opportunities, Outcomes

As a longtime physician and team leader in the specialty of children’s health, Thomas Nakagawa faces crucial decisions on a daily basis. He understands that strong leadership skills are essential to best practices – and best results.

Erik Helzer PhD, Assistant Professor at Carey Business School, teaches during the most recent Health Care Leadership and Management certificate course in October.That correlation between leadership and outcomes is what attracted Nakagawa to the Johns Hopkins Carey Business School’s Executive Certificate in Health Care Leadership and Management from the Office of Executive Education.

“As I’ve advanced through my career, I’ve taken on many more leadership responsibilities,” said Nakagawa, chief of the Division of Critical Care Medicine, director of the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU), and medical director of respiratory care at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital in St. Petersburg, Florida. “So you’re always looking for those courses that might provide valuable insight to enhance your own personal and professional growth.”

Nakagawa oversees a team of approximately 30 faculty and staff in the PICU, including physicians in the pediatric critical care division and cardiovascular ICU division. In addition, his group works regularly with Johns Hopkins All Children’s nursing team, as well as respiratory therapists, dietitians, pharmacists, chaplains, social workers, case managers, and other health care professionals. 

“The [certificate] really provided me with additional insight to deal with team building, [and] cohesiveness, to bring out the best qualities in each team member,” he observed.

The evidence-based, hands-on nature of the program, employing real-world scenarios familiar and relevant to its diverse group of participants, was another key takeaway for Nakagawa. 

Thomas Nakagawa

The [certificate] really provided me with additional insight to deal with team building, [and] cohesiveness, to bring out the best qualities in each team member.”

Thomas Nakagawa| Medical Director of Respiratory Care, Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital

“The certificate really focuses on improving your best qualities through simulations and discussions,” he said. “Hearing how others have managed those situations, such as conflict resolution, was very helpful.”

P. Divya Parikh is another health care professional who says she has benefited from the certificate program.

As vice president of research and education at the Medical Professional Liability Association, Parikh oversees clinical education program opportunities for professional leadership of insurance company personnel with medical, dental, and/or nursing backgrounds. “I’m always looking for content to develop strong leaders in health care,” she explained.

Participants of the Health Care Leadership and Management certificate course are actively engaged in the content being presented and discussed.

To that end, she examined executive health care offerings at Wharton and Harvard, among other schools, as well as Johns Hopkins.  She found herself drawn to the Executive Certificate in Health Care Leadership and Management, not just to find ways of inspiring other professionals but also as an adjunct to her own career trajectory.

Program elements that focused on working in teams and engaging diverse workplace cultures proved especially attractive to her. The depth and breadth of the faculty also impressed her. As a student, “you feel very rejuvenated and validated” at the end of each class, she said. 

Among the skill sets she acquired in the program, two stand out, Parikh said.

The first resulted from the Reflected Best Self Exercise, an exercise at the beginning of the program that challenges participants to review one’s “best self” based on the input of selected colleagues, family, and friends.

“We can be cleansed of our uniqueness trying to emulate leaders,” said Parikh, and in so doing hide those talents and distinctions that make us most effective, including our particular leadership talents.  This exercise enables participants to focus on their natural strengths and best attributes, she explained, adding, “What comes easiest to you is your ‘youness.’” 

A second skill set revolved around the concept of seeing things from different points of view ― an area of critical importance in communication and negotiation. “In contentious situations, it’s important to look at things from beyond your own point of view,” explained Parikh.  “You’re helping others to reframe information, as well as yourself.” Areas of common interest and mutual benefit can be identified, as opposed to a zero-sum approach of “winners” and “losers.”  

 “I’ve applied this approach to all kinds of working groups at the MPL Association,” said Parikh.  “It’s an important strategy in improving communication in health care teams to work toward common goals.”

The Executive Certificate in Health Care Leadership and Management, designed for health care professionals who want to drive innovation, lead teams, and solve ever-more-complex health care delivery challenges, real-world simulations, and topical case studies to enable participants to develop and hone essential leadership and management skills.  Students are equipped to meet challenges and inspire transformative practices in teams across departments and disciplines, in addition to earning continuing education credits.

Chris Myers

Many health care leaders receive rigorous clinical training, of course, but not necessarily much exposure to leadership and management initiatives. This is critical, because management issues are at the root of numerous health care challenges.”

Chris Myers | Assistant Professor of Management and organization 

“The genesis of the program centered on the most effective ways to bring leadership and management topics to a professional health care audience,” said Chris Myers, assistant professor of management and organization at Carey and faculty in the certificate program.  Myers, who also holds joint appointments with the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality, noted the lack of formal training available in these areas to many clinicians.

“Many health care leaders receive rigorous clinical training, of course, but not necessarily much exposure to leadership and management initiatives,” he explained.  “This is critical, because management issues are at the root of numerous health care challenges.”  

These challenges, Myers said, are addressed by the certificate’s research-based approach, emblematic of a Johns Hopkins education. “In particular, we focus on elements of organizational structure, change, and leading teams, and not just for physicians and nurses, but for all professionals in the health care domain,” he said.  “We incorporate key data and evidence-based findings in our teaching.”

Myers also pointed out that the certificate was designed in consultation with the Johns Hopkins Health System (JHHS), and is taught, with an “interdivisional approach,” by faculty who hold appointments throughout the university.

Learn more about the Executive Education Certificate in Health Care Leadership and Management

Posted on December 5, 2018 In