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Q&A with Hilena Addis on Penn’s Master of Health Care Innovation Program

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If you’re interested in expanding your perspective of health care and learning more about topics such as behavioral economics, health equity, health policy, and health care innovation, consider Penn’s online Master of Health Care Innovation (MHCI) program.

The master’s program is housed in the Perelman School of Medicine’s Department of Medical Ethics and Health Policy and is designed to be earned online in 20 months, with a 3-year extended track option. However, anyone can take one course, or pursue a 4-course certificate, or apply to the full Master of Health Care Innovation program that will allow you to build a network of innovative thinkers and leaders. Students apply what they learn in their work as clinicians, executives, directors, researchers, entrepreneurs, consultants, and more. Take a look at some alumni profiles here.

CHIBE also spoke with one MHCI alumna Hilena Addis, a project manager and CHIBE staff member. Read our Q&A below to learn more about Hilena’s experience.

What did you think of the MHCI program overall?

I found the MHCI program to be exceptionally valuable and enriching. It provided me with a comprehensive understanding of health care, particularly focusing on the systems and structures that present barriers and opportunities for change. Exploring ways to modify behaviors, assess programs, and address inefficiencies was a highlight. I appreciated the program’s dedication to staying current with the rapidly evolving health care industry. Overall, I think it’s a program that readies its students for leadership roles in health care innovation, equipping them with the network and tools essential to driving positive change in the field.

How has the master’s program been helpful in your current role?

The program has played a pivotal role in my current position managing a project focused on assessing the impact of access to green space and economic opportunity on the health and well-being of underserved communities in Philadelphia. It has provided me with a strong foundation in strategic thinking and stakeholder management, skills that have proven invaluable as we build capacity and nurture strong relationships with community partners. I’ve been able to apply these skills to effectively manage research projects, lead diverse teams, and develop innovative solutions to complex challenges. Looking ahead, I firmly believe that the program’s insights and network will continue to be invaluable as I strive to become a better leader and problem solver.

Would you say this is a good program for someone interested in behavioral economics? Can you give us a taste of what you learned in that discipline?

The MHCI program is an excellent choice for individuals interested in behavioral economics, particularly in the health care context. I had the opportunity to delve into this field and explore how behavioral economics principles can be applied to improve patient outcomes and health care systems. We learned about topics like nudge theory and decision-making biases and how they influence patient behavior and health care policies. These insights are incredibly relevant in today’s health care landscape and can lead to more effective and patient-centered solutions.

What was your impression of the faculty and the network of people taking classes with you?

The faculty in the MHCI program were not only highly knowledgeable but also genuinely supportive. They brought real-world experience to the classroom, which deepened our learning. And the diverse cohort of students in the program created a dynamic and collaborative environment. I was able to build a strong professional network, and the interactions with my peers, who came from various backgrounds within and outside of health care, added a valuable dimension to my learning experience.

CHIBE Experts