Business Acumen: The Best Rx for a Hearty Health Care Industry

The future of health care depends on new ways of thinking and leading. The Neeley School provides answers through partnerships with UNT Health Science Center and Cook Children’s Medical Center. 

September 03,  2015

By Elaine Cole

[Excerpt from Neeley Magazine Spring/Summer 2015] - The health care industry, as vital as it is to the world’s health and well-being, is complex, unwieldy and imperfect. You can’t just slap a bandage on it. Health care practitioners and executives must engage, adapt and innovate. They must be able to weigh market strategies, evaluate functions, improve performance, and have a strong vision for the future and the leadership to take us there.

“Since health care represents 17 percent of our economy and growing, it is critical to educate the entire workforce on its challenges and opportunities,” Dr. Keith Argenbright, physician and director of the Moncrief Cancer Institute, said. Argenbright teaches “Survey of Health Care” in the TCU MBA program.

The Neeley School delivers several health care programs to meet this unique demand for leadership: a continuing partnership with UNT Health Science Center and a physician leadership program with Cook Children’s Medical Center.

For the past four years the Neeley School has partnered with UNT Health Science Center’s School of Public Health so students in both graduate programs can take courses on each other’s campus to better prepare for health care management careers.

“In the past a doctor could set up his or her practice and operate fairly independently, but today health care is much more coordinated to improve the quality of care,” Bill Cron, senior associate dean of TCU graduate programs, said. “Doctors have to coordinate across areas, departments and entities to manage their business. The complexity has exploded.”

Currently, the TCU MBA offers an emphasis in health care with electives designed to prepare students for careers in health, medicine and pharmaceuticals. In his class, Argenbright covers the strengths and weaknesses of the U.S. health care system, how health care leaders are created and chosen, the Affordable Care Act, accountable health care and other vital topics.

“The class prepared me for an aspect of my career in health care that is rarely covered in medical education,” Canon Cornelius, TCU pre-health student, said. “I learned about the intricacies of managing hospitals and how important systems control can be in the delivery of health care.”

TCU Neeley Executive Education in the Tandy Center recently partnered with Cook Children’s Health Care System to develop and deliver a program for physician leaders.

“This program gives us the opportunity to work with a leading organization to positively affect the way physicians think about and address challenging business issues, and ultimately how they will shape the future of pediatric health care in our community and around the world,” Jim Roach, executive director of TCU Neeley Executive Education, said.

“Advancing Healthcare Leadership” takes place August 2015 through April 2016 and covers leadership and teamwork, processes and systems, complexity in health care environments and the current health care climate. Courses are taught by TCU faculty members, Cook Children’s leaders, and experts from UNT Health Science Center, UT Southwestern Medical Center and Memorial Hermann Healthcare System in Houston.

Read the full article in the current issue of Neeley Magazine. Click on the magazine cover photo at to download your copy today.