Healthcare in the U.S. is big business – equivalent to the fifth largest economy in the world, with more than $3 trillion spent annually. It also has big challenges regarding costs, affordability, access, outcomes, and regulatory and policy concerns.
To tackle the complex issues facing business and society, UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School launched the Center for the Business of Health in 2018. The multidisciplinary initiative connects Kenan-Flagler Business School with Carolina’s leading health sciences divisions – including the Eshelman School of Pharmacy, Gillings School of Global Public Health, School of Nursing, School of Dentistry and School of Medicine – with the schools of Social Work, Information and Library Science, and Law, and the College of Arts & Sciences.
“To my knowledge, no other business school has undertaken what we are doing – collaborating across our campus to establish a business of health initiative that will be second to none in the world,” said Doug Shackelford, dean and Meade H. Willis Distinguished Professor of Taxation at UNC Kenan-Flagler. “North Carolina is at the center of the big issues affecting the U.S., including the urban/rural divide and economic development. If we do this right, we will have an impact on our state that will ultimately extend to the rest of the U.S. and the world.”
The Carolina community believes in collaboration in a way that not every university does, said Brad Staats, faculty director of the Center for the Business of Health and an operations professor at UNC Kenan-Flagler.
“Healthcare is increasingly an interdisciplinary issue and the real challenges facing it will not get solved by any one person,” he said. “As we figure out the science of how to do things better, we have the opportunity to improve health outcomes, reduce costs and improve access for everyone.”
The center focuses on three areas: conducting world-class academic research, providing transformative interdisciplinary education, and convening conversations to harness the power of UNC-Chapel Hill.