New school – first of its kind – aims to become model for health outcomes

February 6, 2013

World renowned public health expert William Riley to direct

The current health care system in the United States is undergoing massive changes. Arizona State University is on the forefront of this transformation and has established a new School for the Science of Health Care Delivery. William Riler Download Full Image

The first of its kind in the nation, the school will foster research and prepare students from a variety of backgrounds to be leaders and innovators in the effort to improve health outcomes that are cost-effective for people and the community. The school will begin teaching students in fall 2013.

The Master of Science in the Science of Health Care Delivery will be the first degree offered by the school. This degree will provide a comprehensive overview of key issues and trends facing the health industry and will prepare students for entry into a wide variety of fields, such as health care delivery or administration, health policy and health system architecture. Additionally, this program prepares students who are interested in pursuing professional degrees, such as medicine, pharmacology, veterinary medicine or law for their advanced studies.

The degree also enables recent college graduates from liberal arts, business, science, public programs and engineering backgrounds to complement their undergraduate learning experience and gain a competitive advantage in their job search or candidacy into professional educational programs.

Students attending the Mayo Medical School when it opens in Scottsdale, Ariz., will get both a medical degree from Mayo and a Master of Science in the Science of Health Care Delivery from ASU as the program will be embedded in the medical degree curriculum.

“Behavioral decisions and environmental factors outweigh genetics and health care in importance in determining the health of a population, yet are too often ignored," said Keith Lindor, dean of the College of Health Solutions that will house the new school.

The program will connect students and faculty with industry leaders at clinical sites throughout the Valley.

To learn more about the School for the Science of Health Care Delivery at ASU, visit

William Riley to lead School for the Science of Health Care Delivery

William Riley, an internationally recognized expert in the field of public health and associate dean of the highly regarded School of Public Health at the University of Minnesota, has been named director of the new school.

“William Riley has the knowledge and experience to bring together talent at ASU and beyond to help shape the future of health,” said ASU President Michael M. Crow.

“Professor Riley will be a great addition to ASU’s faculty and management team,” said Elizabeth D. Phillips, ASU executive vice president and provost. “We are looking to him to help build the university’s public health and health care delivery programs.”

Riley has held several leadership positions in the private sector, including president and CEO of Pacific Medical Centers in Seattle, Wash.; CEO of Aspen Medical Group in St. Paul, Minn.; and senior vice president of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota.

Riley’s research and scholarship focuses on health care safety, quality health finance and health care management. He is leading a major, nationwide study to improve perinatal safety in hospitals. He is the co-author of two books, "Managing Healthcare Organizations for Quality Performance" and "Quality Function Deployment and Lean Six Sigma Applications in Public Health."

Riley earned his doctorate at the University of Minnesota.

Sharon Keeler

ASU ranks among top 15 schools for Peace Corps volunteers

February 6, 2013

Arizona State University is the state’s top-producing school for Peace Corps volunteers taking the No. 14 spot on Peace Corps’ 2013 Top Colleges rankings for large national schools. The annual list recognizes the highest volunteer-producing colleges and universities for small, medium, large and graduate institutions. There are currently 62 undergraduate alumni from ASU serving overseas.

“Every year, graduates of colleges and universities across the United States are making a difference in communities overseas through Peace Corps service,” said Carrie Hessler-Radelet, Peace Corps acting director. “As a result of the top-notch education they receive, these graduates are well prepared for the challenge of international service. They become leaders in their host communities and carry the spirit of service and leadership back with them when they return home.”
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ASU moves up five places from its No. 19 ranking the previous year. It also becomes the sole Arizona school to place in the Top Colleges rankings in any category and marks its fourth straight year among the top 25 large universities. Historically, ASU has produced 944 Peace Corps volunteers.

"Peace Corps announces Top Colleges annually to recognize the schools that contribute the most alumni who are making a difference overseas through volunteer service," said Janet Allen, Peace Corps West Coast regional manager. "We thank and congratulate Arizona State University as one of the 23 universities from the West Coast producing globally-minded leaders who turn idealism into action as Peace Corps volunteers. It's wonderful to see ASU move up five spots this year.”

Hessler-Radelet said the reason for ASU’s jump was the presence of field-based recruiter Lassana Toure, who served as a Peace Corps volunteer in the Kingdom of Tonga from 2004-2007 and works at the Tempe campus.

Toure wore many hats as a community development volunteer in Tonga. He taught geography, history and youth government courses at a local primary and secondary school. Outside of the classroom, he worked on a project to overhaul the village’s water system and coached soccer and track and field.

“Peace Corps was my chance to show the international community the new face of America,” Toure said. “We’re not what you see on TV or what you hear pumping through the radio.”

Toure's decision to join the Peace Corps as a staff recruiter was his way of “giving back to a great organization.”

Currently, more than 8,000 volunteers are working with communities in 76 host countries on projects related to agriculture, community economic development, education, environment, health and youth development.

During Peace Corps service, college graduates make a difference in communities overseas. Volunteers return home as global citizens with cross-cultural, leadership, language, teaching and community development skills that position them for advanced education and professional opportunities in today’s global job market. Ninety percent of volunteer positions require a bachelor's degree. Americans with backgrounds in agriculture, environment, teaching English as a second language, and other technical or language skills related to Peace Corps assignment areas are encouraged to apply for service one year in advance of their target departure date. The next application deadline is Feb. 28.

The Peace Corps ranks Top Colleges annually according to the size of the student body. Small schools have less than 5,000 undergraduates, medium-sized schools have between 5,000 and 15,000 undergraduates and large schools have more than 15,000 undergraduates. Rankings are calculated based on fiscal year 2012 data as of Sept. 30, 2012 as self-reported by Peace Corps volunteers. 

Reporter , ASU News