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New School for the Science of Health Care Delivery launches at ASU

August 30, 2013

Semester kicks off with telehealth robot demonstration

The first of its kind in the country, the School for the Science of Health Care Delivery at Arizona State University kicked off its intense, accelerated master’s degree program in style. Students were treated to a demonstration of Mayo Clinic’s telehealth robot, a robotic device that allows physicians to see and interact with patients and staff remotely and manage care delivery just as if they were in the same room.

Victor Trastek, former CEO of the Mayo Clinic in Arizona and a faculty member at the school, gave students a demonstration of the robot. He simulated how a stroke victim has access to a neurologist despite being treated in a minimally-staffed, rural hospital.

“Not a lot of students can say that a robot demonstration took place on their second day of class. This telehealth robot and classroom skit intrigued everyone,” student Brandi Rone said. “Students quickly pulled out their phones to take pictures. ASU's faculty and staff did an excellent job organizing and presenting this specialized program. My excitement for the program exceeds words."

“The robot is just one example of how health care is changing,” Alison Essary, director of student affairs and professor in the school, said. “It’s important for students to see how innovation is making a real difference in the way health is delivered.”

The master’s program is a nine-month, 30-credit interprofessional, cross disciplinary, experiential graduate program.

Professors of the program hope students gain a broad view and understanding, with real-world implications, of current and future challenges within the health system.

“We’re striving to prepare graduates of the program to promote health care transformation at the organization and system level,” said Keith Lindor, M.D., executive vice provost and dean of the College of Health Solutions. “We want students, coming from a variety of backgrounds, to learn and apply their knowledge and skills to revolutionize the future of health.”

The Master of Science in the Science of Health Care Delivery is the first degree offered by the school. This fall, 36 students are enrolled in the program and they come from a variety of backgrounds, including nursing, biology, business and health. In addition to the course load, the program connects students with industry leaders such as Banner Health, Barrow Neurological Institute, the Mayo Clinic and Mountain Park Health Center through a capstone consulting project. William Riley, an internationally recognized expert in the field of public health, is director of the school.

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