Class of 2019

Kenneth Noonan, MD, MHCDS

Director, Division of Pediatric Orthopaedics
American Family Children’s Hospital, University of Wisconsin, Madison

I chose the MHCDS program because I felt the passion of my professors and the dedication of their program in the singular mission to make high quality, ethical healthcare affordable for all. MBA programs teach how to make money. This program teaches how to get something we all need ... health.

Kenneth, tell us about your professional background.

I am a pediatric orthopaedic surgeon at the American Family Children’s Hospital in Madison Wisconsin. I am an associate professor of orthopaedics at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health. I direct our Division of Pediatric Orthopaedics, I teach residents and medical students and guide research in pediatric orthopaedics. I sit on many national boards and locally I serve on advisory boards at the children’s hospital as well as on committees in our department such as QI. I currently chair a statewide lawnmower safety initiative which I started and every year I travel to Honduras for medical mission work through a local NGO.

Why did you decide to apply to the MHCDS program?

I realize that as a surgeon my time as an effective practitioner of the art of orthopaedic surgery is limited. Yet, I want to be able to contribute to medicine long after my surgical skills have wavered. We are at a crossroads in health care and leadership is needed.  We need physicians at the table helping to guide decisions that protect our patients and the science and art of medicine. Unless you have looked a mother in the eye and promised to care for their child as if he was your own; delivered bad news to a grieving family member; been asked to direct a challenging care plan or perform delicate surgery…you don’t really know medicine. Yet, I don’t know the language of business. In my training prior to MHCDS, I knew very little about health care finance, economics, and the best methods to help reform and improve medicine. In order to be an effective contributor for healthcare, I needed to learn these things.

What has been the best part of the program?

I am learning tons from some of the most accomplished, personable professors I have encountered in my career from college, medical school, and residency. They are engaging and are challenging me to push my boundaries. My classmates are vibrant, bright and friendly people who are as committed as I am to make medicine better for all in the worlds that they live and work. This is a distinct advantage, as a network of like-minded folks exist for me to collaborate with as time marches on. I have overheard others who liken MHCDS students as soldiers in an army of change for health care. It’s an honor to serve in this group.

There are so many new insights that I've gained from the MHCDS program and use in my daily work life. It is probably best described in one word. 'Transformative.'  When you enter this program, prepare to be transformed; prepare to transform the health care world around you."