Lauren S. Hughes, MD, MPH, MSc
The MHCDS assignments are practical, applicable, and they impact how I think about my work every day.
I am a family physician and a health policy researcher who informs policy change at the local, state, and federal levels. I currently serve as State Policy Director for the Farley Health Policy Center at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, a nonpartisan research and translation organization. Roughly 25% of my time is devoted to clinical work and the other 75% to policy, mentoring, and administration at the Center.
In addition to my work, I also serve as the Chair of the American Board of Family Medicine and on the Board of Directors for the Rural Health Redesign Center, where we think deeply about success and outcomes in rural health care delivery and how to structure and implement a global budget payment model, different than the current fee for service model, to make great care available and sustainable outside of our major population centers. When I'm not working, I have many outside interests including travel, photography, hiking, camping, and visiting national parks.
Why did you take the MHCDS program?
I've been trained in a wide variety of skills, but I needed exposure to business concepts, human centered innovation, and population health - specifically around risk stratification. The curriculum was exactly what I needed. I also want to expand my own opportunities in entrepreneurship and leadership, so I am updating and expanding my own skillset and personal network of connections.
What is the best thing about MHCDS - so far?
Many things come immediately to mind. The first are my classmates. Getting to know my colleagues and their interests has been personally enriching and the breadth of diversity among us helps all of us grow tremendously as leaders.
The professors have been some of the most engaging and enriching of my entire (substantial) student career. I love the way that we're taught case-based methodology. It really gets you thinking outside of the ways that I've learned as a physician, a public health professional, and a researcher.
The assignments are practical, applicable, and they impact how I think about my work every day. The integration and coordination across the curriculum are also fantastic. It's great that people like Professor Argenti will bring up a topic that he knows was covered by another faculty member in the residential six months ago. Those touchbacks underscore the thinking and teamwork that goes into the curriculum and the teaching model.
How have you been able to apply your learnings?
I've been particularly grateful for the Finance and Accounting coursework. I serve on several boards of directors, so I am now much better prepared to fulfill those roles having completed that course. Professor Stockton did an amazing job of teaching those important concepts. I am better equipped to proactively engage with the financial health of these organizations, ask tough questions, and help set strategy across the clinical, operational, and financial domains.