Fostering Education and Collaboration
The University of Utah's Governor Scott M. Matheson Center for Health Care Studies, and the associated Governor Scott M. Matheson Presidential Endowed Chair in Health Policy and Management have a unique two-fold charge. Part one is a focus established by the endowment upon education, with an emphasis on educating physicians in the skills of health care administration. We support this role through programs of teaching, research and service, thereby facilitating faculty development and community connections broadly related to health care administration and policy. Part two of our charge is to ensure that the center is positioned organizationally to act as a stimulus for interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary efforts across the University of Utah’s academic colleges and centers.
The center’s purpose and organization are as follows.
The center supports education, research, and community service that enable health care professionals - physicians, hospital administrators, nurses, public health officers, etc. - to better manage health care services. We seek opportunities to build a mutual understanding of health policy matters from the perspectives of health care providers, policy makers, and patients. Special attention is given to building links between medicine, management, and other disciplines to help meet these basic purposes.
The center has a broad concern for the effectiveness and efficiency of health services. Currently, we give special attention to the relationships and conflicts between cost management and quality assurance. Particular interests include quality assessment, technology assessment, and practice guidelines; as well as the ethical issues surrounding the expansion of access, management of costs, and improvement of quality.
The center became fully operational in January of 1988, funded by an endowment from the FHP Foundation (now the Archstone Foundation), and by supplemental support from the Archstone Foundation, the University of Utah, grants, and contracts. The center is a unique academic unit, reporting directly to both the Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and the Senior Vice President for Health Sciences. This allows us to link the "lower campus" schools of Business and Social Work, the colleges of Engineering, Law, Social and Behavioral Science, and Humanities with the "upper campus" School of Medicine and colleges of Nursing, Pharmacy, and Health. The center itself operates on a modest budget, making most of its contribution through cooperative projects involving various colleges, departments, and institutes of the University of Utah.