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Health Care Initiative

Healthcare Initiative - Education


  • MBA/EMBA Courses

    Challenges in Health Care: A System Overview

    This course is designed to give a broad overview of health care from a business perspective. Health care is a growing component of our GDP with widespread ramifications across all areas of business.  The elective will examine the structure and component parts of the health care system and will study basic economic issues, public policies, and market developments as they impact the industry and the delivery of care and services. We will also examine the impact of culture, ethnicity and gender on each case and topical area. Each class will focus on a case study with guest speakers to provide expertise on the different aspects of the health value chain.


    G. Paul Matherne, M.D.
    Professor of Practice, Darden School of Business
    Professor Emeritus, UVA School of Medicine


    Solutions and Innovations in Health Care

    This course focuses on the innovative approaches and cutting-edge technology being leveraged within the health care industry to solve its most pressing problems. The emphasis of the class’s cases and discussions centers around evaluating the current approaches and considering what other solutions may help address the relevant business and social need.


    G. Paul Matherne, M.D.
    Professor of Practice, Darden School of Business
    Professor Emeritus, UVA School of Medicine
    Residential MBA

    Vivian Riefberg
    Professor of Practice
    Walentas Jefferson Scholars Foundation Professorship Chair
    Executive MBA

    Health Care Marketing

    For aspiring marketing professionals, the healthcare sector offers unique challenges and opportunities for rapid learning, skill development, and future success in marketing, both within and beyond health care. In this course, students will explore healthcare marketing challenges, compare them to other industries, and learn to apply traditional marketing techniques in innovative ways, considering the distinctions in health care marketing. The course focuses on marketing to consumers, mental and behavioral health, and the role of data and technology in healthcare.


    Marc Ruggiano
    Founding Director, UVA Collaboratory for Applied Data Science in Business (DCADS)
    Lecturer, UVA School of Data Science and Darden School of Business

    Check-up of the Affordable Care Act

    Taught at the School of Law, the course will focus on the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which was passed 14 years ago and has endured numerous challenges, fundamentally reshaping healthcare in the United States. The course will delve into its passage, implementation, and future, with the participation of both Business and Law students. Additionally, all students registered for the 2023-24 academic calendar will have the opportunity to engage in a conference scheduled for March 19-20 in Washington, D.C., where they will interact with key figures involved in the enactment and execution of this legislation.


    Margaret Foster Riley
    Professor of Law, General Faculty
    Dorothy Danforth Compton Professor, Miller Center
    Professor of Public Health Sciences, School of Medicine
    Professor of Public Policy, Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy
    Director, Animal Law Program

    Vivian Riefberg
    Professor of Practice
    Walentas Jefferson Scholars Foundation Professorship Chair


    Health Care Finance

    This course prepares students for health care management careers by integrating advanced finance topics into the health care sector. It covers regulated payment structures, political influences on finance, population health management, and the unique financing needs of healthcare. Advanced finance topics like M&A, VC, and entrepreneurship in healthcare are also explored. The course analyzes health care investment opportunities and challenges, including venture capital and private equity, as well as start-up potential. Practical experience is provided through case studies, guest lectures, and interactive discussions.


    Christoph Herpfer
    Assistant Professor of Business Administration


    Please note: courses are subject to change each year. Consult the course directory for the most up-to-date course offerings.

  • For Credit Opportunities

    Independent Studies

    A course of study for students with special interests, an Independent Study (IS) is conducted by students under the supervision of a Darden faculty member. These are intended to allow students to study topics not covered in existing Darden courses.

    Examples of past projects:

    • Strategic Considerations for UVA Health Neuro PT, OT, and SLP Programs
    • The Future of Health Care Education at Darden
    • Clinical Optimization in Pediatric Care

    Darden Business Projects

    During the Second Year of the MBA program students can design a project (known as a Darden Business Project) and earn course credit.

    Two examples of projects completed by students with an interest in health care:

    • Quality Management and Process Improvement in a Healthcare Setting: Emergency Department and Overcrowding
    • Helping the Elderly: Establishing a Private Medical Practice