Meet the Online MHA Faculty: A Conversation with Dr. Jamie Partridge
Can you tell us the story that brought you to your career path?
I really liked high school chemistry and started out as an undergraduate in chemistry. After I broke almost every piece of lab equipment, I realized that chemistry was not for me. So I took a variety of classes—like political science, psychology, and economics—and realized I liked math.
I pursued math, and got an MBA in finance and management science, worked at Ford Motors, and then obtained a Ph.D. in economics. From there, I started teaching at Ohio State University in our Health Outcomes Research Center, and then into pharmaceutical.
Looking back, one catalyst in my career is my teaching position at Ohio State University. While there, we worked on a project with Abbott, and the client asked me “Do you know any economists that might want to work for Abbott?” I said “I don’t know, I’ll ask a faculty member,” and she said, “What about yourself?”
At the time, I was thinking that I liked my current job, but I interviewed and got the position. That was a serendipitous turning point for the next 10 years of my career.
What are the essential traits and experiences for leadership in health economics and outcomes research (HEOR)?
There are two key traits and experiences. The first is credibility. In order to be respected in this area, you have to have some type of background where you understand what the people working for you are doing, and what the data and analytics mean.
The second is collaboration. You have to convince marketing, sales, and market access that what you are doing is valuable and impactful. Economics is often tricky to explain to others without that background, so learning to communicate economic terms and being able to work with stakeholders is paramount to success in this field.
Where do you see the future of HEOR?
HEOR will continue to have value. Healthcare is always going to be important, and you will see a greater push for HEOR professionals to get advanced degrees. The ability to effectively communicate and get your point across is going to be even more important as drug costs and interventions become more expensive and payers and providers have to decide the tradeoffs and types of therapies they will have.
There is also the economic value we can see from COVID-19. We are spending a lot of money on healthcare, and we need to think about what happens once we’ve spent money on COVID-19. What else do we have left to spend on? What are other health issues besides COVID-19 that we need to keep track of?
Are you working on any exciting new projects? How will they impact the world?
We just came out with exciting clinical trial data presented at the American Society of Nephrology. The study was published in the New England Journal of Medicine on a drug that will be launched next year.
The drug will help people with Type 2 diabetes and chronic kidney disease. It’s very impactful! Patients at the end stage of renal disease have to be on dialysis, and that's difficult and scary. This new drug can provide an alternative option.
Your research focus is on economics and healthcare. How have you applied this to your career in healthcare?
A lot of what I’ve done in the last 10 years has supported the products on which I worked. Prior to Abbott, when I was at Ohio State University, we looked at how much opiates people used and compared Ohio to other states with high use of opiates. That research has been important for public health.
Now that I am in the industry, we are looking within the nutrition space and at the cost-effectiveness of nutrition: how nutrition can reduce hospital stays and readmission rates. We partnered with an organization in Chicago called Advocate, now Advocate Aurora, and our quality improvement program saved about $3,800 per patient. That work was cited by Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar.
The work that we do has strong public policy implications and can be utilized and implemented to improve the healthcare ecosystem.
How does a master’s degree in Health Administration help students make an impact on a variety of aspects of healthcare?
I’ve had an amazing experience teaching. I’ve had the pleasure of watching the students grow in knowledge, experience, and confidence in various areas of healthcare—including the economic landscapes, marketing, accounting, and finance. Having a master’s degree in Health Administration gives our students an edge. Our students come from all walks of life and disciplines. You will see former nurses, physical therapists, entrepreneurs, and therapists. I believe a master’s in Health Administration pulls all the different factors of healthcare together and provides that missing piece —whether it’s accounting or financial knowledge.
What makes your course, Introduction to Health Economics, stand out?
Economics plays an important part in everyday life. It gives a better understanding of how healthcare and hospitals are structured. For example, one of our recent lectures was on cost-effectiveness, and how it’s becoming a bigger issue in the US.
Introduction to Health Economics provides a framework to see how healthcare fits, and what economic issues are and will impact the industry. For the students, my class pulls all the concepts together and teaches them how to think critically about the external economy, the health system, and how all of that drives the policies such as prices, incentive structures, and insurance.
What will students learn at NYU Wagner that prepares them for a career in healthcare?
NYU’s curriculum provides a foundation of the key areas to progress to that next managerial level. All students have wide-ranging backgrounds in healthcare, and NYU provides a holistic stepping stone to fill in any cracks or missing knowledge to advance to managerial leadership.
For example, NYU provides a strong basis for marketing, finance, accounting, technology, and economics, pulling together all the key aspects of healthcare and providing a comprehensive educational background.
I also think students should take advantage of the relationships with the top-notch faculty. The professors are all established leaders in the healthcare industry and can provide amazing context for networking and career management advice.
Dr. Jamie Partridge, PhD, MBA, is a US Field Health Economics and Outcomes Research Director at Bayer Pharmaceuticals and a Senior Lecturer of Health Administration at NYU Wagner.