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Health, innovation, and global impact

David Schmittlein John C Head III DeanDavid Schmittlein
John C Head III Dean

Dear Alumni and Friends of the MIT Sloan School of Management,

In the five years since I have joined the School, I am continually struck by the depth of commitment, throughout the entire MIT Sloan community, to aligning our work with core values and a sense of mission. MIT Sloan exists to create knowledge with lasting impact and to translate those cutting-edge management ideas into global practice. When I meet alumni and friends around the world, and work with our faculty here on campus, I see that commitment demonstrated every day.

One of the ways in which the School is addressing the world’s most pressing problems, with the rigorous and multidisciplinary approach that characterizes MIT Sloan endeavors, is through a burgeoning initiative dedicated to health care. This Spring 2012 issue of the MIT Sloan Alumni Magazine highlights faculty research, student activity, and industry partnerships in health care, and the ways in which this work is positively impacting a vast, complex, and global field.

Within this health care initiative, MIT and MIT Sloan faculty are conducting significant research, in collaboration with industry leaders from a multitude of sectors, both private and nonprofit, to anticipate solutions for one of the world’s most pressing problems. Health care quality, affordability, and accessibility are issues that affect each of us directly and personally. The School’s commitment to research-based action and impact in the world aligns closely with the MIT mission to work wisely, creatively, and effectively for the betterment of humankind, and with the MIT Sloan mission to develop principled, innovative leaders who improve the world and to generate ideas that advance management practice.

MIT Sloan is uniquely positioned to bring lasting change to U.S. and global health care delivery, with our historic expertise in a number of functional areas, from Entrepreneurship to Systems Dynamics to Operations. As discussed further in this magazine, faculty are building significant relationships with the clinical and administrative staff of world-renowned teaching hospitals in Boston to analyze the quality, efficiency, and incentive structures of patient care. Faculty members are also exploring ways to reshape and streamline healthcare delivery across the globe. For the MIT Sloan research community, these partnerships represent an avenue to direct impact on organizations whose ideas and practices change, and better, the world.

In the area of curricular innovation, MIT Sloan’s high-touch, customized educational programs are an integral part of this initiative. Global Health Delivery Lab, one of the School’s signature action learning courses, puts students at the front lines of healthcare delivery in five Sub-Saharan African nations and India. On campus and at project sites, students grapple with the hands-on challenges of health care delivery in resource-constrained settings, using the classroom to research and plan, then reflect on and share their learning with others. These educational programs allow the School to develop creative and experienced leaders who are equipped to understand and tackle the world’s greatest challenges.

The work on health care being done at MIT Sloan and by School community members worldwide is increasingly valuable. With our commitment to sustainable management solutions that stand the test of time, principled and dynamic leadership that solves the world’s problems, and data-driven analysis that generates innovative management knowledge, I believe that our potential for positive impact is unparalleled. The creativity and responsiveness of the School as it grapples with these challenging issues are made possible in part by the generous philanthropic support of MIT Sloan alumni and friends. I hope that as you read, you will find the work highlighted here as captivating as I do, and that you will be reminded of the many important ways that MIT Sloan is in the world, for the world.


David Schmittlein
John C Head III Dean