Why USC EMHA with Dr. Tom Collins

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Tom Collins

Adjunct Instructor

With specialization in strategy formation, implementation and leadership development, I am currently the president and founder of Strategy Advisors, a Southern California-based health care consulting firm. Previously, I served as the president and CEO of Memorial Health Services, and as the chair of its health system board of directors. With a doctorate in education from USC, I served as a consultant in curriculum planning and design for the EMHA program.


I’m Dr. Tom Collins and I’ve been at the University of Southern California for approximately ten years. I’m an adjunct professor here prior to that I was a president and CEO of the Memorial Care Health System here in Southern California 2.4 billion dollar-a-year healthcare system and I spent 20 years in that field and fortunately for me I prior to that I was in public education and basically I’m a teacher at heart.

I graduated from Rossier School of Education here my doctorate is in the field of education so coming back with with a professional background and executive management and and a love of teaching it’s a perfect fit for me and then to have it and to be able to work with the mid-career professionals is a special treat for for for me well.

The Executive MHA program is a specialty program in the area of health care administration and it’s designed specifically for mid-career professionals where the the other program the MHA program is more is more appropriately targeted at at the younger professional without the experience so we want five to seven years of experience in the field in the healthcare field as a qualification for the program and then the curriculum is built around people that have that kind of a background so we use that background as the as the foundation for building the curriculum and helping them grow their careers going forward.

The residency especially the capstone is the last course that they will actually take. It serves as last learning experience  in their master studies here at the university is absolutely critical because it’s used as the vehicle to bring together their learning over the past two or three years depending on what track they have been on.  It’s designed to be a culminating learning experience where the basis of the residency information is the information that they’ve obtained throughout their studies. The purpose of the residency is to see how they implement that training into their professional lives Its an culminating learning experience that brings together all of their previous activities.

I taught the first residency program in the EMHA a program and I’ve had the privilege to do it for the last number of years and I still it’s one of the highlights for me.  Actually this program is special to me because it allows me to connect with these mid-career professionals and to follow their careers and to get to watch them grow their careers and I kind of ride along with them and their careers. We stay in touch I have over 300 of these students that are in my little electronic network and I stay in touch with promotions, vacations, child births, and weddings. That’s a special dimension for me that you would only find in a program that is directed at the mid-career professional.