Dr. John Brennan, alumnus
Dr. John Brennan researched several Executive MPH programs before electing to come to Columbia. “What attracted me to this program was the diversity of the applicants and classes” Dr. Brennan says, “I didn’t want a pure physician program.” The cohort he graduated with this past September included not only physicians but also business executives, lawyers, healthcare consultants, senior hospital administrators and a venture capitalist. In addition to the diversity of people and ideas within his classes, Dr. Brennan was attracted to the curriculum’s significant focus on healthcare management as well as the public health component. The professors’ emphasis on theory and practice further contributed to his experience, “I believe that the ability to bring the practical day to day into an academic curriculum is what separates Columbia from the rest of the programs.”
Dr. Brennan went to medical school at Georgetown University and completed his residency in Emergency Medicine at LA County in southern California. After a stint in the United States Air Force, he went on to work as the Chief Operating Officer of a large private practice emergency medicine group in New Jersey. He was then recruited to work as a Senior Vice President of Clinical Services for a 10-hospital healthcare system in New Jersey, overseeing quality and safety. In 2007 Dr. Brennan became the Executive Director of Newark Beth Israel Medical Center & Children’s Hospital Center of New Jersey, a comprehensive healthcare facility that provides treatment to patients throughout New Jersey and the New York metropolitan area. Dr. Brennan is responsible for the operations of the facility including the financial status, quality and safety of the hospital.
Dr. Brennan credits Columbia University’s EMPH program, not only for sharpening his critical thinking skills, but for giving him a strong overview of the healthcare system and its projected path, which has helped broaden his perspective in his current position. “A lot of the information that I obtained helped me to better predict where healthcare is going to go and what areas to focus on as far as taking care of a community and a population.” He also credits the program’s 4-day per month schedule for allowing him to manage work in addition to family and school. Despite the complications of a hectic schedule, Dr. Brennan continues to find time for his wife and three children, whether it be on the soccer field, on the golf course, or in the kitchen.