Edson College partners with Thunderbird to boost innovation leadership skills for health care executives

July 15, 2019

Building on years of successful executive education for health care professionals, the Edson College of Nursing and Health Innovation is adding a new global education partner for the Executive Fellowship in Innovation Health Leadership (EFIHL) — Thunderbird School of Global Management.  

“Health care is a global issue, so partnering with Thunderbird and leveraging its footprint is very exciting for us,” said Rick Hall, senior director of health innovation for Edson College. “The fellowship participants will benefit from Thunderbird content, and the recruiting of international participants will mutually benefit the health care executives from every sector.” 2018 EFIHL Fellows visit the Garfield Innovation Center in San Leandro, CA Executive Fellowship in Innovation Health Leadership Fellows from the 2018 cohort visited the Garfield Innovation Center in San Leandro, California, for one of their immersive experiences. Download Full Image

The fellowship recruits health care executives from around the world to take part in a one-year cohort that includes three-day immersive experiences in four cities around the United States. Throughout the year, participants work to build a tool kit empowering them to create innovative environments within their home organizations.

Industry partners for the program include two leading health care leadership membership organizations, the American Organization of Nurse Leaders and the American Association for Physician Leadership. The addition of the Thunderbird School of Global Management enhances the fellowship curriculum by adding courses developed by world-class management faculty and leveraging the global footprint of the school to attract health care leaders from many parts of the world.

“Few industries have higher stakes for getting innovation right,” said Tom Hunsaker, associate dean of innovation for Thunderbird School of Global Management. “This partnership between Edson and Thunderbird places these health care executives at the forefront of leading-edge innovation models and practices — globally.”

Adding to the content modules delivered in cohort immersions, participants will take courses in systems thinking and advanced concepts of innovation from Edson’s Master of Healthcare Innovation as well as disruptive innovation and leadership courses developed from Thunderbird’s Master of Global Management.

An interdisciplinary initiative, the fellowship attracts chief nursing officers, physicians, clinical psychologists and nonclinician business leaders from hospital systems, nonprofit organizations and higher education institutions.

This year the fellows will be traveling to Boston, Phoenix, San Francisco and Washington, D.C., for the immersive experiences. Some of the sites visited in previous fellowship years have included Google Headquarters, Cambridge Innovation Center, IDEO, Blue Cross Blue Shield Innovation Center, MIT’s Media Lab, Garfield Innovation Center and the Translational Genomics Research Institute.

Although space is limited, there are still spots available for the fall cohort, which begins in October. 

Amanda Goodman

Media relations officer, Edson College of Nursing and Health Innovation


Religion, meet technology

Religion and moral issues class utilizes technology to further their final discussions

July 15, 2019

This summer, Arizona State University religious studies PhD candidate Jamie Edmonds decided to incorporate technology into the final projects of his religion and moral issues course, allowing students the opportunity to express what they had learned in a creative, unique way.

“It seems to me that two of the biggest things employers are looking for are critical thinking and the ability to work in a team that may never meet in an office,” said Edmonds. “These projects tap into both these needs. It teaches students how to communicate through all of the many digital tools. It also makes them create original projects that engage with critical research on the way in which religion and morality change and are changed by technology.” Phone taking a picture of a bridge. Photo courtesy of pexels.com Download Full Image

The online class was divided into groups and challenged to come up with ways to represent the changing morals in religion caused by technology.

“Topically, the interaction between technology and religion is fascinating and students find it interesting,” said Edmonds. “Anything from online dating to Buddhist robots seems to spark student interest.”

Edmonds, who focuses on the anthropology of religion for his research in the School of Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies, said two projects stood out to him.

One group of students that included religious studies undergraduate Maria Edwards, anthropology undergraduate Rebecca Gonzales and dual history and religious studies undergraduate Vanessa Parent decided to create a small journal publication.

“We felt it was important for us to stand out, to be original,” said Parent. “The idea was to create a magazine where each of us contributed our own exposé as independent journalists.” 

They called the journal “Technology and Islam.” Each student wrote an article about a topic that interested them, including the media misconception of sex through the lens of Sharia law, online ummah (community) and dating in Islamic culture.

Not only is the journal filled with colloquial language that anyone can read and learn from, it is also visually appealing. The images and formats used in the project make it easy to understand the topics the group wrote about.

“I find working on group projects online enjoyable and less restrictive than meeting in person,” said Parent. “We created a group chat through the Hangouts app, which allowed us to talk about ideas in real time. It was like texting your friends.”

Another project that stood out was created by art studies undergraduate Nula Chandrani, health sciences undergraduate Courtney Sharp, communication undergraduate Annie Harris and sociology undergraduate Deanna Smith.

For their final project, they took to the world of social media and created an Instagram account dedicated to the spreading Hindu practice of yoga worldwide.

In their profile, they post pictures and create captions so they can explore different scriptures and movements and how they pertain to yoga and Hinduism.

Each of these groups dedicated themselves to using technology to further their own understanding of the topics they were researching and ended up producing ways to share their knowledge with general audiences.

Rachel Bunning

Communications program coordinator, School of Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies