Health Policy Seminar

DHA Students in DC

For the majority of DHA students, the Washington DC Health Policy Seminar is cited as the highlight and hallmark of the MUSC Doctor of Health Administration program.

During the second year, as part of the Health Policy Seminar course, all DHA students attend a week-long trip to Washington DC. The course is designed to provide students with an advanced understanding of the structure and functioning of the health policy process, particularly at the national level. The central didactic component of this course consists of a series of visits to federal health agencies and health professional organization offices in Washington, DC. These sessions will include presentations by and discussions with high-level agency and other policy-relevant health professionals. In addition, the students are given time to complete their own (as individuals or in pairs) visit to either a Congressional office, health-related Federal Government agency or health-related organization.

The itinerary varies by year, examples of prior years’ meetings include:

  • The National Institutes of Health

  • National Academies of Science Engineering & Medicine: Health and Medicine Division

  • The American Hospital Association

  • Representative Ross’s Office

  • Representative Clyburn’s Office

  • Representative Carter’s Office

  • Representative McKinley’s Office

  • Senator Hatch’s Office

  • Senator Manchin’s Office

  • Senator Capito’s Office

  • Senator Scott’s Office

  • Senator Graham’s Office

  • The Food and Drug Administration

  • American Blood Centers

  • Cerner Health Policy Office

  • The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology

  • The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality

Note: This trip takes place in lieu of one of the Year 2 on-campus sessions in Charleston. Hotel, some meals, and transportation while in Washington DC are included within the DHA tuition. Students are responsible for their own travel to and from Washington DC.

Student Testimonials

The health policy seminar week in Washington, D.C. is a memorable highlight from the DHA program. The week really helps you to connect all the dots in the health policy making process and was a turning point for me personally. The most valuable part of the week is the "health policy challenge" where you are asked to visit an agency, congressional office, etc. that is not on the week's itinerary to learn of their role in health policy. Learning of the experience and accomplishments along with the joy of individuals working to improve care and access confirmed to me that the health policy arena was where I need to be to bring about change that is so desperately needed.
-Brian Wiggs, DHA Student

My overall experience in Washington DC was interactive, engaging, and inspirational. The ability to spend a week with my classmates demonstrated the importance of the cohort experience.
-Tanya Seaton, DHA Student

The DC trip was a life changing experience for me. The ability to spend a week with my peers and professors helped me gain a better understanding of government structure and the relationships with various non-government agencies. I was also able to apply the knowledge and learning from my coursework to real-world examples. The trip was certainly a highlight of the program and one I will never forget!
- Lynn Carpenter, DHA Student