Nine-year-old health institute gets long-awaited office in Hankamer

By Travis Taylor


After a year without a central office, the Robbins Institute for Health Policy and Leadership finally has a place to call home.

The institute, which runs the Robbins Master of Business Administration Health Care Program, received funding from Bill and Mary Jo Robbins, two Baylor alumni from Houston, in order to renovate a classroom on the third floor of Hankamer into an office suite. The Robbins Institute suite, which was completed over the summer, includes offices for faculty and administrators of the institute as well as a student study area.

Tom Haines, the preceptor coordinator for the Robbins MBA Health Care Program, said the new office space will give the institute a place to call its own.

“We create a family environment, and we want to maintain that,” Haines said. Since Baylor’s health care administration program was introduced in 2003, 68 students have graduated from the program as of May 2012. In 2011, the Baylor Board of Regents established the Robbins Institute. With 18 graduate students, the class of 2014 is the largest class to enter the health care program.

Haines said having an office space was a much-needed addition to the institution. Even though the program has no more than 20 students per graduating class, Haines said it is better to have a centralized location for the institute rather than a number of different individual offices.

“One thing an office space does for you is that it gives you a physical space to call an institution,” Haines said.

Students in the MBA Health Care Program go through a two-year program, which includes two semesters of residency at a hospital. Students also participate in the annual Chronic Illness and Disability Conference in Houston, an event sponsored by the Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Children’s Hospital.

“Ultimately, what we are doing is preparing the leaders of health care,” Haines said.

Haines said about half of the students who enroll in the health care program were business students, while the rest come from a number of different disciplines ranging from biology to psychology.

“You really have to come into this with the idea that it is your calling,” Haines said. Haines added while the institution wanted to keep the MBA Health Care Program small, some plans for expansion are in the works. “Sometime in the near future we hope to have a Ph.D. in health services research,” Haines said.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held Friday for the opening of the office suite. Bill and Mary Jo Robbins, whose financial donations helped create the institute as a part of the Hankamer School of Business, have also contributed to a number of other organizations around the world that range from health care initiatives to the arts.