Launch of new Cornell institute combining hospitality and health policy

November 11, 2015

CIHF executive director Rohit Verma and associate directors Brooke Hollis, MBA '78 and Mardelle McCuskey Shepley.

CIHF executive director Rohit Verma and associate directors Brooke Hollis, MBA ’78 and Mardelle McCuskey Shepley.

It’s no secret that throughout its many divisions and units, Cornell University represents a formidable breadth and depth of expertise. But some of the most powerful possibilities emerge when multiple areas of expertise are leveraged collaboratively.

After extensive planning, the Cornell Institute for Healthy Futures (CIHF) was officially launched November 2 as a cross-campus collaboration between the School of Hotel Administration (SHA) and the College of Human Ecology (CHE). The institute is led by executive director Rohit Verma, Singapore Tourism Board Distinguished Professor in Asian Hospitality Management at SHA, and associate directors Mardelle McCuskey Shepley, professor of design and environmental analysis, and Brooke Hollis, MBA ’78, associate director of the Sloan Program in Health Administration, both from CHE.

What do hotels have to do with healthcare? Actually, just about everything. CIHF exists to create and promote knowledge that brings hospitality principles to health policy, management, and design, with an ultimate goal of improving service in healthcare, wellness, and senior living. The pieces of the core expertise needed to accomplish this already exist across campus. CIHF will unite those pieces and yield a new whole surpassing the sum of its parts.

“What has never been done before is the integration of these disciplines to promote a more holistic view of healthcare.”

“What has never been done before is the integration of these disciplines to promote a more holistic view of healthcare,” said Verma. “The institute will focus not only on clinical care, but will pay close attention to the patient experience, the well-being of the family and the long-term emotional needs of patients and their loved ones, all carefully informed by a perspective on design.”

SHA and Human Ecology hosted an inaugural event on November 2, featuring Hollis, McCuskey Shepley, and Verma, as well as Michael D. Johnson, the Bradley H. Stone Dean and E. M. Statler Professor at the School of Hotel Administration; Alan Mathios, the Rebecca Q. and James C. Morgan Dean of the College of Human Ecology; and a number of experts representing prominent healthcare organizations, who participated in two panel discussions throughout the morning.

“In the immortal words of E. M. Statler, ‘Life is service,'” said Dean Johnson. “Our academics and research are built on the notion that hospitality transcends industry. The Cornell Institute for Healthy Futures represents a natural synergy with our colleagues in Human Ecology—one which will leverage and create collaborative expertise to address the emerging service needs of an evolving healthcare and wellness industry.”

"Our academics and research are built on the notion that hospitality transcends industry."

Visit CIHF on the web at sha.cornell.edu/centers-institutes/ihf.html or read the October 28 Cornell Chronicle article.

Leave A Comment