Duke - The Fuqua School of Business

Feature Story

Artificial Hands Will Help Others Reach Their Potential

HSM Boot Camp Includes Team-Building Service Project

August 02, 2012

Students arrive at Fuqua with a wealth of professional and personal experiences, a vast range of insights gleaned from their jobs, travels, relationships and schools. This diversity is one of Fuqua's strengths, the core of the Team Fuqua concept.

But chances are pretty good that none of the Daytime MBA Class of 2014 students attending this year's week-long Health Sector Management Boot Camp had ever constructed a prosthetic hand before. That was the task devised by a team from GlaxoSmithKline, a team-building exercise with an imaginative service component.

The event took place following a reception sponsored by GSK, during which Deirdre Connelly, GSK's president of North America pharmaceuticals, spoke to the students about Esprit, her company's global leadership development program for MBA graduates. Representatives from GSK's Research Triangle Park facility assisted the students in adhering to the very precise instructions necessary to create a functioning artificial hand that can be used to utensils, tools or writing instruments. Students packaged the completed prostheses and decorated the packages with inspirational art and messages.

The completed hands will be delivered to the Ellen Meadows Prosthetic Hand Foundation, for distribution to people who have lost their hands through accidents or landmine explosions. First-year Daytime student Nisha Asher has posted a blog item about the project.

HSM Boot Camp is designed to explore and provide focus regarding the structure, function, ideals and realities of the U.S. health care system. Students are introduced to the major players in health care and receive an overview of health care finance, services, product distribution, marketing and utilization. The course also includes in-depth analysis of government involvement and political activism, salient policy issues, health care delivery and the impact of technological innovation and health care informatics. Guest lectures by distinguished experts from Duke, the business world and the public policy realm cover the ten primary commercial segments of health care: pharmaceuticals, medical devices, biotechnology, hospitals, long-term care facilities, physicians, pharmacies and distributors of medical products, insurance, managed care and health information technology.