Richard Merkin MD And The Merkin Family Foundation Announce Gift To Western Governors University

Gift will establish Richard Merkin Scholars with new degree and curriculum towards transforming value-driven healthcare

MARINA DEL REY, Calif., April 11, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Richard Merkin, MD, Founder and CEO of Heritage Provider Network, (HPN), one of the nation's leading physician-led managed care organizations and the Merkin Family Foundation announce a gift to Western Governors University (WGU) to develop a BS Health Services Coordination program and a series of certificates to prepare students for careers in healthcare case management and care coordination.

The new BS Health Services Coordination degree, which will launch July 1, 2019, will include contemporary curriculum related to care coordination and value-based care that will also be integrated into existing WGU health degrees. The new program can support upskilling as many as 30,000 practicing healthcare workers nationwide in the principles of high-value care.

"I'm very proud to support the critical role these new development programs will play in educating healthcare professionals so they may be more successful as they seek better healthcare outcomes and costs," said Dr. Merkin. "I've dedicated my life's work to transforming global healthcare delivery and encouraging education to pursue needed bold projects that will help us move from care to cure. Western Governors University is uniquely positioned to deliver these new opportunities from the Merkin Family Foundation for students and I'm proud to be partnering with them," he continued.

"Demand for skilled healthcare workers is growing faster than supply, and the skills required to deliver value-based care are absent from most degrees, leaving many workers ill-prepared to support provider organizations pursuing high-value care," said Dr. Jan Jones-Schenk, Dean and Academic Vice President of WGU's College of Professions. "WGU is uniquely positioned to develop industry-aligned credentials that can help close this skills gap. We're grateful for Dr. Merkin's support to help launch this program."

"Innovation is best learned through stories. Students of healthcare nationwide need to know Dr. Richard Merkin's story and learn the principles that have produced his success in providing value-based healthcare. Dr. Merkin is a modern healthcare pioneer. Because of WGU's unparalleled reach and Richard Merkin's generosity, health students in every state and medical marketplace will benefit," said Governor Mike Leavitt, Founder, Leavitt Partners.

Students who complete a degree or certificate funded by the Merkin Family Foundation, or current degrees after enhancement with new content, will be known as Richard Merkin Scholars.

About WGU:
Established in 1997 by 19 U.S. governors with a mission to expand access to high-quality, affordable higher education, online, nonprofit WGU now serves more than 115,000 students nationwide and has more than 135,000 graduates in all 50 states. Driving innovation as the nation's leading competency-based university, WGU has been recognized by the White House, state leaders, employers, and students as a model that works in postsecondary education. In just 21 years, the university has become a leading influence in changing the lives of individuals and families, and preparing the workforce needed in today's rapidly evolving economy. WGU is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities, has been named one of Fast Company's Most Innovative Companies, and was featured on NPR, NBC Nightly News, CNN, and in The New York Times. Learn more at

About Heritage Provider Network
Heritage Provider Network, Inc. (HPN) is one of the most experienced physician organization leaders of accountable care and continuous value-based healthcare delivery improvements. Developing and managing coordinated, patient-doctor centric, integrated health care systems that offers some of the strongest solutions for the future of health, care and cost in the United States. HPN and its affiliates operate in New York, California, Arizona and Missouri providing high quality, cost effective healthcare with over one million patient members and are dedicated to quality, affordable health care, and putting patients' wellness first.

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SOURCE Heritage Provider Network, Inc.

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