Chad Perman decided to go back to school in 2010 to pursue his master’s of public policy degree at the School of Public Policy. That decision led Perman to begin a career in health policy at the Maryland Department of Health.
As the project manager of the Program Management Office at the Maryland Department of Health, Perman runs the day-to-day operations for the Maryland Primary Care Program.
“My job is to direct the development and implementation of the program, including project management alignment of data, finance, recruiting, learning and policy programs for the Maryland Primary Care Program (MDPCP),” Perman says.
He routinely works with partners at the state Health Information Exchange, the Governor’s office and other executive agencies outside of the health department. “We meet regularly with primary care practices, hospitals, consumers and other organizations to ensure the development of the program meets the needs of our residents,” Perman says.
Prior to attending SPP, Perman was actively following the health care debates in 2008-2009 around what would later become the Affordable Care Act. “I was working in health care tangentially, but knew little about policy,” he says. “Through the work that I was doing with hospitals and physicians, not to mention my own personal experience, I began to see many of the problems and inefficiencies in the existing system. Then I read a book by a leading senator at the time about the impending health care crisis and how we might fix it. The confluence of my work experience and that book led me to make a decision to go back to school in public policy.”
Perman was working in Philadelphia in 2010 when he decided to go back to school. “I thought it was important to get closer to Washington, DC so I could get closer to the action on the new health care reform law that had just passed,” he says. “The UMD School of Public Policy offered me the best combination of proximity to federal agency opportunities for jobs and internships, a small but expert field of professors in health policy and a broad enough curriculum to obtain good credentials and training.”
He adds that attending the School of Public Policy made a tremendous difference in his career trajectory. “I came back to graduate school when I was doing fine financially, but did not feel like I had a career,” Perman says. “The graduate assistantship that SPP made available to me allowed me to work with a professor named Jack Meyer. Meyer was both a professor and a practitioner. Most of what I know about health policy and economics has been derived from my time with him.”
“The School also gave me the opportunity to write a blog on health care reform in conjunction with a corporate partner. I co-wrote with Meyer,” Perman says. “That experience and having current, real-world knowledge about how the health system was being changed by a seminal law opened all sorts of doors for me.”
Perman says studying at SPP gave him the opportunity to, ”focus on topics of great public importance and develop solutions and test them out with fellow students and professors who were just as passionate about them as I was.”