Peter Rivard, PhD

Associate Professor, Healthcare Administration

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Professor Rivard has devoted much of his career to improving healthcare quality and efficiency. During the first half of his career, he managed ambulatory care services, served as a hospital division administrator, and held health policy and program development roles. He then pivoted to research and teaching, earning a PhD in management in 2006 and conducting organization-studies-based research on patient safety. Today he continues that work, with projects on leadership and on high reliability. His research has been published in several top-tier journals, including Health Care Management Review, Health Services Research, and Medical Care Research and Review. Before joining the Suffolk faculty, Prof. Rivard was a postdoctoral research fellow at what is now the VA Boston Healthcare System’s Center for Healthcare Organization & Implementation Research (CHOIR) and Instructor in Health Policy and Management at the Boston University School of Public Health.

Professor Rivard has been a Suffolk faculty member since 2008 and he served as Chair of Healthcare Administration from January 2018 through June 2021. As chair, he played a major role in the growth of the department and its programs, including accreditation of the MHA Program, development of a new MHA curriculum, and development of the online MHA Program.

Honors and Recognitions

  • Grants and Contracts, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, 2007-2017
  • Contract, Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute, 2012-2014
  • Grant, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, 2007-2010

Professional Activities

  • Reviewer, Health Care Management Review, Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety, Journal of Healthcare Management, and BMC Health Services Research


Recent Intellectual Contributions

Martelli, P.F., Rivard, P.E., Roberts, K.H. 2018. “Caveats for High Reliability in Healthcare.Journal of Health Organization and Management, 32(5), 674-690.

Mull, H. J., Itani, K. M., Pizer, S. D., Charns, M. P., Rivard, P. E., McIntosh, N., ... & Rosen, A. K. 2018. “Development of an adverse event surveillance model for outpatient surgery in the Veterans Health Administration.Health Services Research, 53(6), 4507-4528.

Shin, M., Rivard, P.E., Shwartz, M., Borzecki, A., Yaksic, E., Stolzmann, K., Zubkoff, L., Rosen, A. 2018. "Tailoring an Educational Program on the AHRQ Patient Safety Indicators to Meet Stakeholder Needs: Lessons Learned in the VA.BMC Health Services Research, 18(1), 114-125.

Mull, H.J., Rosen, A.K., Charns, M., Itani, K. M. F., Rivard, P.E. 2017. “Identifying Risks and Opportunities in Outpatient Surgical Patient Safety: A Qualitative Analysis of Veterans Health Administration Staff Perceptions.Journal of Patient Safety, 17(3), e177-e185.

Sullivan, J.L., Rivard, P.E., Shin, M.H. & Rosen, A.K. 2016. “Assessing Hospital Performance against the High-Reliability Health Care Maturity Model: A VA Case Study.Joint Commission Journal for Quality and Patient Safety, 42(9), 389-411.

Intellectual Contributions

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Courses Taught

HLTH740: Healthcare Management and Human Resources
HLTH820: Healthcare Leadership, Ethics, and Organizational Change
HLTH720: Health Systems II: Economics, Law, and Policy

Degrees/Professional Certifications

  • PhD, Boston College
  • MHSA, University of Michigan
  • BA, Yale College