5 questions with…health care management professor J.B. Silvers

To fulfill his childhood dream, J.B. Silvers followed in his father’s footsteps and became an engineer. But after a short-lived career in the field, he quickly realized there was more to his life than physics and aerospace engineering.

Thankfully—for the university, for Weatherhead School of Management and for the multitude of area organizations to which he dedicates his time and expertise—Silvers returned to school to follow his true passion: business.

An alumnus of Purdue and Stanford universities, Silvers joined the Case Western Reserve University faculty in 1979, where he’s held a number of roles, most recently as the John R. Mannix/Medical Mutual of Ohio Professor of Health Care Management. His dedication to health care is evident through his outside commitments: serving on boards such as MetroHealth Medical Center, SummaCare Health Plan and The Joint Commission, an organization that accredits 18,000 healthcare organizations around the world.

Learn more about him, from his favorite Cleveland spot to his most-wanted superpowers.

1. What superpower would you most like to have?
Since walking on the ceiling would not be too useful, I would choose perfect insight—there seems to be so little of it in politics, business and (even) academia.

2. What’s your favorite place to dine in Cleveland?
Stone Mad on West 65th Street, just off of Detroit Road in my old neighborhood. The owners transformed an old working-class bar into something really special.

3. When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
By default, I wanted to be an engineer like my Dad. I disassembled and (mostly) reassembled everything in sight. But when I actually became one, I decided I liked to deal with people more than things and went to business school. But I have never regretted my early training. It all fits.

4. What accomplishments are you most proud of—personally and professionally?
My grown kids, my Weatherhead School best teacher award, and helping to make healthcare a little better through my public service.

5. What’s your favorite thing about Case Western Reserve University?
My colleagues and students are great.  I love wrestling with difficult problems until the light of some key insight goes off in class, in my research or in personal relationships. That is the reward of this job—and they even pay me to do it!

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