Those who may want a career in the health care industry but don't want to be a doctor, nurse or physician assistant may want to consider a master’s degree for health care executives.
The Cal State Long Beach (CSULB) Accelerated Health Care Administration (HCA) master’s degree program is one of four Commission on Accreditation Healthcare Management Education (CAHME)--accredited programs in the state and the only M.S. degree among these programs.
Developed by a team of faculty and health care professionals, the CSULB program prepares students for administrative positions in hospitals, managed care organizations, mental health and long-term care settings, multi-institutional system central offices, governmental health agencies and other health related organizations.
“Our graduates are employed primarily in hospitals and networks and HMOs with a small number of them working at public health facilities, clinics and physician practices,” said Tony Sinay, professor and chair of CSULB's Department of Health Care Administration. “Although this is a relatively new program, just started in 2004, these graduates are already holding highly desirable positions to increase the visibility of the HCA program.”
The CSULB program already has built a good reputation. In fact, it was recently ranked 19th in the nation by Modern Healthcare on its list of "Top Business Graduate Schools for Physician Executives." The only California institutions ranked higher were San Diego State and UCLA. Modern Healthcare is a weekly business publication delivering news and information to executives in the health care industry.
“Our accelerated master’s degree program in health care administration draws applicants primarily from hospitals and networks, HMOs, public health facilities, and clinics and physician practices. In addition to physicians, nurses and other clinicians, the program admits a large number of management staff, which includes senior members of management teams in local health care organizations,” said Sinay.
Subject areas include the analysis of the U.S. health care system, management and organizational behavior of health care organizations, economic and financial aspects of health administration, strategic planning and marketing, public policy, and ethical and legal aspects of health care management. The curriculum combines online and face-to-face weekend instruction which allows students to juggle work and integrate professional experiences into their academic studies.
“I am the administrator at Association of South Bay Surgeons in Torrance. We are a group of 15 general, vascular and bariatric surgeons,” noted Jenny Tomka, a student in the program. “I manage more than 60 employees in four locations and am responsible for the daily operations of our company. Additionally, I oversee all human resources, credentialing, payroll and IT functions for the office.”
Tomka said her experience in CSULB's Health Care Administration Program has exceeded all of her expectations. "I find the most beneficial aspect is the fact that many of the professors are currently working in the field," she explained. "The classes we are taking are current and with the state of the health care industry changing rapidly, the fact that our professors are on the front lines gives us an advantage over other programs.
“The other factor that has made a difference for me is the breadth of the education we are exposed to," she continued. "The program covers every aspect of health care administration from finance to IT to management of people. The wealth of information provided makes me feel prepared to enter into any area of health care.”
When she completes the program, Tomka hopes to continue on her current path as an administrator of a private practice. She plans to use her CSULB education to support her daily experiences and challenges. She said she believes she has more knowledge to offer any employer she works for because of the CSULB's Health Care Administration Program.
For more information, contact Natalie Whitehouse-Capuano, the accelerated program coordinator at 562/985-5414 or firstname.lastname@example.org; Deby McGill, Health Care Department coordinator, at 562/985-5694 or email@example.com.
CAHME, an interdisciplinary group of educational, professional, clinical, and commercial organizations is devoted to accountability and quality improvement of education for healthcare management and administration professionals. CAHME serves the public by promoting, evaluating, and improving the quality of graduate health care management education in the United States and Canada.
It is the only organization recognized to grant accreditation to individual academic programs offering a professional master's degree in health care management education and is recognized by the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education for programs and the Council on Higher Education Accreditation.