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UIC Launches New Program for Healthcare Leaders

UIC Launches New Program for Healthcare Leaders

The University of Illinois at Chicago School of Public Health has launched a new program as part of its Healthcare Administration program. The  Executive Master of Healthcare Administration Program (EMHA) is designed for experienced administrators and clinicians to fill and expand on the key integrative roles between practicing clinicians and administrators within the cohorts healthcare institutions. 

The EMHA Program is aimed to provide the essential leadership to address the complex challenges in the current age, including the economic and political stresses on the healthcare system, and the critical need for major reform that requires leadership insights spanning from intimate patient-physician interaction to complex population-based decision-making.

“Many experienced academic clinicians reach a point in their careers when they find themselves in administrative positions with little or no prior preparation in organizational and leadership skills,” said Paul Brandt-Rauf, Dean of the UIC School of Public Health. “The EMHA is specifically designed to provide such individuals with the requisite skills. This has become increasingly important in the currently rapidly evolving health care business environment where learning on the job by trial and error is no longer a viable strategy.”

Students in the program are practicing clinicians who have a minimum of five years of experience.  In the upcoming cohort, students will include administrators who have had a minimum of eight years of experience. The program requires 16 courses over four semesters that focus on traditional management and leadership education as it applies to the collaboration between clinicians and administrators.

A highlight of the program is the EMHA Special Project, which creates a structured process for students to produce a professional analysis of significant organizational challenges that face the student’s healthcare organization and/or major programmatic initiative being contemplated by the organization. The Special Project is developed by the student or Special Project team throughout the two years of the EMHA program. Each project will have a faculty mentor from the UIC School of Public Health within the division of Health Policy and Administration.

The ability to do a hands-on practical project as part of the course is also a plus for the physicians. Current student, Dr. Anand Kumar, for example, has chosen to do a project integrating behavioral health in a large academic medical center—that is, at the UIC College of Medicine. “Running a behavioral health program would be easier if it were purely a clinical setting,” he said. “But for this project, I need to bring together trainees, research, basic science and clinical work. There are a variety of competing elements.”

Given the unique characteristics of the healthcare industry, particularly the intimate nature of the services provided to each patient, the need for the integration of clinical and executive insights has no parallel in any other industry. While the program was initially developed for experienced practicing clinicians, the program will be broadened to include non-clinician health care managers of an appropriate degree of experience in Spring 2017. Administrators and clinicians are often educated separately, but in today’s healthcare environment, complex problems require them to work together.  By integrating them into the same program, they can develop skills to work inter-professionally. With over 40 years of work in the communities of public health and over 10 years of producing healthcare administrators through the traditional Master of Healthcare administration; the UIC School of Public Health and the division of Health Policy and Administration recognized this need for change to the program and are excited to welcome in the new cohort of students.

Anthony Tardi, PharmD, a current student in the program said he would recommend this program to leaders interested in advancing their career.  "And to those who are curious about healthcare developments that occur outside of their facility, as well as to those who are interested in creating everlasting relationships with their peers.”

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