"The degree program, approved (Thursday) by the University of Nebraska Board of Regents, will be a leading program in training future leaders in health care management," said Ali S. Khan, M.D., M.P.H., dean of the College of Public Health.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that the number of jobs in health care management positions will grow 17 percent between 2014 and 2024 - a rate 2.8 times faster than the projected average growth rate for other managerial occupations in the U.S. Within Nebraska, labor statistics show that health care management is the second largest field of employment within all management occupations.
"We will help develop the next generation of health administrators to navigate their institutions in an environment of rapidly changing polices, regulations and reimbursement schemes," Dr. Khan said.
The degree program is a collaborative effort of faculty members from UNMC, the University of Nebraska at Omaha College of Business Administration, University of Nebraska at Kearney College of Business and Technology, and University of Nebraska-Lincoln College of Law.
The program was designed with the goal of achieving accreditation by the Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education (CAHME) - the national accreditation body for MHA programs.
Fernando Wilson, Ph.D., associate professor of health services research and administration and acting director of the Center for Health Policy in the UNMC College of Public Health, will manage the program.
"We expect the accreditation process to take up to three years," he said. "Once accredited, UNMC will have the first accredited MHA program in Nebraska." MHA accredited programs in the region are located at the University of Iowa, Des Moines University, St. Louis University, University of Missouri, University of Kansas Medical Center and the University of Minnesota. Three unaccredited MHA programs are in Nebraska.
An MHA degree will provide recent college graduates and early to mid-career health care professionals multidisciplinary education in leadership, collaboration and analytics to prepare for management positions in health care organizations.
"A major goal of the program is to place all graduates with leading health care organizations within Nebraska, across the country and internationally," Dr. Wilson said.
The college will register with CAHME its intent to seek accreditation. CAHME requires 2 years of student data in order to formally apply for accreditation. This is the usual process all programs seeking accreditation must follow. In the meantime, students can say the MHA program is in the process of collecting data to apply for CAHME accreditation. Once accredited, students will be able to say the program is accredited.
How will this affect those of us entering the program and eventually finding jobs that seek someone that received their Master's from an accredited program? If we enroll in the fall, once the program becomes accredited, will those of us who end up graduating before the program's accreditation (in 3yrs), will our Master's degrees carry that accreditation too? If this makes sense :)
This is great!! I'm glad Nebraska can finally have an MHA program - the demand is high.