Students in class at the School of Public Health and Information Sciences
Students in class at the School of Public Health and Information Sciences

Improving the quality of health care in Louisville and beyond is the aim of a new master of science in health administration (MSHA) program at the University of Louisville School of Public Health and Information Sciences. The degree program, approved by the Board of Trustees and Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education, will launch this fall.

“Our school is committed to offering relevant academic programs to better the health of all people, and this new degree will help grow and keep talented leaders in the health services sector,” said Craig Blakely, PhD, MPH, dean, School of Public Health and Information Sciences. “This program also builds perfectly on the recently funded National Science Foundation Center for Health Organization Transformation — many students in the MSHA program will also be engaged in real-time research occurring with local health delivery system partners who may eventually become their employers.”

The Department of Health Management and Systems Sciences designed the MSHA to deepen knowledge of environments, processes, structures and strategies in health care. Students will learn about broad principles and key influences of leading health care organizations. They’ll also examine evidence-based frameworks for strategic leadership and effective management of health care organizations. An analysis of policies that influence population and community health care management also will be part of the curriculum.

“We are continually working to make the University of Louisville a nationally recognized destination for health management and health policy education and research,” said Chris E. Johnson, PhD, chair, Department of Health Management and System Sciences. “Our dedication to population health management, evidenced-based decision making, and disseminating real-time solutions for our health care industry partners makes UofL a great place to study our health care system.”

The MSHA program uses UofL’s Population Health Leadership (PHL) Competency Model, a modified version of the National Center for Healthcare Leadership (NCHL) competency model. Students can expect to complete the 56-credit-hour program in two years. The MSHA is accepting applications for its evening program, with classes beginning at 4 p.m. Once the evening track is underway, the school plans to develop an executive MSHA track to accommodate seasoned health care leaders.

The MSHA is in candidacy status with the Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education (CAHME), the accrediting body for graduate programs in health management in the United States. The school’s initial accreditation site visit for CAHME is this fall.