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WVU now offering master’s in health administration program

In an effort to meet growing healthcare needs across the state, the West Virginia University School of Public Health is now offering a Master of Health Administration, a premier program for those seeking to lead the health systems of the future.

Approved by the WVU Board of Governors on Friday (Nov. 8) and slated to enroll the first cohort in the fall 2020 semester, the MHA program will focus on the organization, delivery and management of healthcare and public health systems and services as it prepares graduates to advance into leadership positions throughout the broader health system.

“This exciting new MHA program offers leading-edge training to help transform the landscape of health systems and services in West Virginia,” said Erik Carlton, MHA director and associate dean in the School of Public Health. “With all the health needs and disparities our state faces and with the many health challenges we confront each day, this opportunity to provide current and future healthcare leaders the best possible education is a game changer.”

The MHA program will address areas critical to success as an administrative leader in the health sector, requiring courses in health services and operations management; leadership and organizational behavior; health policy law and ethics; and health finance and economics, among others. Courses across those disciplines, paired with elective courses, will allow students to specialize in a variety of areas.

“People are seeking out advanced healthcare more than ever before, and as such, it is critical to have well-trained leaders at the helm of hospitals and health systems,” Albert L. Wright, Jr., president and CEO of the West Virginia University Health System, said. “As the holder of an MHA degree myself, I understand the importance of this kind of training program and how invaluable it can be for people who aspire to be healthcare administrators.”

Featuring a robust, practice-based internship component, the program will give students the chance to apply knowledge and skills obtained in the classroom. A variety of placement opportunities are available through the School of Public Health’s numerous local, state and regional partners, and the option to complete the internship with a current employer is available to accommodate students who are working full-time.

Additionally, the new program is taking steps to make courses accessible to those who cannot attend in person in Morgantown.

“This is a program for the entire state and region,” Carlton said. “We want the degree available no matter their location.”

In addition to being equipped to work in a variety of healthcare and public settings, graduates will be exceptionally prepared for post-graduate administrative fellowships.

“As part of our commitment to developing students into well-rounded, public health leaders, we are pleased to make this opportunity available, ” said Jeffrey Coben, dean of the WVU School of Public Health. “This program will undoubtedly give our graduates a competitive edge and launch them into promising careers leading innovative, population health-oriented health systems.”

The Master of Health Administration is a two-year (four semester), full-time program, with part-time options also available. Applicants are currently being accepted for the fall 2020 semester. Learn more about the Master of Health Administration and apply.

About the WVU School of Public Health

The West Virginia University School of Public Health is dedicated to improving the quality of life for West Virginians and all who call Appalachia home. As the only accredited public health program in the state, the School is home to undergraduate and graduate programs in various public health disciplines at the bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral levels. Learn more at publichealth.wvu.edu.

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