MHA Students Meet With New Female President of Slovak Republic

On a recent study abroad trip to Eastern Europe (September 28-October 4 ), MHA students met with the newly elected women President of the Slovak Republic on the train ride from Prague to Bratislava. Check out these photos from the trip!

To learn more about the MHA program, and to have invaluable experiences like this and more, visit our website! 

What is “The Scranton Domino Effect”? Alumni Unite for a Common Mission.

Marie Yezzo ’01 calls it “the Scranton domino effect.”

As the vice president for professional support services at WMC-Health, a health care network in the Hudson Valley in New York that serves more than 3.5 million patients, she started hosting graduate students in Scranton’s Master of Health Administration program for their residency training five years ago. And she witnessed one Scranton graduate after another impress the hospital staff and go on to earn a full-time job in departments across the health system.

A few have moved on to other hospitals, but five of those Royals remain: Jack Burtis ’15, G’18, Brittany Drake-Koo G’11, Sahar Malek ’10, G’12, Robert Patella G’17 and Connor Shanahan ’15, G’16, all working alongside Yezzo and Elissa Chessari ’02, who is the vice president of operations for Westchester Medical Center, the network’s flagship hospital. These are just seven of the Scranton alumni at WMCHealth using their Jesuit education to make an impact in health care.

The Mission

For Chessari, the mission of WMCHealth resonates with her values and harks back to her years at Scranton.

“Our mission statement at Westchester Medical Center is to provide the highest quality of care, regardless of ability to pay, and that is what initially drew me (here),” she said. “I suspect that this mission is what attracts and retains so many other Scranton alums.”

Yezzo credits the strong network among Scranton health care administration alumni for bringing each of these graduates to WMCHealth. A biology major with a minor in business while she was an undergraduate at Scranton, Yezzo sees similarities in how both she and her colleagues from Scranton’s MHA program approach their day-to-day work.

“We didn’t all go to school (at Scranton) at the same time or even cross paths until we started working at Westchester Medical Center. I’m not sure if it was coincidence or divine intervention,” she said.

“We use our Scranton educations to treat others, both co-workers and patients, as we would want to be treated. Seeing our impact is the best part. Some of us have been with the organization for more than 10 years. We have been part of major construction projects, programmatic development and various initiatives from design to completion.”

Essential Indirect Care

Although, as administrators, the alumni are not providing direct patient care, each is impacting the lives of patients.

“While most on my team are not involved in direct patient care, we support the bedside care providers,” Chessari said. “We work hard to find enhancements to operational efficiency and improvements in processes and business initiatives, which translates into better patient care and better outcomes.”

Patella works as a financial analyst at Bon Secours Charity Health System, a group of three hospitals that are part of WMCHealth.

“I am helping the organization to reduce labor expenses, manage valuable resources and improve departmental performance,” said Patella, a 2017 MHA graduate. “At Scranton, I learned a lot about time management, personal brand management and managing conflict within a team, which I use in my day-to-day work.”

Burtis helps make decisions that lead to better patient outcomes in his role as a revenue integrity analyst. He earned his MHA from Scranton in 2018, after completing his undergraduate degree in 2015.

“I work alongside our revenue cycle team to improve processes and develop tools to help ensure accurate billing for services provided by our network’s physician group,” he said. “I love the challenge and the novelty of my work. No two days are the same in health care. There are always new challenges that really require you to think and problem-solve on your own.”

Similarly, Shanahan relishes the fast-paced environment in his job as the manager of the outpatient department clinics and AIDS care center.

“Health care is a growing industry, and the connections I made at Scranton allowed me to not only understand the potential opportunity in the field, but also allowed me to capitalize on starting a career in such a fast-paced industry at a great place like Westchester Medical Center,” he said. “Working with the many groups and departments within Westchester Medical Center on a daily basis can be challenging, because everyone has different desires and needs. But remembering that we are all working toward the same goal — providing the best possible patient experience — helps us work together to get the job done.”

The WMCHealth network also employs numerous Scranton graduates from the nursing programs, in addition to these health administration alumni. And their colleagues say the Scranton graduates stand out in their contributions to the health system.

“There is a learning curve for anyone who joins a network of the size and complexity of the WMCHealth,” said Anthony Costello, the senior vice president of professional and support services and the supervisor of many of the Scranton MHA alumni. “We’ve often found degree holders from The University of Scranton well prepared to handle the ever-evolving dynamics of a regional health care provider.”

The Network

As Yezzo pointed out, these Scranton alumni are ready to tackle the challenges in the health care field not only because of their rigorous Jesuit education in health administration but also because of the strength and support of the Scranton network. The Health Administration Alumni Council is a major part of that network.

Active since 2014, the Health Administration Alumni Council has built a thriving mentorship program between alumni and current students while celebrating the professional achievements of its alumni, both informally and with the annual Daniel J. West Award for early career success.

Alumni engage in a LinkedIn group and meet annually at the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE) Congress on Health Care Leadership in Chicago. The council is also involved in planning the Annual Healthcare Symposium on campus in Scranton.

Jonathan Forte ’07, G’09, the vice president of the Health Administration Alumni Council, emphasized how much the alumni council wants to support current students. “Every job that I’ve ever received is a result of some connection that I’ve made as a result of networking or mentorship, and all of that started for me as a student at The University of Scranton — relying on the professional network of my professors and guest speakers and people who felt it important enough to come in and speak and spend their time with current students,” said Forte, who will start a new job in September as senior vice president and chief operating officer of the Choptank Community Health System on the Eastern Shore of Maryland.

Forte said it’s important to share the knowledge these practitioners gain from being in the real world with students, both in Scranton’s undergraduate and graduate programs.

“We want students to have a sense of what being a hospital administrator looks like in today’s health care environment and of applying our Ignatian values learned on campus in health care management,” he said. “This is our opportunity to pay it forward and give back.”


Learn more about the MHA program.

This story was originally published in The Scranton Journal.

Why Our MHA Program Stands Out

Administrative Residency

As part of the MHA curriculum, students have the opportunity to complete a 1,000-hour fieldwork experience in a senior management position. Normally involves exposure to all major operating functions and contacts with department heads, administrative staff, and medical staff. Includes exposure to governing-board functions, governmental forces, and community influences. The resident is assigned projects of increasing complexity and importance and is expected to have an assigned preceptor. A major project is required. The residency is usually completed during two semesters. Prerequisite, 36 core credits completed.

Learn more here.

 

MHA Alumni Council

Mission:

The mission of the Council is to encourage professional development, engage alumni to remain connected to the University, and recommend improvements to advance the University of Scranton’s Health Administration Programs.

Vision:

To advance the Health Administration Program by following St. Ignatius’ spiritual vision and tradition of excellence, while developing an alumni community dedicated to the freedom of inquiry and personal development fundamental to growth in wisdom and integrity of all healthcare professionals.

Learn more here.

Student ACHE Chapter

Mission

Scranton’s ACHE Student Chapter is an independent organization serving the graduate student’s within The University of Scranton’s Health Administration Master’s program.  Our mission is to meet the student’s needs for professional development, leadership growth, and educational advancement; to promote involvement with ACHE, and to sustain and improve the continued excellence of the graduate program.

Vision

To be the premier source for outstanding health administrators and committed to professional development, continuing education, and improving the healthcare industry.

Learn more here.

Study Abroad Opportunities

Since 1995, the Department and MHA Program have developed international partnerships in Central and Eastern Europe and Asia. International faculty give guest lectures in classes, and students are encouraged to expand their global awareness and life experiences with other cultures. Specific coursework in the curriculum offers additional opportunities for students to study and engage in international activities. The MHA program provides graduate students with the option of taking a 3 credit elective course, HAD 517: Global Health Management, a 10-day study abroad experience. Currently, students have the option to travel to Eastern Europe or Brazil. The trip to Eastern Europe runs twice annually in late May and in early October. The study abroad to Brazil runs once in January during intersession.

Learn more here.


Visit the MHA Webpage here!

You got a Degree in Health Administration – Now What?

Recent transformations within the health care industry have given healthcare executives the opportunity to consider more diverse career options. An increase in the shift from medical procedures being done in a hospital setting to them being performed in private practices has created the need for health services administrators to manage these practices as successful businesses.

What is Health Services Administration?

Healthcare administration careers integrate business, policy and science to manage the fiscal and human resources that are necessary to deliver valuable health services.

These services may include:
1.    Managing a clinic’s database
2.    Directing hospital services
3.    Creating budgets for the health department
4.    Designing policies for health insurance companies

If you choose this profession, you could work in resource development, administration or in public or private sectors. Although health services administrators frequently find employment in hospitals and medical centers, there are opportunities in nursing homes, retirement communities, and physician practices.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) lists other facilities where healthcare executives can find employment opportunities, some of which include:

  • Home health agencies
  • Outpatient facilities
  • Healthcare associations
  • Consulting firms
  • Integrated Delivery Systems (IDS)
  • Managed care organizations:
    • Health Maintenance Organizations (HMO)
    • Preferred Provider Organizations (PPO)
  • Research institutions and universities
  • The Public Health Department

Entry and Mid-Level Management Positions:

If you decide on a career in healthcare management, you may begin your career in an entry- or mid-level management position.

This position may concentrate on a specific area, such as:

  • Government relations
  • Finance
  • Human resources
  • Nursing administration
  • Medical staff relations
  • Patient care services

According to a healthcare study, these professionals spend a great deal of time, and place a high value on, problem solving, communicating, collaborations with other disciplines, making decisions, containing costs, and developing their staff’s skills.

Career Options for Health Service Administration Graduates:

1.    The “Traditional” Administrator

Individuals who begin their health administration career with an associate’s degree frequently find employment as traditional administrators. These administrators order supplies and organize schedules. They also navigate medical software to bill patients, access patient records, and perform other management functions.

2.    Assistant Manager/Administrator

An experienced administrator may be given the responsibility of overseeing a facility’s employees, finances, and procedures. This allows health administrators to obtain higher paying positions.

Responsibilities will include:

  • Balancing each department’s budget
  • Managing group practices with numerous locations
  • Reviewing projects

It is also possible to find an assistant manager position with a nonprofit group, a local health agency, as well as with a state or national health agency.

3.    Clinical Research Manager

Reinforcement from scientific advancements has helped the field of clinical research continue to grow. The complexity of clinical research requires coordination of researchers, study participants, physicians and pharmaceutical executives.

Federal oversight measures must also be addressed. Individuals who choose to pursue a degree in health service administration and become clinical research managers must also be proficient with financial management and budget planning.

4.    Social Media Directors, Health Facility Marketing Managers or PR Specialists

Social media campaigns and public relations are a fundamental aspect of the healthcare business. To become a social media director, PR specialist, or health facility marketing manager, health administration students need to study health marketing or health communications.

5.    Nursing Home Administration

To become an administrator in a nursing home, you should consider taking courses in gerontology. Courses such as this can help prepare you for the administration aspect of your career, as well as offer you insight into the special needs of the patients you are helping.

6.    Clinical Leader/Manager

A professional that has knowledge relating to a specific clinical area is referred to as a clinical leader or clinical manager. Specific clinical areas include neonatal care and radiology. Once a clinician earns their health administration leadership degree, they may be hired as a clinical leader in their department.

7.    Health Information Managers

Health information managers are responsible for maintaining and securing patients’ electronic medical records. These managers may also supervise a team of medical coding employees or work with IT professionals to make sure that all the records are legally compliant, accurate, and easily accessible.

The field of healthcare management requires talented individuals who can assist in introducing and managing the many changes that are taking place within the healthcare industry. As a healthcare executive, you can make a substantial contribution to improve the health of the residents in the communities you serve.

______________________________________________________________________________________________________

Learn more about Health Administration at The University of Scranton.

Health Administration Career Guide

The field of healthcare administration is ideal for individuals who are interested in obtaining leadership positions within hospitals, clinics, and other large healthcare facilities. With a career in this field, you will have the opportunity to influence important decisions in healthcare while simultaneously enjoying the intrinsic benefits that come with helping people who are sick or injured.

Hospital Administration Job Basics

As a general overview, there is some fundamental information that is beneficial to learn about a position in hospital administration.

Hospital Administrator Job Description

·        Hospital administrators are responsible for coordinating health and medical services within a healthcare facility, such as a hospital or large clinic. Typical responsibilities for hospital administrators include: Developing research programs Overseeing  the assessment of record keeping related to the facility’s services

·        Representing the facility at board meetings

·        Securing funding and managing the facility’s finances

·        Ensuring that all employees remain up-to-date on regulations and relevant laws

·        Verifying that continuing education of staff meets standards and regulations

Education Requirements

To become a medical administrator, you will need at least a bachelor’s degree; however, to have the greatest possible chance of obtaining employment, it’s best to work toward a Master of Health Administration, Public Administration, or Business Administration. These types of graduate programs provide students with advanced skills in staff leadership, budget development, and business strategy that employers look for when hiring top executives. Completing a two-year master’s program can be the decision that puts challenging and rewarding health administration jobs within reach.

Work Environment

Hospital administrators typically work full-time schedules. Because many of the facilities that employ these medical administrators are open 24 hours a day, hospital administrators are often required to work weekends and overnight. Professionals in this field spend part of the day on their feet, as well as sitting at a desk. During the average day, a hospital administrator will complete paperwork, converse with peers and subordinates, and spend time engaged in planning or decision-making activities.

Salary

PayScale reports that as of July 2015, the typical healthcare administrator salary was approximately $97,000; however, the expected healthcare administration salary may vary based on several factors, including location, experience and the nature of the position. For example, the lowest earners in this field made  approximately $48,000, while the highest earners made more than $177,000 during the same year.

Job Outlook

The BLS reports that the outlook for professionals entering the field of hospital administration is positive. In fact, professionals can expect to see a 23% increase in job openings in this field from 2012 to 2022. This rate is much higher than the national average for all occupations, which is only 11%.

Licensure and Certification

Licensure is rarely required for hospital administrators; it is typically restricted to long-term care providers and to those working in assisted living settings. While the process varies by state, licensure procurement involves:

·        Proof of degree (at minimum, a bachelors is required)

·        Training program completion

·        Completion of a licensure examination

Meanwhile, certification and professional memberships are optional for hospital administrators, but it may enhance your resume and make it easier to find a job. Certifications are required by some hiring entities to ensure that an employee meets a certain level of professional expectation. Certifications must be renewed often, typically on an annual basis.

If you would like to improve your credentials, you can apply for membership with the American College of Healthcare Executives. This organization also offers board certification for ACHE members who meet certain requirements. Requirements for certification include a minimum amount of field experience, a master’s degree, and a passing score on the Board of Governors Examination in Healthcare Management.

Finding a Job in Hospital Administration

After completing graduate school and obtaining your masters degree, it’s time to look for a job. Fortunately, because openings in this field are increasing more rapidly than in most other fields, hospital administrators are in high demand. Below are some resources you can use to find the best possible job in hospital administration:

Professor Connections

Within your masters program, you will find that faculty members are active, experienced, industry professionals. Not only is their real-world experience evident in their pedagogy, their experience is reflected in their ability to provide you with professional recommendations. They can both guide your entry into the workforce as well as facilitate it.

Mentoring Services

While similar to working with professors, mentoring is more one-on-one and typically involves a special professor / pupil relationship in which the professor takes a hands-on-approach in directing the student’s path. If you have a mentor (this might be a favorite professor or even someone within the university’s administrative structure), then you should feel comfortable asking this person for guidance on the types of positions best suited for your abilities, where to find them, resume review, letters of recommendation, etc. as needed.

Professional Associations

There are several prominent healthcare administration organizations. A few of the most notable include:

·        Association for Healthcare Administrative Professionals (AHCAP)

·        American Association of Healthcare Administrative Management (AAHAM)

·        Health Care Administrators Association (HCAA)

It is advised that you start affiliating with an organization while you are in school. Not only are professional organizations valid resources for recent research and professional connections within your area of expertise, they are also sources where job opportunities are regularly posted and updated.

Peer Networking

During your studies, you will likely form relationships with fellow students, some of whom will graduate and who will find employment before you. Peers can give you an idea of what the job market looks like, as well as make recommendations. Further, while you may not live in the same community as a colleague who might favorably recommend you for a position, you can consult your peers regarding their experience entering the workforce. They can advise you on the application and interview process and be a reference source for your application packet if need be.

Local Media

Local newspapers and news websites, including hospital or healthcare organizations’ websites, are additional resources that can assist you in finding available job opportunities in your area.

Job Search Engines

Search engines are useful for helping you find what’s out there. Sites like CareerBuilder.com, Simplyhired.com, Monster.com, Indeed.com, and LinkedIn are useful for casting your net when trying to find employment given that many respectable employers list job opportunities on sites such as these.

American College of Healthcare Executives

The ACHE maintains an online database of job openings in the field of healthcare administration. You can also post your resume on this website to attract potential employers. Both of these services are available at no cost to ACHE members.

Hospital Administration is a meaningful, fulfilling role in the healthcare spectrum. Given that patient populations are expected to rise over the next several years, there is a greater need than ever for qualified, compassionate hospital administrators to run these critical care organizations.

Students pursuing careers in hospital administration have many resources at their disposal for both procuring work but also for advancing professionally. So, if you have the inclination toward healthcare and are looking to advance in terms of position and expertise, then an advanced degree focused on hospital administration is for you.

Click here to learn more about the Health Administration program at The University of Scranton.