Common Mission Builds Lasting Relationship


The nearly 30-year relationship between The University of Scranton’s Panuska College of Professional Studies’ Health Administration Program and St. Elizabeth University of Health and Social Work and Trnava University, Slovak Republic, has resulted in numerous faculty and student exchanges that have benefited both the education of health care providers and the care of patients across the globe.From left, University of Scranton President Rev. Scott R. Pilarz, S.J., met with Most Reverend Viliam Judak, Bishop of the Diocese of Nitra, Slovak Republic, and Monsignor Martin Stofko, Diocese of Nitra, Slovak Republic, during a recent visit to Scranton.

 

Castles built in stone will surely last longer than those made of sand. The same can be true of relationships. Those built on a solid foundation, such as a shared mission, would surely be best suited to stand the test of time.

For nearly 30 years, The University of Scranton has enjoyed just such a relationship with St. Elizabeth University of Health and Social Work, a Catholic college in Bratislava, Slovak Republic, and Trnava University, Trnava, Slovak Republic.

A recent visit to Scranton by Most Reverend Viliam Judak, Bishop of the Diocese of Nitra, Slovak Republic, and Monsignor Martin Stofko, Diocese of Nitra, Slovak Republic, highlights the common foundation and strong bonds shared by Scranton and St. Elizabeth University and Catholic church in the former communist state.

“St. Elizabeth University was created as a private Catholic university so that they could serve the poor both in Slovakia and also communities external to Slovakia,” said Daniel J. West Jr., Ph.D., professor and chair of Scranton’s Department of Health Administration and Human Resources.

St. Elizabeth University offers bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral level education in numerous health related fields and has more than 40 science-pedagogical facilities in more than 20 countries. The partnership between the Panuska College of Professional Studies’ Health Administration Program and the Catholic institution has brought numerous faculty and student exchanges that have benefited both the education of health care providers and the care of patients across the globe.

In addition to its educational mission, St. Elizabeth University actively serves the sick and poor irrespective of the race, nationality and religious orientation, in the Slovak Republic, as well as through its health, humanitarian, social, charitable and missionary facilities in Ukraine, Cambodia, Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda, Sudan, Nairobi, Haiti and a dozen other countries.

Scranton – with a commitment to provide a transformational educational experience to our students that is engaged, integrated and global – has partnered with St. Elizabeth’s to provide experiences abroad for our Master in Health Administration (MHA) students.

“When I first started at Scranton a few decades ago, less than 1 percent of our students traveled abroad,” said Dr. West. “Now about 25 percent of students do. We need to have the relationships to allow this to happen with partners we trust. It’s the human element that is so important.”

Dr. West said the relationship with St. Elizabeth has developed “block by block” over time, recalling that the University though its numerous efforts in Haiti, introduced St. Elizabeth University to the many needs of the poor of the that nation. Subsequently, St. Elizabeth’s has started two health care projects in Haiti, one in the north and one in the south.

“I went to Haiti to help with the children,” said Monsignor Stofko. “I also went to Kenya and Uganda. This is the way we continued to work with the University and work with the students.”

Dr. West said the University has worked “hand-in-hand” with St. Elizabeth’s and the Church in Slovakia. This relationship extends to publishing, research and international presentations. Faculty from Slovakia contributed to four chapters of Dr. West’s most recent book “The Global Healthcare Manager: Competencies, Concepts and Skills.”

But, Dr. West said it is the students that ultimately benefit the most from the relationship.

“Each time our MHA students visit St. Elizabeth’s in Bratislava, we also visit some area around the city. One area we always visit is Nitra and when we visit, the Bishop invites us to his table, which is really in a very large castle. He allows us to tour a museum that not everyone has the chance to see,” said Dr. West.

This year, two groups of MHA students will travel to St. Elizabeth’s in the spring semester.

Students will see first-hand the lasting strength of castles built of stone – and of partnerships formed on a solid foundation.


Learn more about the MHA program 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.

Want to Make a Difference with your Career?

Start a Career as a Hospital Administrator

The future is bright for those who want careers in hospital administration. Due to increasing demand for hospitals, clinics and treatment centers to provide quality care for a larger number of people, hospital administration jobs are growing in quantity. The industry is currently competitive, with hospitals working to earn and keep the qualified candidates they hire. Salaries are booming, with plenty of promotion potential through a career as a medical administrator. Health care management requires a great deal of skill and education from applicants; qualifications typically acquired during an Master’s of Health Administration program. Graduates can expect a challenging career that makes a genuine enhancement in the quality of people’s lives.

High Demand

The field of hospital administration is due to expand fairly significantly in the next several years. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) gives two reasons for this increase. First, people of the Baby Boomer generation are now in their 50s and 60s. As they get older, their health care needs will grow. Second, the BLS observes that hospitals need trained health care administrators to streamline processes and manage daily functions so that medical staff can meet the higher demand for preventive care and treatment. Since many aging people expect to live longer, healthier lives at home, their need for facilities that provide care outside of a nursing home will also increase.

Salary Expectations

As demand for health care administrators increases, so does the competition for qualified managers.  The BLS maintains data on average salaries in the field. As medical and health services management changes to meet upcoming needs for quality improvement in processes, salary grows. In 2012, the median hospital administrator salary was $88,580 per year. By 2014, that number had increased to a median hospital administration salary of $92,810 per year. While these numbers represent a median of all health care managers in various clinics, treatment centers and hospitals, the pay between facility types can be quite disparate.

Someone working as a medical administrator in a nursing home brings home a mean salary of $85,730 per year, while someone in management at a specialty hospital can expect an average $116,640 per year for a hospital administrator salary. In short, this is a field with a great deal of salary potential and growth opportunities.

Assessing the Field

People are sometimes surprised by the sheer size of the hospital economy in the United States. In its annual survey, the American Hospital Association records a total of 5,686 hospitals in the U.S, of which about half are not-for-profit community hospitals. While these numbers might not be particularly impressive, data on the accessibility and use of these hospitals shows the increasing need for hospital administrator jobs. In all these hospitals, there are 914,513 staffed beds. Each year, people are admitted to U.S. hospitals over 35 million times. The expenses for all U.S. hospitals total about $859 billion, which explains the pressure on hospital administration to make processes more efficient and eliminate unnecessary waste.

Educational Requirements and Skills

To land a job in health services as a medical administrator, applicants are encouraged to pursue a Master’s of Health Administration degree. In their studies, prospective health care administrators are expected to cover a variety of subjects, including accounting, human resources, ethics, law, and health administration. This broad spectrum helps to describe the kind of skills and knowledge that hospital administrator jobs require.

In particular, applicants must be current on all topics and trends in health care administration, adept in their use of technology, detail-oriented, engaged in problem solving, and comfortable in a leadership role. Some hospitals give preference to prospective administrators who also hold a nursing degree or medical degree, but this additional education is not typically compulsory. With a combination of training and experience, people who work in hospital administration can enhance the way hospitals are run.

Responsibilities

Based on the skills described, the hospital administrator job description can be quite broad, depending on the size and needs of the particular institution. However, most people who take a job as a health care administrator need not worry that they will be expected to do everything related to hospital administration on a daily basis. Rather, it means that those who want hospital administrator jobs have a wide assortment of potential departments and positions to choose from, including:

  • accounting
  • finance
  • insurance
  • medical records administrator
  • health information technology

Depending on the demands of the job and the 24-hour nature of hospital work, people may be expected to work nights, weekends, or irregular shifts. Employees in the industry with a great deal of talent and experience along with a good work ethic may eventually be promoted as a health administration executive.

Certifications Available

While professional certifications are not necessarily required in a hospital administrator job description, there are a few certifications available in the hospital administration industry. Anyone who wishes to become a medical administrator in a nursing care facility must maintain a license in accordance with their state.

In addition, the Professional Association of Health Care Office Management offers two certifications, the Certified Medical Manager and the Health Information Technology Certified Manager. The first certifies a person to act as a health care administrator in a sole provider clinic, while the second notes that the certification holder has demonstrated expertise in a variety of health care technology systems, a vital skill for the industry.

The American College of Health Care Administrators provides two certifications for management of nursing care facilities, including Certified Nursing Home Administrator and Certified Assisted Living Administrator. These certifications can be used toward state licensing requirements.

Optional Fields

Many professionals in health administration careers ultimately choose to work in a hospital, but not all. Since there are several different types of facilities and industries who make products or provide health care services and treatment to individuals, all kinds of businesses and institutions need qualified health care administrators. There are also medical administrator jobs in the following fields:

  • pharmaceutical manufacturing
  • nursing home management
  • private clinic management
  • home health care management
  • consulting

The appeal for varied institutions that can provide care to all different kinds of patients with a range of needs means that specialized facilities will continue to grow. At the rate the industry is booming, people can search for the job that really speaks to them, in an area that more accurately suits their career goals and expectations.

Improving Quality of Care

The major increase in demand for hospital administration jobs comes largely from reforms to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). This government institution created a new set of standards in 2005 as a means to ensure that hospitals were maintaining high standards for patient care and case management. The federal government cannot dictate how privately-owned hospitals are run, but CMS can deny reimbursement for treatment for Medicare and Medicaid patients for hospitals and clinics that do not meet CMS quality standards. CMS requires that relevant health care facilities provide evidence that they meet specific benchmarks for medical records management, patient data acquisition, and long-term health care outcomes.

Power to Change Lives

Changing standards for hospital efficiency and patient outcomes means that hospital administrators have more power than ever to change lives.

The American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE) notes that the industry is likely to change and grow over the years. Despite mergers and acquisition of institutions and facilities within the field of health care, the need for effective hospital management remains strong. In a recent study by ACHE, health care executives observed that management needs and opportunities at freestanding hospitals are steadily increasing in number and importance. This change demonstrates the awesome power medical administrators have to influence people’s lives, because the day-to-day business of the clinic, treatment center, or hospital improves people’s health and their ability to function in their normal lives.

Job Satisfaction

Ultimately, satisfaction in hospital administration jobs is dependent on the person who holds the position. However, the evidence shows that a medical administrator can select from all different kinds of jobs at a growing variety of institutions. They command a salary and industry growth rate much higher than the national average. As a result, people in these positions retain more power over their career paths for the duration, whether they wish to be promoted into a position as a health care executive or have ambitions to make more lateral moves into other relevant industries.

Those who wish to hold a job in business management can choose almost any industry they like. However, as the health care field of hospital administration continues to advance, the number of hospital administration jobs also grows. Hospitals need college graduates with the skills to change processes and improve efficacy and quality of care. To do this, students need a Master’s of Health Administration, experience in the industry, and the desire to make an impact on health care. This education and experience prepares graduates for one of the many jobs available in health care administration. Whether applicants choose to become a medical records administrator or they have their sights set on a health care executive position, they know that they are helping people to live better lives.

 

To learn more about the Master’s of Health Administration program at The University of Scranton, click here.

Stay Sustainable, Stay Relevant

The University of Scranton’s Master in Health Administration (MHA) program was nationally recognized by The Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education (CAHME) and Canon Solutions America for its sustainability initiatives in the context of corporate responsibility and Jesuit pedagogy. The University’s MHA program received the prestigious CAHME/Canon Award for Sustainability in Healthcare Management Education and Practice at the March 25th CACHE Congress in Chicago.

Each year, CAHME recognizes excellence in graduate healthcare management education with CAHME- accredited programs and in partnership with leading healthcare organizations. These valued programs are recognized for driving innovation, improving the student experience, and expanding the presence of graduate healthcare management education. Now in its second year, the CAHME/Canon Solutions America Award for Sustainability in Healthcare Management Education and Practice focuses on recognizing universities that are committed to pushing public health forward through dynamic and diverse sustainability-driven activities with proven results.

The University MHA program links sustainability with social justice, public health, and health disparities through alumni engagement, international experiences, and community project work.

“Global and environmental health issues are complex and universities teaching future leaders in healthcare, as well as corporations serving in this field, have a responsibility to ethically and effectively address health issues. As educators at a Jesuit university, we take this responsibility very seriously and are deliberate in our efforts to teach our students to be leaders in addressing issues of social justice and sustainability in order to better serve all people, and especially to care for those who are the most vulnerable,” said Debra Pellegrino, Ed.D., dean of the Panuska College of Professional Studies, which houses the health administration program at Scranton. “We are grateful CAHME and Canon are taking the lead in recognizing sustainability in health administration programs with this award, which is so important for the future of healthcare, and we are honored that the University was selected to receive the 2018 award.”

“We are so grateful for Canon’s support of this award, as it recognizes programs that are advancing the quality of graduate healthcare management education,” said Anthony Stanowski, DHA, president and CEO of CAHME in a news release announcing the award. “Canon is an important partner in this work.”

“It’s an honor to announce The University of Scranton Master in Health Administration as our 2018 Sustainability in Healthcare award winner,” said Peter Kowalczuk, president of Canon Solutions America. “Together with CAHME, we are truly committed to helping improve the quality in academic healthcare management education and promoting continuous evolution in the preparation of future healthcare leaders. Canon Solutions America congratulates The University of Scranton on this great achievement and we look forward to their program pushing personal and professional growth for its students while embracing diversity in the health education community.”

According to CAHME, the mission of the University’s master in health administration program helped to secure the award. The program’s mission is to provide local, regional and international students a comprehensive and interdisciplinary set of core competencies and values for health administration jobs in a variety of healthcare organizations. Additionally, the program contributes scholarship to its disciplines, especially applied research, publications and presentations.

The innovative curriculum of the University’s MHA program includes a “Fit for the Profession” component to ensure readiness for profession, said Steven Szydlowski, D.H.A., program director of the University’s MHA program. In addition, sustainability components imbedded in the curriculum include administrative residency project for sustainability in healthcare as part of the program’s 8-credit Administrative Residency course (HAD 581), which is required course for all MHA students. Dr. Szydlowski said projects cover global, environmental, financial, social sustainable issues and involve developing and implementing a sustainability project in an applied healthcare setting. Elements of sustainability are also addressed in other elective courses, as well as through other initiatives such as study abroad experiences.

To learn more about the MHA Program at the University of Scranton, click here.

CAHME is an interdisciplinary group of educational, professional, clinical, and other health sector organizations devoted to quality improvement of education for healthcare management and administration professionals. Additionally, CAHME accreditation establishes the standard of measurement of graduate healthcare management education for the world community.