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Department provides executive level education

MUSC's College of Health Professions has created the new Department of Healthcare Leadership and Management to provide a broader approach to education at an executive level and to prepare health care leaders for the future.

Department chair Jim Zoller, Ph.D., said the change was needed to respond to the challenges of health care reform. The department will improve efficiency in the administration of the college's health administration and leadership academic programs and position the faculty to play a role in assisting institutions to adapt to changes in the health care delivery environment.

MHA students attend an Aramark Manager Grand Rounds via videoconference to learn about fellowship opportunities. For information on the new department, visit

He's excited about how this change will open opportunities and lead to the development of new academic, research and service initiatives.

"Health care delivery is evolving at a rapid rate with the adoption of health care reform. There is a great need for competent administrators and leaders throughout the health care industry. Our vision is to prepare these leaders for the future."

The department combines the Division of Health Administration and Policy with the Division of Healthcare Leadership and Management. It encompasses the Master of Health Administration (MHA) and the Doctor of Health Administration (DHA) programs. Each program takes into account the schedules of executives in the industry and uses the latest technology to bring together students from different parts of the country.

"Our programs enable students to gain a broader view of health systems and take a global approach to the challenges of today's health care leaders."

The Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education accredited the MHA program and the Doctor in Health Administration program comprise the academic components in the Department of Healthcare Leadership and Management.

The MHA program is staffed by 15 faculty, and the program is offered in a two-year, lock-step residential student format that accepts about 35 students each year, as well as an executive student format with approximately 25 students. The executive student format is a blend of on-campus and distance education learning, offering extensive information technology classroom support.

"Because of the recent health care reform laws, and the increase in demand by the baby boomer generation, there are many changes that health administrators, as agents in change, will take the lead in addressing," Zoller said.

Dealing with the demand for services from the baby boomers will require system changes and adaptations led by health administrators. Development of services and modes of delivery will be critical to the increased demand.
Zoller notes five key principles that will guide the department in realizing its vision: Creativity, awareness, quality, communication and caring.

"We strive to be a nationally distinct leader in the field of health care delivery through innovative education by the highest caliber faculty, as well as through research and service."


  • The MHA program, the core of the health administration educational enterprise, is growing. This year 16 out of 37 students in the residential program are out of state.
  • There has been a projected increase of 45.4 percent in medical and health service manager jobs when looking at the years 2008-2018. The breakdown: 21.5 percent ambulatory care, 8.8 percent hospitals, 6.5 percent nursing and residential care facilities.
  • The DHA program was the first of its kind in the country when it was implemented at MUSC in the 1990s.




Friday, March 9, 2012

The Catalyst Online is published weekly by the MUSC Office of Public Relations for the faculty, employees and students of the Medical University of South Carolina. The Catalyst Online editor, Kim Draughn, can be reached at 792-4107 or by email, Editorial copy can be submitted to The Catalyst Online and to The Catalyst in print by fax, 792-6723, or by email to To place an ad in The Catalyst hardcopy, call Island Publications at 849-1778, ext. 201.