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MHA

Master of Health Administration in Health Policy and Management

The MHA program offers students a competency-based curriculum and an array of professional development resources and activities to prepare graduates for managerial roles in health care systems and networks, managed care, health insurance, and long-term care organizations. The broad curriculum provides students with a foundation of knowledge, analytical and communication skills, and core values for ongoing career growth and professional and leadership development. Upon completion of the MHA program, our graduates obtain post-graduate fellowships or full-time employment in hospitals, academic medical centers, physician practices, long-term care facilities, health plans, and consulting firms.

MHA Program Mission, Vision, Values, and Goals

Mission - The mission of the Masters in Health Administration (MHA) Program is to provide students with the competencies necessary for early to mid-level management positions and provide the foundation for subsequent professional development, leadership and executive management in organizations involved in the delivery or financing of health care services. The Program’s curriculum is based on evidence-based practice enriched by the research activity of the faculty. 

Vision - The Program strives to be the premier provider of graduate level health management education in partnership with health care organizations of national prominence.

Values - The core values of the Program are: Professionalism, Life-long Learning and Commitment to Excellence. 

Goals - Consistent with the Mission and Vision Statements and Core Values stated above  the following broad goals have been established for the Program as the foundation for its strategic planning process and commitment to continuing improvement.  These are presented in recognition of our need to be responsive to a fast-changing, complex health care environment and accelerated competition among health care management programs internationally.

The mission of Pitt’s MHA Program is achieved through the following synergistic goals consistent with the traditional academic pursuits of teaching, research, and community service:

  1. To provide a master's level educational program that develops competencies, skills, and knowledge necessary for early to mid-level management positions and provides the foundation for subsequent professional development, leadership and executive management of organizations delivering and/or financing health care services.
  2. To conduct research pertinent to health management and policy and to encourage active dissemination and application of this research into the program curriculum and into practice.
  3. To promote service contributions of faculty and students, especially those that allow them to develop greater understanding of current issues in the health sector and to increase professional capability in addressing them.  

Specific objectives associated with these broad goals are listed below for the planning period, Academic Years 2013-2015. Progress on these goals will be reviewed and assessed periodically within our governance structure including the Executive, Curriculum, Admission and Placement and Professional Development Committees. On a biannual basis a progress report of the Program will be presented to the National Advisory Committee (NAC) from the perspective of the mission, vision, values, goals and measurable objectives. Student competencies are also assessed individually by the Residency Preceptors as well as the faculty in each required course.

 Academic (Educational) Objectives

 Enrollment:

  1. Achieve a matriculating cohort of at least 20 new students each year to maintain an ongoing enrollment of approximately 40-45 students. 
  2. Increase and maintain the quality of our matriculating students using the quantitative metrics of undergraduate QPA, GRE percentiles, and years of relevant experience in health care or related employment or volunteer service prior to admission. Specifically we want to achieve a mean GPA of 3.2 to 3.5 and Verbal and Quantitative GREs at the 60th percentile.
  3. Maintain a diverse student population on the basis of gender, ethnicity, color, nationality and in-state/out-of-state balance

Academic Achievement:

  1. Our students will demonstrate a pattern of progress toward attainment of the  Program competencies as measured by the following:
    1. Achieving a GPA of 3.25 (B+) or better  upon graduation
    2. .At least 70% of our students earn Honors grades from their preceptors in the Management Residency Program.
    3. Improvement in mastery of the competencies as indicated by comparison of the student’s initial Self-Assessment with the Self-Assessment completed at the end of the Program prior to graduation.
  2. At least one student each year receives recognition in our GSPH Dean’s Day Awards ceremony.
  3. At least one student annually submits a paper based on her/his Applied Management Study (Master’s Essay) to an appropriate journal for publication. 
  4. Sustain our commitment to supporting a student team annually in the Health Administration Case Competition sponsored by the University of Alabama at Birmingham to achieve recognition of honorable mention or better.

Placement and Career Development:

  1. At least 20% of our graduates are accepted for nationally competitive Administrative or Operational Fellowships.
  2. All (100%) of our first year students are matched and placed in relevant Management Residency positions , including placements outside the Region.
  3. Within six months of graduation, 90% of our graduates are placed in appropriate managerial or professional positions in health care or public health.
  4. At least 75% of the respondents to an Employers’ Survey report having a favorable opinion of our Program overall and of our graduates, specifically. 

Institutional Development:

  1. By 2015, the Program will increase the available funding for student financial assistance from external donors by 25% annually.
  2. The Program, in collaboration with the NAC, will initiate a strategy for funding an endowed chair in Health Management  

Research and Publication Objectives:

  1. Faculty will maintain active programs of research and publication appropriate for their career goals, professional interests and expertise and consistent with the priorities of a research-oriented University.
  2. Two articles addressing health management education AND/OR leadership development are submitted to peer-reviewed journals annually. 
  3. At least two faculty members submit papers, participate in panel discussions or poster presentation at a national conference annually.

Community Service Objectives:

  1. Faculty will engage in at least one relevant service activity appropriate to their career goals and consistent with University, School, Department and Program level missions and values, e.g., serving on governing Boards of health-related organizations, governmental advisory committees and foundations, pro bono consulting to community-based and other nonprofit organizations, etc.
  2. Students will be encouraged to participate in at least one community service project annually as coordinated by HPMA officers. 

Careers

Recent graduates hold the following positions:
  • administrative fellow
  • compliance manager
  • management consultant
  • associate
  • clinical program coordinator
  • project coordinator
  • financial analyst
  • medical resident

Recent Essay Titles

  • Sustaining a Pediatric Burn Program in an Adult Care Hospital: A Case Study of UPMC Mercy
  • Reducing Patient Wait Times in the Surgical Unit: Applying Basic Six Sigma Methodology
  • Infection Control in Nursing Homes
  • The Importance of Pay-For-Performance for Providers in Healthcare
  • Implementing A Culture of Change: Gaining Employee Acceptance for the Use and Application of Productivity Algorithms
  • The Role of Telehealth in the US Healthcare System

Competencies

Click here for MHA Competency Model
Graduates will be able to...
  • Assess their own professional strengths and weaknesses relative to the HPM Competency Model based on criteria from National Center for Healthcare Leadership (NCHL) competencies and ACHE competencies used as the basis for Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education (CAHME) accreditation upon completion of their Management Residency or Practicum
  • As part of their preparation for the world of practice and prior to the initiation of their job search, students will be prepared to: 
    a) enhance their professionalism and employment prospects by developing a professional portfolio. 
    b) develop more effective interviewing and self-marketing skills by participating in mock job interviews by telephone and in-person. 
    Both these capabilities address the HPM Competency Model of Communication Skills (L6), Impact and Influence (L10) and Relationship Building (L21)
  • Enhanced analytic competencies and tools by strengthening the quantitative/analytical components of the curriculum. The changes include adding a required coursed in cost-effectiveness analysis (HPM 2220), and increasing the rigor of the financial management sequence (HPM 2012/2014). Students have the options of substituting BIOST 2041/2042 sequence (6 crs.) for BIOST 2011 (3 crs.), and/or enrolling in the newly-created Health Systems Engineering Certificate.
  • Plan, design, implement and present as applied study in organization management (MHA) of professional quality and potentially publishable. Not only will this product satisfy the required Master's Essay, it should be a useful component of their professional portfolio.

National Council on Administrative Fellowships (NCAF)

Pitt is a proud member of the National Council on Administrative Fellowships (NCAF) and has agreed to comply with the NCAF code of good practice. NCAF is an organization of fellowship programs and graduate programs in healthcare management who are working together to continuously improve early-career development opportunities for our next-generation healthcare leaders.

Measures of Student Achievement

2014-15

  • 23 Graduates
  • 100% Graduation Rate
  • 6 post-graduate Management Fellowships
  • 87% Employed after 3 months of graduation
  • $65,000 median salary within first year of employment
Employers:
  • Allscripts, Raleigh, NC
  • UPMC Health Plan, Pittsburgh, PA
  • The Western Pennsylvania Hospital, Pittsburgh, PA
  • Cigna Health Spring – Nashville, TN
  • Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh and UPMC
    Clinical Translation and Science Institute, Pittsburgh, PA
  • The Advisory Board, Washington, DC
  • Jewish Association on Aging, Pittsburgh, PA
  • VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System, Pittsburgh, PA
  • Gateway Health Plan, Pittsburgh, PA
  • VA Pittsburgh, VISN 4, Pittsburgh, PA
  • PNC Bank, Pittsburgh, PA
Fellowships:
  • OhioHealth, Columbus, OH
  • UPMC Physician Serv. Div. Pittsburgh, PA
  • Lehigh Valley Health Network, Allentown, PA
  • University of Wisconsin Health System, Madison, WI
  • UPMC Financial Management Rotation Program, Pittsburgh, PA

Note: Some employers hired more than one graduate.

2011-12

  • 13 Graduates
  • 92% Graduation Rate (one student decided to transfer to another school)
  • 85% Employed after 3 months of graduation 
Employers:
  • The Children’s Institute, Pittsburgh, PA
  • West Virginia University Healthcare, Morgantown, WV
  • MediMedia, Yardley, PA
  • Accenture, Calgary Canada
  • Harvard Vanguard, Boston, MA
  • Cataract and Laser Institute, Pittsburgh, PA
  • MedStar Harbor Hospital, Baltimore, MD
  • UPMC, Pittsburgh, PA
  • Decision Strategies International, Inc. Philadelphia, PA
Fellowships:
  • The Mayo Clinic, Phoenix, AZ
  • VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System, Pittsburgh, PA
  • UPMC Passavant, Pittsburgh, PA

Note: Some employers hired more than one graduate.

Requirements

  • 60 credits of coursework and essay research
  • Coursework in health policy and management
  • Coursework in public health foundations
  • Advanced coursework in organizational studies and management
  • On-site management residency in a healthcare organization
  • Advanced thesis research and coursework in an area of focus

Contacts

Wesley Rohrer
Vice chair, education
Director, MHA Program
A649 Crabtree Hall
412-624-2743
wmrun@pitt.edu

Jessica Dornin
Recruitment and academic services coordinator
A668 Crabtree Hall
412-624-3625
jld115@pitt.edu

© 2016 by University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health

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