Case Competitions: Applying Classroom Learning to Real Life Problem Solving

Anthony Stanowski (left) and Ken Hanover.

Last week I had the pleasure of participating in the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s annual Health Administration Case Competition. (At left, I am standing with Ken Hanover, one of the competition judges. Ken has had a long and distinguished career as a healthcare CEO in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Massachusetts.)

This is the twelfth year the University has sponsored the competition and I’ve had the privilege to observe many of them. The UAB competition is open only to students from CAHME-accredited programs.

Seeing the young people who take part in case competitions always makes me feel optimistic about the future of healthcare. The young people who participate in these competitions bring an energy and zeal that suggests they will approach their future positions in healthcare administration in the same way.

More importantly, the case competitions ask these students to develop solutions to real-world problems. The teams are judged by executives from around the United States in different aspects of healthcare. In the UAB competition, students were asked to develop strategies for a rural Tennessee hospital, Jellico Community Hospital (JCH), faced with need to create a sustainable market position by aligning with community needs.

The winning team from the University of Minnesota, from left: Jake Staley, Andrew Lamprecht, and Katherine Klingel; with Christy Harris Lamak, Chair, Department of Health Services Administration at UAB.

The University of Minnesota MHA Program won the competition, followed by Rush University and Johns Hopkins University. The Minnesota team focused on how JCH can increase operational efficiency and profitability through addressing key opportunities for improvement: Clinical Documentation Improvement (CDI) and Revenue Cycle Management.  Through focusing on the community, partnership with other providers, and a primary care physician focus was seen as essential to increase care coordination and drive stakeholder benefits. Through their recommendations, the team sought to have JCH adapt and maximizes its value to the community, becoming an asset in an increasingly value-based world.

The CAHME web site maintains a list of the major healthcare management case competitions in which CAHME-accredited

Rush University participants (from left) Katherine Koo, Gwen Ledford, and Ariann Ippensen during the preliminary round of case presentations.

programs take part, and includes winners of 2017 and 2018 (to date), and a schedule of the remaining competitions in 2018.

Congratulations to all the students who participate in the UAB Case Competition;  the hard work they put into the preparation of the case will help them prepare for their goal of serving others through healthcare.  Thanks to the judges who participated who work to preserve a longstanding tradition of our profession in giving back and mentoring younger people.  Finally, a special shout out to the University of Alabama at Birmingham Department of Health Services Administration for their commitment to advancing the quality of graduate healthcare management education.

Anthony Stanowski, DHA, FACHE
President & CEO

CAHME at 50: What’s Ahead for our Next Fifty Years?

Anthony Stanowski, DHA, FACHE

This year marks the 50th anniversary for the Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education—a remarkable achievement that we’ve attained because of visionary leaders in the past and the dedication of CAHME’s academic, healthcare, and corporate partners who believe in the value of healthcare management education and what it contributes to the health of our nation.

This summer, CAHME will celebrate this milestone with a special 50th anniversary celebration and panel discussion to be held on Tuesday, June 12 at the Loews Hotel in Philadelphia. Our panel discussion will bring together industry leaders and experts to explore the question: What three steps must CAHME, its accredited programs, and the profession take to ensure another 50 years of advancing the quality of healthcare management education?

Our panelists will include:

  • Gerald Glandon, PhD, president & CEO of the Association of University Programs in Health Administration;
  • Carla Smith, FHIMSS, executive vice president of the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society;
  • Richard Snyder, MD, chief medical officer of Independence Blue Cross;
  • Rulon Stacey, PhD, FACHE, managing director of Navigant; and
  • Christine C. Winn, FACHE, senior vice president of the MD Anderson Cooper Cancer Institute

I am also very grateful for the support of:

Because of their generosity, this event is FREE and open to all attendees of the AUPHA Annual Meeting in Philadelphia and healthcare executives and healthcare management students in the greater Philadelphia region.

Registration is required and space is limited, so I hope you will register today.

Anthony Stanowski
President and CEO

CAHME Boot Camp Will Get You in Shape for Accreditation

Anthony Stanowski, DHA, FACHE

The CAHME Boot Camp is a great opportunity to get the latest on CAHME accreditation standards and details on the accreditation process. It’s considered a “must attend” event for programs at all stages of the accreditation process.

This year’s Boot Camp will focus on new competency-based education standards that were introduced in 2017. We revamped the curriculum to better align with the needs of programs approaching first-time accreditation, programs going for re-accreditation, and those that need a refresher on accreditation standards. The session is highly interactive, focusing on technical instructions and hands-on practice. You will leave knowing more and being better prepared!

Dan Gentry presenting at last year’s CAHME Boot Camp.

I am grateful for our outstanding Boot Camp instructors, Daniel Gentry, PhD, MHA, clinical professor and MHA program director from the Department of Health Management and Policy at the University of Iowa College of Public Health and Kevin D. Broom, PhD, associate professor of health policy and management, and director the MHA and MHA/MBA programs at the Graduate School of Public Health at the University of Pittsburgh. Daniel and Kevin are deeply knowledgeable about accreditation and will help you fully understand the new criteria and how programs can best comply.

The Boot Camp will be held on Sunday, March 25 in Chicago, at 8:00 am to 5:00 pm, right before ACHE Congress that begins the next day. A ticket to the Boot Camp includes admission to the special CAHME Awards luncheon, where attendees will learn how five programs have advanced graduate healthcare management education.

I encourage you not to miss the Boot Camp. Registering today will ensure you get your spot.  Space is limited, and only a handful of openings remain.

Anthony Stanowski, DHA, FACHE
President & CEO


CAHME Announces 2018 Award Winners

The Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education (CAHME) and Modern Healthcare magazine are pleased to announce the winners of the 2018 CAHME Awards.

“CAHME and leading healthcare companies sponsor these awards to recognize and support CAHME-accredited programs that are driving innovation, improving the student experience, and advancing the quality of graduate healthcare management education,” said Anthony Stanowski, CAHME’s president and chief executive officer. “The growing number of applications, and their sophistication, suggests that these awards are having the desired effect.”

This year’s Awards generated 23 applications, the highest number ever. A Blue Ribbon panel of experts from academia and healthcare reviewed the applications and chose the winners.

The Awards and winners for 2018 are:

The CAHME/Ascension Award for Excellence in Healthcare Leadership Development, won by  the University of Memphis Master of Health Administration for its program of leadership training and immersion based on a corporate model, and modified for inter-professional simulation.

The CAHME/Baylor Scott and White Award for Excellence in Quality Improvement Education won by Rush University’s Master Program in Health Systems Management for embedding quality throughout the Rush curriculum, extensive use of incorporating practitioner faculty in experiential learning, and programs such as having first-year students work on projects in the Process Improvement Department of Rush University Medical Center.

The CAHME/Canon Solutions America Award for Sustainability in Healthcare Management Education and Practice won by the University of Scranton Master in Health Administration for focusing on sustainability projects in the context of corporate responsibility and Jesuit pedagogy.  Scranton links sustainability with social justice, public health, and health disparities through alumni engagement, international experiences, and community project work.

The CAHME/Cerner Award for Excellence in Healthcare Management Systems Education won by two schools, the University of Alabama at Birmingham Master of Science in Health Administration for integrating experiential learning in informatics with the UAB health system, and incorporating UAB alumni in knowledge-sharing and professional development; and the University of Missouri Department of Health Management and Informatics for its informatics program that focuses on lifelong leadership development, an integrated dual degree or certificate in health informatics, application of QI/PI methods, integrated Six Sigma Green Belt certification, and peer based learning.

The award winners and corporate sponsors are being recognized with an ad in an upcoming issue of Modern Healthcare and will also be honored at the 2018 CAHME Awards Luncheon, to be held on Sunday, March 25 during the ACHE Congress in Chicago.

CAHME Seeking Input on 120-Hour Synchronous Learning for Online Programs

Anthony Stanowski, DHA, FACHE

As part of the Strategic Plan approved by our Board, CAHME is embarking on an effort to gather input on the 120-hours of Synchronous Learning standard for online programs.

When CAHME revised its current standards two years ago, the Board agreed to evaluate the long-standing 120-hour standard, which, when it was implemented, served as a guidepost to assure that online learning met the high standards necessary to be CAHME-accredited.

The 120-hour metric, however, has been a topic of ongoing discussion among healthcare administrators, academicians, and students. Online educational technologies allow for more sophisticated and improved student experiences. The CAHME Board and Accreditation Council agree that this issue deserves additional consideration to make sure our standards maximize the provision of quality graduate healthcare management education.

To that end, during the ACHE Congress in March, CAHME will hold two focus groups to discuss the 120-hour standard with two key stakeholders: healthcare administrators and graduate students. In addition, in late January, we will send an electronic survey to program directors in the United States and Canada at both CAHME Accredited and non-accredited programs. The input from the focus groups and the survey will inform CAHME board deliberations on whether the 120-hour standard should be retained or amended in some way. I am grateful to the Standards Council, which is overseeing this important work, and to Brad Beauvais (Chair of the Standards Council), Karen Wager (Chair of the Accreditation Council), and Dolores Clement (CAHME Board member) for  their work on the task force.

We are seeking volunteer participants for both the student and practitioner (healthcare administrator) focus groups. If you would like to take part in the focus group (students/practitioners), or know of other healthcare administrators or students attending the ACHE Congress who might like to participate, contact me. The groups are tentatively scheduled for the afternoon of Sunday, March 25, 2018. I will provide further details to any interested persons.  If you are a program director you will receive a survey;  the focus groups are not open to program directors.  All others may send to me an email with your thoughts.

I appreciate that your input will help to shape an important standard in graduate healthcare management education. Looking forward to your comments on this standard.

President & CEO

Georgia on our Mind

Anthony Stanowski, DHA, FACHE

CAHME’s focus on Global Accreditation is building momentum. After approval of this effort at the November CAHME board meeting, we are moving forward to form a Global Advisory Council, to begin recruiting and training Global Fellows, and to have current CAHME-accredited programs partner with international universities to help them achieve accreditation.

Earlier this month a team from CAHME—including myself, immediate past board chair Dan West and Steven Szydlowski from the University of Scranton, and Bernando Ramirez from the University of Central Florida, were invited to visit the University of Georgia in Tbilisi, Georgia to discuss the University’s interest in CAHME accreditation.

Georgia and its capital Tblisi are at the crossroads between Europe and Asia. Georgia achieved independence from the former Soviet Union in 1991 and since then has developed a representative democracy and free-market economy.

From left: Dan West, Anthony Stanowski, Mariam Lobjanidze, Bernando Ramirez, and Steven Szydlowski.

We met with the University’s Board Chair Giuli Alasania and President Manana Sanadze.  Their interest in accreditation is related to UG’s mission “to expand boundaries and educate a person, which will support the development of a healthy, human and democratic society through professional activities or scientific achievements based on the hard work and honesty, for the goodwill of the government and humankind in general.”  They see accreditation as a way to help their students graduating with a Masters in Health Care Administration to market their skills globally, and as a means of attracting students from other countries to UG.

The University’s curriculum is impressive, as are its students, faculty, and leadership, many of whom we met when we presented at a conference on promoting international accreditation for healthcare management. Among the key stakeholders: Tamar Lobjanidze, dean of the School of Health Sciences and Public Health; Otar Vasadze from UG’s Masters in Healthcare Administration program; and Mariam Lobjanidze from UG’s undergraduate program. In addition to leaders at UG, we had the chance to meet a member of the Georgian parliament, the president of the country’s hospital association, and the leader of a private insurer. We toured two hospitals and met with both hospital CEOs.

During the conference, GU Board Chair Giuli Alasania (at left) presented Anthony Stanowski with a gift of appreciation for CAHME’s visit.

Our visit to Georgia confirms both the wisdom of CAHME promoting global accreditation, and the growing interest of international universities in pursuing CAHME accreditation. In 2018 we will have more information about this initiative, including how current CAHME-accredited programs can assist international programs (such as through participation in the CAHME Mentorship Circle initiative).

If you know of other international universities interested in global accreditation to which CAHME can reach out, I hope you will let me know.

Anthony Stanowski, DHA, FACHE
President & CEO


Improving Program Ranking Methodologies

Anthony Stanowski, DHA, FACHE

Ranking and rating systems for colleges and hospitals are now widely accepted by the public as one indicator of quality, and this is true for graduate healthcare management programs as well. Every few years, US News & World Report(USN&WR) produces a highly anticipated report on what it deems The Best Health Care Management Programs. USN&WR recognizes the importance of accreditation, and limits the list to only CAHME-Accredited programs.

Recognizing the importance that both graduate healthcare management programs–and their prospective students–place on these sorts of rankings, CAHME is interested in ways of enhancing ranking methodologies to improve their consistency and reliability in recognizing program quality. This is consistent with our mission of making information easily available to interested constituencies.

I recently had the opportunity to talk with leaders of the USN&WR team that oversees its ranking projects. USN&WR intends to release its next ranking of graduate healthcare management programs in early 2019, based upon data gathered in 2018. The USN&WR team is committed to constant improvement of their ranking methodologies, and we plan to meet again in January 2018 as they consider the next iteration of their report.

I want to acknowledge the support of Accreditation Council member Dr. Bill Tuttle, Vice President of Planning at Baptist Memorial Healthcare Corporation, who briefed me on the intricacies of the ranking system.  Bill has just completed his dissertation on the USN&WR ranking system. Bill and I talked about how USN&WR could incorporate more quantitative data into the ranking process to improve the accuracy and usefulness of the report, such as the data that CAHME-accredited programs provide in their annual reports.

I am very interested to hear suggestions from CAHME stakeholders that we could share with USN&WR. CAHME is considering forming an advisory committee on this topic, so if you are interested in volunteering, please contact me.

Anthony Stanowski, DHA, FACHE
President & CEO

Early Registration for CAHME Accreditation Boot Camp is Now Available

It’s not too soon to reserve your space for the first CAHME Accreditation Boot Camp of 2018, which will be held in conjunction with the ACHE Congress on Healthcare Leadership, on March 25, 2018. Sign up early to enjoy a discount and coordinate with your travel plans for the ACHE Congress.

Kevin Broom, PhD, (standing) leads a discussion at last year’s CAHME Accreditation Boot Camp.

This year’s Boot Camp agenda will focus on how competency-based education aligns with CAHME accreditation criteria. Attending the Boot Camp is the best way for you to strengthen your knowledge and understanding of CAHME accreditation and what it means for your program. This year’s program is revamped, based on attendee input, and will include exclusive web access to pre-Camp materials, and more group work during the Camp.

You will get involved, as instruction is engaging, interactive, and will offer a variety of tools, technical instructions, and hands-on practice. Boot Camp instructors include Daniel Gentry, PhD, MHA, from the Department of Health Management and Policy at the University of Iowa College of Public Health; and Kevin Broom, PhD, Director of MHA and MHA/MBA Programs at the University of Pittsburgh School of Public Health.

Early registration (by December 31, 2017) is $800—a $100 discount off general registration. CAHME Accreditation Boot Camps are popular and space is limited.

Register today to claim your spot.

We look forward to seeing you there.

Anthony Stanowski, DHA, FACHE

President & CEO

CAHME Accredited Programs Dominate NAHSE Case Competition

Anthony Stanowski, DHA, FACHE

CAHME-accredited programs dominated the recent case competition sponsored by the National Association of Health Services Executives (NAHSE), held last month in San Antonio, TX. The top three finishers in the 22nd Everett V. Fox Student Case Competition represented CAHME-accredited programs at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, Saint Louis University, and Ohio State University.

With a theme of “Creating a Healthy America Together: Serving our Communities,” the case competition asked teams to focus on making Oakland, CA, “The Healthiest City in America.”  The UNC team took first place with a presentation that went beyond traditional boundaries of healthcare to include issues such as how the city can address “food deserts” and improve access to fresh food and produce.

I’ve attended the NAHSE annual conferences for nearly a decade. NAHSE’s focus on mentorship and career growth for African-American healthcare executives and graduate healthcare management students makes it one of the most effective forces for enhancing diversity and cultural competencies in healthcare. This work is vitally important, and is consistent with CAHME’s mission of supporting the development of future healthcare leaders.

CAHME tracks different student case competitions from around the country on our web site, and I encourage you to check out the list of winners and upcoming events. Case competitions are a great way for students to put their classroom learning into effect in the “real world.” It is heartening to see the innovation embodied by winning teams.

Congratulations to everyone at NAHSE and to the student winners of this year’s competition!


Anthony Stanowski, DHA, FACHE
President & CEO


The winning UNC team, from left, Lauren Jordan, Oluoma Chukwu, and Jessica Broadus.
Second place finishers from Saint Louis University, from left, Matthew Glassman, Brianna Clair, and Kwamane Liddell.
Third place finishers from Ohio State University, from left, Gennel Vieria, Esther Olsen, and Wilkister Tangasi.

Why Healthcare Administration is Important

Anthony Stanowski
Gerald L. Glandon, PhD

In a recent NY Times op-ed, Sandeep Jauhar uses the internecine struggles of a small California hospital to suggest that our health system would be improved if more physicians held executive leadership positions at our nation’s hospitals. (Shouldn’t Doctors Control Hospital Care?). Certainly, doctors and nurses should control providing medical services to patients.  These professionals have years of training and experience in making these important decisions.

However, the skills needed to provide administrative leadership for hospitals are significantly different from those needed to provide clinical care. Modern hospital leadership requires excellence in understanding community needs, human resources, accounting, finance, economics, logistics, and government regulation. Without skilled administrators who have mastered these and other elements, physicians would not be able to focus on patients.

This distinction between clinical and administrative leadership is not new. Florence Nightingale implemented administrative processes, financial management, medical records systems, and architectural standards for hospitals beginning in 1854.  Today, most hospitals in the US are not-for-profit institutions, led by the combined expertise of their medical staffs, administrators, and boards of community leaders.  For all the challenges and changes in healthcare over the last 150 years, this model has proven very successful.

Dr. Jauhar might have focused on the many physicians who pursue advanced education in healthcare and business administration. These physicians often do bring a unique and powerful perspective toward the business of healthcare. But suggesting that our health system would be improved if only more doctors were in charge is simply not supported by the facts, and it disparages the many dedicated and talented healthcare administrators who are as committed as any physician to the health of patients and communities.

Anthony Stanowski, DHA, FACHE 
President and CEO

Gerald L. Glandon, PhD
President and CEO
Association of University Programs in Healthcare Administration