Integrating Healthcare Management Education with Other Disciplines

One of the unique challenges and opportunities of healthcare management lies in the field’s broad application to a wide range of sectors. Successful leadership in the field means understanding all the ways in which healthcare integrates across disciplines, and how those disciplines can influence the health of individuals and communities.

The University of Iowa takes a robust approach toward encouraging interdisciplinary education for its MHA students. I had the pleasure of visiting Iowa this past spring. Formal joint degree options are offered, including programs combining the MHA curriculum with studies in business, law, medicine, pharmacy, urban planning, public health, health policy, and occupational health. Some MHA students may choose to complete a two-semester Interdisciplinary Program for Graduate Studies in Aging and Longevity. Iowa will soon offer the MHA in combination with a masters in finance or business analytics. All of Iowa’s MHA students take three semesters of inter-professional  education with graduate students from every health profession on campus. The University also emphasizes experiential learning—a hallmark of CAHME-accredited programs.

My guide to understanding the University of Iowa’s approach was Dan Gentry, PhD, MHA, director of the University’s MHA program. During our visit, Dan shared the program’s conviction “that today’s healthcare leader needs both a comprehensive understanding of the issues involved in patient-centered service organizations and strong business skills.” Dan’s commitment to this belief is also expressed through his service on the CAHME Accreditation Council. He is also a former CAHME board member.

As the University of Iowa and other CAHME-accredited programs across the country gear up for a new academic year, I am excited to think about the opportunities awaiting the students who will be our future leaders in healthcare.

Anthony Stanowski, DHA, FACHE
President & CEO
CAHME
astanowski@camhe.org