Kentucky prides itself on producing some of the nation’s best tobacco, horses, and whiskey, however, it is Healthcare that is one of the largest growing areas of employment in Kentucky. For those individuals pursuing careers in the healthcare industry, Kentucky has many accredited universities and colleges with Master’s Level programs in Healthcare Management and Administration. With the changes in requirements for healthcare, the US Bureau of Labor and Statistics predicts above-average growth for employment in the healthcare sector and those who pursue Masters and Doctoral Degrees will be those prepared to meet this growing sector of the job market. Healthcare executives will have the responsibility of directing, planning and coordinating healthcare services in a variety of settings. Healthcare managers must be able to adapt to the current changes in healthcare laws and regulations.
University of Kentucky
The College of Public Health
Located in Lexington Kentucky, the University of Kentucky is a public co-educational institution founded in 1865. With a total student enrollment of 28,928, the university is the largest college or university in the state and the highest-ranked research university in the state according to US News and World Report. The university offers 120 Master’s Degree Programs and utilizes a semester-based academic calendar. University of Kentucky’s ranking in the US News and World Report’s 2014 edition of Best Colleges is the 199th Best National Universities. In the 2012 edition, the College of Public Health was ranked 25th in the nation. The University of Kentucky has provided graduate education within six academic departments: Biostatistics, Epidemiology, Health Behavior, Health Services Management, Preventive Medicine and Environmental Health, and Gerontology. The College of Public Health offers several different degree options so each student can cater their education to meet their specific career goals.
Master of Health Administration
The Master of Health Administration (MHA) program provides a Master’s Degree Program to students aspiring to careers in senior management positions within the healthcare services systems. Applicants must have a Bachelor’s Degree for admission to the program and basic courses in accounting and economics are required. The mission of the MHA Program is: “Providing graduates with the essential competencies that are required for success in executive positions in hospitals, multi-unit health systems, and other complex, health-related organizations and provide a solid foundation for their future leadership development.” Completion of the Master’s Degree Program requires fifty-four credit hours and can normally be completed in two years as a full-time student and four years as a part-time student. Students are also required to complete a final project and Master’s level examination. To date, more than 350 graduates of the Master of Health Program are employed in community, state, and national healthcare organizations.
Master of Public Health
For those Bachelor’s Degree holders aspiring to careers in public health and related areas of public health, the Master of Public Health degree will allow the skills and knowledge in population-based studies.
The MPH program provides concentration in five areas of study:
- Biostatistics for proficiency in basic concepts of random variation, probability, and multivariate statistical methods, application of commonly used probability distributions, understanding of common statistical methods and approaches for analysis and ability to develop presentation relying on statistical analysis for professional and the public in public health.
- Environmental Health concentration will allow proficiency to design small scale studies for interventions to reduce the occupational and environmental risk to specific populations, analyze and understand relevance in scientific data in occupations and environmental health to reduce environmental and occupational threats and understand the roles of policy making, regulating and enforcement in preventing environmental and occupational risk.
- Epidemiology concentration will allow graduates to evaluate terms of size, time and location of health problems in the public, evaluation of epidemiological reports, identification of ethical and legal issues in collecting, use and implementation of epidemiological data.
- Health Behavior students will have the skills to establish a basic planning design for demonstration the proficiency in theories, concepts and models for intervening at individual, community, and public at large levels, knowledge, and reasoning to promote health research and practice and evaluate the effectiveness of programs with evidence-based methodology in relation to developing and evaluating social and behavioral science intervention.
- Health Service Management emphasis prepares graduates to pursue careers requiring the understanding of strategy in administrative and policies to improve population health in US and global health systems. Students will use organizational, analytic, and decision-making skills required working efficiently while evaluating the health and economic impact of public health strategies.
The program requires a minimum of forty-two credit hours for completion including fifteen credit hours of core courses including a course in each of the concentrations listed above, nine hours of required courses, three credit hours of research and remaining credit hours in area of concentration.
Concurrent Medical Doctor/Master of Public Health
The dual Medical Doctor and Master of Public Health (MD/MPH) Degree Program provides students the competencies to become well-trained physicians in public health policy and procedure. This allows doctors to better provide valuable service to patients in the community and population. Students must be admitted to both the College of Medicine and College of Public Health. The MD/MPH dual degree program can be completed in five years with completion of public health courses in the third year while enrolled in the College of Public Health. Students will also be allowed concentrations in one or more areas of study including:
- Biostatistics to understand how to develop and apply methods of quantitative studies in public health and biomedical research
- Epidemiology concentration allows students to study the distribution and determinants of disease and injury in human population
- Environmental Health emphasis provides basic knowledge of protecting, promoting and maintaining the overall health of specific areas of the population
- Health Behavior for methods of preventing the spread of disease in the US and globally while studying the relationship between human behavior and outcomes of health
- Health Services Management to understand the application of principles needed for positive outcomes in the quality, availability, and effectiveness of public health and healthcare systems
The College of Public Health also provides the opportunity for students of the MD/MPH dual program to pursue certification in the following areas of study:
- Graduate Certificate in Gerontology
- Graduate Certificate in Global Health
- Graduate Certificate in Maternal and Child Health
- Graduate Certificate in Public Health Management
Concurrent Doctor of Pharmacy and Master of Public Health
The Dual Doctor of Pharmacy and Master of Public Health (PharmD/MPH) concurrent degree program prepares pharmacists with the competency to dispense medications and manage disease conditions in population-based public health context. Graduates of the joint degree program are prepared to develop and implement policies providing safer medications to patients, assist patients in disease management, conduct proper and relevant research in managing the treatment of disease and dispense education to properly manage medications. As one of the few Universities providing a dual PharmD/MPH degree program, students are allowed completion of the program in four years by use of the PharmD elective. This allows the program time to decrease by requiring fewer credit hours (reduced from 206 to just 186). Additionally, students can take advantage of this broad area by specializing in any of the five core public health areas including Biostatistics, Preventive Medicine and Environment Health, Epidemiology, Health Services Management and Health Behavior. Graduates of the PharmD/MPH program are qualified to pursue careers in many areas of public health including:
- Government agencies including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)as well as in state and local health departments
- Non-Profit agencies including those programs with focuses on cancer, heart disease and issues relating to children and infant health
- Private sector including health insurance organizations, pharmaceutical industry, and academia
The skills and knowledge in the dual program will allow graduates to make significant contributions to the health of individuals in our communities and across the population.
Concurrent Juris Doctorate and Master of Health Administration
The Juris Doctorate and Master of Health Administration (JD/MHA) Dual degree program combines the three-year JD program and the 2-year MHA program into four total years (total of 126 credit hours) of full-time study. Requirements for the dual degree JD/MHA program are eighty hours of coursework at Law School and ten hours of credit for relevant courses completed at the College of Public Health. Likewise, the College of Public Health will grant a dual-degree student eight hours of course credit for relevant courses that are completed at the law school. The program allows an academic foundation in both law and health administration emphasizing the increasing the merging of these professional areas. With the current trend of more law students graduating from school than jobs available the competition is incredibly strong. Those with dual degree will make them more valuable candidates to future employers in both sectors.
University of Kentucky
College of Public Health
111 Washington Avenue
Lexington, KY 40356
Program Website: http://www.uky.edu/publichealth
Commission on Accreditation Healthcare Management Education (CAHME)
Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) International
Western Kentucky University
The Department of Public Health
Located in Bowling Green Kentucky, Western Kentucky University is a public university founded in 1906 with a current enrollment of more than 21,000 students. In 2014, US News and World Report ranked Western Kentucky University as the 30th Best University in the Southern Region of the United States. The mission statement for WKU is “Preparing students of all backgrounds to be productive, engaged, and socially responsible citizen-leaders of a global society. The University provides research, service and lifelong learning opportunities for its students, faculty, and other constituents. WKU enriches the quality of life for those within its reach.” The Department of Public Health provides programs preparing students for the many challenges facing them with current and emerging health concerns, in the community and globally to critical thinking skills in addressing and resolving complex health issues. The mission of the School of Public Health is producing highly competent public health specialists to improve current health status and the quality of life in a diverse population. The field of Public Health will allow graduates entering careers in Public Health to improve the lives of others.
Master of Health Administration
Health Administration is one of the largest service industries in the US today and The Master of Health Administration (MHA) degree program prepares graduates for careers as administrators in the healthcare system including: acute and long-term care, medical practices, managed care, public health agencies, clinics, and health-related organizations. The forty-two-credit MHA program has thirty-three hours of required core courses, three hours of electives and a choice of the following:
- Internship Option (six credit hours)
- Thesis Option (six credit hours)
- Executive Option (two three hour courses in a concentration area)
The MHA program in Healthcare Administration provides students a solid foundation in accounting, finance, management, economics, personnel management, combined with an emphasis on skills needed in healthcare administration. With the continual changes in healthcare, graduates who are competent and educated are prepared for the future.
Executive Master of Health Administration
Administrators in Health Care will need to manage the challenges and continual changes facing them in the current healthcare market. Administrators are those who will coordinate and organize the delivery of care and maintain the needs of the consumers. The Executive Master of Health Care Administration Program prepares healthcare professionals the skills to expand their education in a flexible schedule to meet the busy lifestyles of today’s busy executives. The Executive MHA can be completed in as little as two years and with courses available through online distance courses. Curriculum requires classroom instruction time only three times per semester. Competencies at Completion of the Executive MHA include:
- Advanced skills to allow the advancement of career opportunities
- Management skills in specific areas related to all aspects of your career
- Decision-making skills
- Knowledge to allow students quick and efficient mastery to apply the latest industry strategies
- Abilities in leadership to inspire individuals in your respective organizations
Master of Public Health
The Master of Public Health (MPH) program focus is on preparing students for careers in public health in government, non-governmental agencies, academic institutions, and advocacy programs. The forty-two credit curriculum requires completion of fourteen courses including six courses in core coursework in the following areas of study: epidemiology, biostatistics, social and behavioral sciences, public health administration, environmental health, and program evaluation or research methods. Students are also required three to four courses in a specific concentration and additionally one to two elective courses. Students will complete an individualized internship or practical and a capstone project (either a 6 credit thesis or 3 credit practical experience/project) for graduation from the program. Concentrations are available in two areas of study:
- The MPH Health Education concentration emphasizes education, interpersonal, community, and policy factors to promote positive outcomes in health behaviors. The curriculum highlights interventions promoting public health through education and community organization. Graduates of the program may enter careers as community health educators in a variety of settings to design, implement and evaluate health education interventions; organize health promotion; be involved in research and assist individuals and communities through health behavior change.
- The MPH Environmental Health concentration allows students skills to develop, implement and evaluate practices to prevent or decrease adverse effects of environmental and occupational hazards on human health. Coursework includes assessing and control of environmental and occupational exposure, the effects of exposure on human health, toxicology and its principles, toxic regulations and policy in preparation for careers dealing with environmental and occupational exposure to toxins. Graduates of the program enter careers in pharmaceutical and chemical industries, academia, state, local and federal environmental protection agencies, health departments and hospitals.
Western Kentucky University
The Department of Public Health
1906 College Heights Boulevard
Academic Complex 133
Bowling Green, KY 42101-3576
Program Website: www.wku.edu/publichealth/
Association of University Programs in Health Administration (AUPHA)
Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH)
National Council on Education for Public Health (NCEPH)
Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration (NASPAA)
Medical and health services managers held over 315,500 jobs in 2012, and according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics and this number is expected to grow another twenty-three percent by the year 2022. The majority of medical and health services managers work in offices in healthcare facilities, including hospitals and nursing homes, and group medical practices. Most Healthcare Managers have at least a Bachelor’s Degree however most positions require a Master’s Degree. Average salaries for experienced healthcare managers with Masters Degrees can range well into six figures and with the increasing requirements for healthcare as well as the aging population these individuals will continue to be in demand. The many accredited Master’s Degree Programs in Healthcare Management throughout the state of Kentucky will help fill this growing need.