BY MALYNDA DORSEY
VALDOSTA – Valdosta State University recently introduced its new Bachelor of Business Administration in health care administration to address the rapid growth in the health care administration field. The program includes several aspects of health care administration and courses that include health care applications in management, marketing, insurance, information systems, and law and ethics.
“The opportunity for doing well in this career field is unprecedented,” said Dr. Ryan Schmidt, assistant professor of health care. “The job growth potential is projected to be higher than nursing and the average salary of someone in this field is nearly $90,000 at a bachelor’s level.”
Schmidt, who joined VSU in August 2013 with several years of health care management experience in both the military and higher education, said that the goal of the program is to meet the needs of the hospital system by producing critical thinkers and problem solvers.
The program includes five faculty members with different specialties within health care administration.
“We all complement each other in different ways,” said Schmidt. “Being a new program, we have the ability to craft it the way we want while maintaining the quality and addressing the needs of the field. The program ensures that hospitals do not have to pay for long on-the-job training because our graduates are ready to go to work after upon completion.”
Health care administration faculty include Schmidt, who leads classes on health services and policy management; Dr. Ning Wang, assistant professor of finance, who focuses on insurance and risk management; Dr. Gary Hackbarth, assistant professor of management, who specializes in information systems; Dr. Attila Cseh, associate professor and head of the Department of Marketing and Economics, who teaches health care economics courses; and Dr. Gary Futrell, assistant professor of marketing, who helps students understand the marketing aspects of health care.
“We are also using the services of James McGahee, former CEO of South Georgia Medical Center (SGMC), and Barry Belanger, retired human resources director at SGMC, as adjunct faculty to teach courses in their areas of expertise,” said Dr. Phyllis Holland, professor and head of the Department of Management and International Business. “We believe that their strong experience and skill sets benefit our students greatly.”
The major allows students to conduct case analyses and gives them marketable skills to be employed.
“Some students have communicated a desire to get published before completing the program,” said Schmidt. “We work with them and teach them how to analyze data and put it into practice. The goal is to create experts with skill sets that add value to a workplace. These are the people who need to be leaders in the health care system.”
The Langdale College of Business Administration and Graduate School also offer an online Master of Business Administration in health care administration.
For more information about the new health care administration program, visit http://www.valdosta.edu/colleges/business/management-and-international-business/degree-description.php .