BGSU launches new master’s program to develop leaders in health care

Program is a blend of online and in-person classes that will cater to working professionals

By Bob Cunningham ’18

Health care is one of the fastest growing industries today, and Bowling Green State University is positioning working professionals and students in the College of Health and Human Services (HHS) to be leaders in the field. 

BGSU is launching the Master of Health Services Administration (MHSA) degree program Jan. 28, at the start of spring semester. 

The program prepares professionals for leadership positions in the complex, rapidly changing structure and financing of health care and health-service organizations. With real world internships and coursework taught by faculty and working leaders of health organizations, the program prepares graduates with the business, technological, public health and leadership foundations to lead health services organizations.

The program is a blend of online and in-person classes that will serve the needs of working professionals in health service organizations seeking to advance in the field, as well as recent graduates of health care administration, public health and allied health degrees. 

“This program is for anyone who sees themselves in a leadership position in a hospital or a health care setting,” said Dr. Philip Welch, assistant professor and graduate coordinator for HHS. “There are jobs available for people with a bachelor’s degree, but if you want a manager or leadership role in the health care industry, you’re eventually going to need a master’s degree. 

“The MHSA program caters to those professionals who are looking to move up in their organization and also those undergrads who know they’re eventually going to want to get a master’s degree in health care.”

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job outlook for health care administrators is expected to grow 17 percent from 2019-2024, which is “much faster than average,” according to the website.

“As the health care environment continues to be chaotic and on the verge of significant changes to improve quality while decreasing cost, the newly created master's degree in health care administration is an important addition for individuals looking to continue their education,” said Kimberly H. Bordenkircher, CEO of Henry County Hospital in Napoleon, Ohio. “Clinicians and providers often are looking to add to their experience an advanced degree which will support their leadership opportunities. This degree will provide that opportunity.  

“I have always found the students of BGSU to be well prepared at graduation, and look forward to seeing the graduates of the MHSA enter the work force.”

Professional opportunities include two integrated learning experiences, a 300-hour internship and a capstone project, which provide graduates with hands-on experience and opportunities for inter-institutional collaborations with a variety of health care organizations.

“We had focus groups with many leaders in the health care industry in northwest Ohio,” Welch said. “Just the fact that we’ve had the involvement of the regional CEOs from the health systems from the ground up has really informed the way we are approaching the curriculum so our students can be competitive in the marketplace.” 

The University is offering three classes in the spring, in data analytics, health information management and strategic communications. 

“We are starting this semester, but we take applications on a rolling basis,” Welch said, “so you can start in the spring, summer or fall because our curriculum is flexible.”

For more information, visit the MHSA website.