The Masters of Healthcare Administration program at the David Eccles School of Business became the first MHA program in Utah, and one of only 10 in the western United States, to earn accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education (better known as CAHME).
The announcement of the program’s CAMHE accreditation reached MHA Program Director Debra Scammon, PhD, in mid-November, and while accreditation represents the end of a lengthy process, she said it’s really the beginning of a whole new phase in the program’s life.
“This is our initial CAMHE accreditation, and it’s the beginning of a process to ensure that we are always offering students the best education possible,” Scammon said. “In the healthcare field, continuous quality improvement is the watch-word. If you’re not getting better at what you do all the time, you are falling behind. Adopting that idea for healthcare education seems like a natural progression in what we do.”
Many universities with MBA programs have healthcare-related tracks, but not many have specialized degrees in healthcare administration. Even fewer earn the CAHME accreditation. To achieve accreditation, schools must do an intense internal study of their students, curriculum and job placement, and to remain accredited they must continually evolve as the healthcare field changes. CAHME accreditation is recognition that a program has the flexibility and innovative spirit needed to serve both students and the field of healthcare administration.
“CAHME is an organization dedicated to the improvement of healthcare management education,” Scammon said. “They know what the industry needs. They know what schools need to be teaching. And their standards reflect the real world of healthcare management issues.”
While the work to achieve and retain CAHME accreditation is intense, the pay-off for students and for the U’s MHA program makes it well worth the effort.
“A program’s accreditation is probably one of the first things a prospective student looks at when trying to decide what MHA program is best for them,” Scammon said. “And when students are asking about accreditation, they are asking about CAHME. The most prestigious schools that offer an MHA program have CAHME accreditation. This puts us in an elite group.”
The U’s Master of Healthcare Administration program is in rare company, joining just 43 MHA programs in the entire country currently holding the CAHME distinction. The U’s program is also unique because it is housed in a school of business, one of just 15 such programs in the country.
CAHME accreditation makes the future bright for the program. “It will increase the number of applicants we get. It will make the quality of the applicants we get that much more competitive. And it will enhance the ability of our graduates to find great jobs, because CAHME accreditation is just as important to employers as it is for the schools.”
About the David Eccles School of Business MHA Program
The MHA program at the David Eccles School of Business prepares students for administrative positions in both the private and public sectors of the healthcare industry, as well as in a variety of fields, including healthcare delivery, public health, and healthcare policy.
The program employs a dual degree format; prospective students must first apply and be admitted to another graduate program at the University of Utah, including the Master of Business Administration (MBA), Professional Master of Business Administration (PMBA), Master of Public Administration (MPA) or Master of Public Health (MPH). This format gives our students a leg up in the competitive healthcare field, as they graduate with an increased depth of knowledge in business, policy or public health. For more information, visit the program's Website.