College of Public Health offers new Executive MHA degree intended for working professionals
Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Responding to the growing need for highly-trained health care executives to manage hospitals and other health-related organizations, the University of Iowa College of Public Health today announced the establishment of a new Executive Master of Health Administration (EMHA) degree program.

The EMHA, based in the UI Department of Health Management and Policy, is designed to provide working professionals with advanced knowledge and skills to lead multifaceted health care organizations, emphasizing interprofessional teams.

“Our country’s health care system is in a massive state of change,” says Sue Curry, dean of the College of Public Health.“Today’s mid-career health care professionals must be prepared to meet the challenges of a complex environment, and the EMHA provides the tools needed to do so without leaving one’s career track.”

Beginning enrollment in the fall of 2014, students can earn the EMHA over 24 months, totaling 45 course credits from 17 courses. The EMHA will focus on four core content domains: general administration, health care administration, population health, and interprofessional management. Each class teaches key concepts from one or more of the four domains, then students work in interprofessional teams to apply them via case studies and other realistic projects.

Keith Mueller
Keith Mueller

“The EMHA delivers the same degree and core content as our 60-year-old, highly ranked MHA degree,” says Keith Mueller, head of the Department of Health Management and Policy. “We’ll deliver it in a way that allows experienced professionals to stay on the job while positioning themselves to be effective health care administrators.”

The EMHA is a subprogram of the UI’s traditional MHA, which is nationally accredited by the Commission on the Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education and the Council on Education for Public Health.

Courses will initially be offered evenings and one at a time on the UI campus while distance learning infrastructure is developed. Teachers for each class are teams comprised of an academic professor and a practicing executive, each carefully chosen to teach students who are experienced professionals in other fields.

Ian Montgomery
Ian Montgomery

“Health care reform is changing service delivery and financing from focusing on illness and injury to instead managing financial risk for the overall health of defined populations,” says Ian Montgomery, a clinical associate professor of health management and policy who oversees the EMHA. “Health care organizational effectiveness will therefore require leaders who are skilled in administration, but also in clinical processes and interprofessional team management. The EMHA is designed to provide this and more.”