Saint Louis University Master of Health Administration Celebrates 75 Years
Saint Louis University’s nationally-ranked Master of Health Administration (MHA) program is celebrating its 75th year, making it one of the oldest MHA programs in the country and a pioneer in health management education.
From its origins, the program was envisioned to form values-based leaders who show how one’s gifts can be placed at the service of others. The program’s long history means that it has one of the most expansive alumni networks in the country.
“We are blessed with a tremendous legacy and feel a responsibility to build upon it so that the next generation of students are the same high caliber of people and professionals as our alums,” said Fr. Michael Rozier, SJ, PhD, Department Chair of Health Management and Policy.
The program’s spirit of innovation began in 1947, when Fr. John J. Flanagan, S.J., then Catholic Health Association (CHA) executive director, saw a need to train people to manage a quickly-expanding network of hospitals in the years following World War II. CHA and SLU collaborated to build the original academic program, which was also one of the first programs in the nation to develop competency-based education. This kind of training is now the standard for accredited programs.
Originally founded by a Jesuit priest with deep connections to CHA, the department is now led by someone with a similar background. Fr. Michael Rozier, S.J., Ph.D., the newly appointed chair of the department, hopes to draw upon the program’s history in setting its course for the future. Namely, he looks at the program’s origin of seeing a need in the world and offering a response based on compassion and competence as the key to discerning the future.
New degree offerings respond to new realities, such as the executive Master of Health Administration which is delivered online to mid-career professionals and the Master of Health Care Management (MHCM) designed as an online offering for early careerists.
Moreover, the residential MHA program regularly modifies the curriculum after consulting with alumni and other executives on what’s needed in tomorrow’s industry leaders.
The residential MHA program, currently ranked 13th nationwide among graduate programs for health care management by U.S. News & World Report, is designed for a traditional educational experience while connecting students locally to its vast network of 2,500 alumni.
Residential students have expanded access to unique case competitions, internships, and fellowship opportunities that serve as a natural plug-in to the professional world.
In the spirit of innovation and evolving in the administrative landscape, the executive MHA program is uniquely designed for working professionals and features online coursework and two in-person executive weekends each year. The eMHA cohort is a consistently diverse mix of students, from physicians, nurses, and biomedical sales representatives, to consultants, department directors, and marketing and communications professionals that live locally, or across the country.
The newest offering, the MHCM, offers the benefits of flexible, asynchronous learning and a short time to degree completion. The MHCM prepares individuals to develop, plan, and manage health care operations and services within health care facilities and across health care systems.
In addition to the graduate degrees that focus on health administration, the Department also offers an undergraduate degree in health management, a health management and policy concentration in the Master of Public Health program, and a doctoral degree.
The MHA program has been led by director Kimberly R. Enard, Ph.D., F.A.C.H.E., an associate professor of health management and policy and a board-certified health care management professional.
“We are committed to developing the competencies and fueling the passion that drive our students to make substantial contributions in the ever-changing health care space,” Dr. Enard said. “We are proud to prepare an increasingly diverse student body each year, and those students are tackling issues such as population health management, social determinants of health and health equity as they enter the workforce.”
Dr. Enard brings more than 20 years of management and consulting experience with large integrated health systems and community-based organizations in areas involving strategic planning, business development, marketing and community engagement.
She joined the College for Public Health and Social Justice in 2014 and has provided leadership as the director of the M.H.A. program’s residential and executive tracks since 2020.
Community service remains a defining characteristic of the student experience. During the 2021-2022 academic year, the Department’s graduate students organized more than 13 community service and professional development events. In a similar vein, alumni provide ongoing service to the Department itself, as 17 alumni assisted with 46 admission interviews and 22 alumni taught or guest lectured.
Also in the 2021-22 academic year, MHA students placed in some of the most prestigious case competitions including NAHSE, UAB and Trinity while four of our seven case-competition teams placed in the finals of their respective competitions.
The graduating health administration class of 2022 boasted a 97% placement rate within 60 days of graduation, including 18 administrative fellowships at many of the country’s top healthcare institutions.
In 2022, MHA graduates were placed in 16 different states at 36 different organizations. MHA graduates began fellowships or post-graduate positions at the following healthcare, law and financial institutions: Abbott; Anders Consulting; Balch & Bingham LLP; Barnes-Jewish Hospital; BJC Medical Group; Burr & Forman LLP; Children’s Mercy Kansas City; Children’s Mercy KC; Children's Hospital and Medical Center; Children's Hospital Los Angeles; Cigna-Express Scripts; Claro Healthcare; Deloitte; Emory Healthcare; Epic; HonorHealth; Hospital Sisters Health System; JPS Health Network; Mayo Clinic; Medical University of South Carolina; Mercer; Mercy Clinic; MU Health Care; Navvis; Nixon Gwilt Law; Optum; Polsinelli; Press Ganey; Southern Illinois University School of Medicine; SSM Health; The Resource Group; Trinity Health; UC Irvine Health System; University of Illinois Hospital and Health Sciences System; University of Kansas Health System; UPMC.
For more information about the Saint Louis University MHA, eMHA and MHCM program offerings, visit mha.slu.edu.
College for Public Health and Social Justice
The Saint Louis University College for Public Health and Social Justice is the only academic unit of its kind, studying social, environmental and physical influences that together determine the health and well-being of people and communities. It also is the only accredited school or college of public health among nearly 250 Catholic institutions of higher education in the United States. Guided by a mission of social justice and focus on finding innovative and collaborative solutions for complex health problems, the college offers nationally recognized programs in public health and health administration.