College of Business Administration's Healthcare EMBA: Ranked, Unique, Hassle-Free

Thinking about a career move from clinical medicine to healthcare administration? Kent State University’s Executive MBA for Healthcare Professionals makes the transition easy with an innovative online-onsite approach. And starting in May, classes will be held at a more convenient location — at Kent State’s College of Podiatric Medicine, just off of Interstate 77 and Rockside Road in Independence, Ohio.

Laurie Walker, Kent State’s Director of Executive MBA programs, talks to Executive MBA students regarding the international business experience trip.

“With all of the changes that have come with healthcare reform, our Executive MBA for Healthcare Professionals offers professionals the opportunity to gain skills in the business aspects of healthcare, so they can transition into administrative leadership roles,” says Laurie Walker, MBA, Kent State’s Director of Executive MBA programs.

Recognized by CEO Magazine as one of the top-tier Executive MBA programs in the nation, Kent State’s Executive MBA for Healthcare Professionals program (like all of its MBA programs) is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). This is a distinction earned by only 29 percent of universities with business colleges in the United States and only 4 percent of business programs worldwide.

“The AACSB accreditation is one of the things that sets our program apart,” says Don Williams, PhD, Interim Associate Dean for Graduate and International Programs at Kent State. “Another distinguishing factor is the integration of business principles from the healthcare sector into every course.”

According to Diane L. Pretorius, MD, who graduated from Kent State’s Healthcare Executive MBA program in 2011, it’s that blending of business with healthcare that benefits students the most. Pretorius is a diagnostic radiologist with Akron Radiology, Inc., serving Summa Health System. “This (program) not only increased my understanding of the subject matter, but allowed me to make an immediate impact at my job,” she explains.

Lisa Aurilio, who was one of Pretorius’ classmates at Kent State, agrees. Aurilio is vice president of Patient Services and chief nursing officer at Akron Children’s Hospital.

“It (Kent State’s program) blends the business skills needed by healthcare executives with the rapidly changing healthcare environment,” she says. “This is not a ‘cookie-cutter’ program.”

Onsite-Online Hybrid Program

Starting in May, classes for Kent State University’s Executive MBA for Healthcare Professionals will be held at Kent State’s College of Podiatric Medicine just off of Interstate 77 and Rockside Road in Independence, Ohio.

Requiring less than two years to complete, Kent State’s Healthcare Executive MBA for Healthcare Professionals is a lock-step program, with once-a-month classes onsite at Kent State’s College of Podiatric Medicine supplemented by online discussion forums. An international business experience tour, which includes exploration of business models for healthcare in the developed world, tops off the program.

“The onsite classes meet monthly on a Thursday evening, all day (8 a.m.–5 p.m.) Friday, and all day Saturday. Meals are provided,” says Walker. “For those who prefer to stay overnight on Thursday or Friday, the Embassy Suites is conveniently located a few steps from our back door.”

The curriculum, which was created by a taskforce of medical professionals from 12 leading healthcare organizations in Northeast Ohio, is focused on four educational pillars: leadership, analysis, finance and strategy.

Faculty members include professors holding doctorates in their fields. In addition, every class offers business executive guest speakers from top-notch local, state and national healthcare organizations, such as The Cleveland Clinic, University Hospitals, Summa Health Network, FBI Healthcare Fraud Unit, Centers for Disease Control (CDC), KPMG and Studer Group.

Mike Anderson, MD, MBA, is vice president and chief medical officer of University Hospitals Case Medical Center. A 2013 graduate of Kent State’s Executive MBA for Healthcare Professionals program, he says, “I was impressed by the engagement and dedication of the faculty. They brought reality to the material, making it immediately useful. My degree has dramatically impacted my approach to daily hospital operations, as well as long-term strategic planning.”

The international business experience tour, which is an integral part of the program, enables students to learn from leaders of the global healthcare industry. Last year, students attended lectures at the World Health Organization in Geneva, Switzerland, and met in Paris, France, with administrators from both the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and Doctors Without Borders.

“The international business experience tour helps crystallize the concepts that students learn in their courses. It also helps generate ideas about how to successfully apply best practices from other healthcare models to our changing healthcare system,” says Walker.

The cost of the international business tour is included in the program’s tuition. In addition to course credits, tuition also includes all textbooks and learning materials, offsite beginning and ending residencies, and select meals.

Simplified Processes

The application process for physicians is easy — no GMAT exam is required. Also, applications can be completed online, and there is no deadline. Instead, students are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis until the 30-student program maximum is reached.

There’s no need for students to register for courses; the program coordinator does this. No need to shop for textbooks either. They’re automatically delivered to students during the first onsite class.

“We want to make sure the process is as easy and hassle-free as it can be, because we understand how busy medical professionals are,” says Walker.

Information sessions are offered onsite and online via live Webinars throughout the year. Physicians and other healthcare professionals interested in the program are also encouraged to call with any questions.

“This MBA program was designed specifically for the healthcare professional,” Williams emphasizes. “It is not for someone who wants to move into healthcare. It’s for the healthcare professional who wants to move in a new direction or, if already in healthcare administration, to a new level of administration.”

For more information about Kent State University’s Executive MBA for Healthcare Professionals or to register for an Information Session or Webinar, visit or call 330-672-HMBA (4622).

POSTED: Friday, July 18, 2014 12:00 AM
Updated: Saturday, December 3, 2022 01:02 AM