“Strong demand” but “few programs” is how Amin Mawani, Schulich School of Business professor, describes the education landscape for health administration.
But that is expected to change with the Master of Health Industry Administration (MHIA), a new degree program offered by Schulich.
“The MHIA has been designed as a holistic initiative to promote the field of health leadership and management through education, applied research and industry collaboration,” says Schulich Professor Amin Mawani, the program’s inaugural director.
According to the program’s website, the MHIA aims to provide students with skills and training necessary for success in various types of healthcare settings. The 12-month, full-time program covers three four-month terms, with 16 courses on topics like financial management, marketing, organization, digital health, leadership, public policy and more. It will receive its first students in September 2023 and will be open to York undergraduate students graduating by June, as well as healthcare practitioners wanting to work in administrative roles.
The program was approved by York University’s senate in December 2022 and has now been sent to the Ontario government for approval, expected in March 2023.
Traditionally, health administration curricula included topics like finance, marketing and organization. The MHIA program was designed by faculty members in Schulich’s Krembil Centre for Health Management and Leadership, who supplemented traditionally covered topics with emerging fields like data analytics, informatics, epidemiology, and supply chain management.
“We surveyed all Canadian programs as well as successful programs at Harvard, Duke and John Hopkins University,” says Mawani. “The task force also sought input from management practitioners in industry and government, consultants, and industry associations to fully understand the emerging trends and the knowledge requirements for health administration careers.”
In a press release, Schulich School of Business Dean Detlev Zwick promoted his school’s track record in health education: “Over the past two decades, Schulich has been developing health industry leaders through a number of programs, including the health industry specialization in our MBA program, through innovative executive development programs such as our Mini-MBA for Physicians and, beginning in Fall 2023, through our new Master of Health Industry Administration.”
Meanwhile, Mawani believes the MHIA fills a gap in health administration education. “[MHIA] is designed to address an unfilled need in post-graduate management education,” he explained. “There are currently few programs in the field of health administration offered by business schools — both in Ontario and globally.”
The program is being announced in the wake of crippling staff shortages in healthcare facilities across Canada. Many hospitals are calling the situation a crisis and urging government officials to take action.
At the same time, many publications say jobs in healthcare — and specifically administration — have a strong employment outlook. Job search website, Workopolis, forecasted in Dec. 2015 that the sector would continue to grow rapidly past 2020, and the U.S. Bureau of Labour Statistics reported strong starting salaries. The Healthcare Management Degree Guide also reports increasing prospects for health administration degrees.
More information on the MHIA can be found here.