Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences
Department of Preventive Medicine and Biometrics
4301 Jones Bridge Road
Bethesda, Maryland 20814-4799
Beginning in 1992, the US Congress funded a project to assure that commanders of Medical Treatment Facilities (MTFs), TRICARE Lead Agents and their senior staff, had adequate preparation for the role of executive medicine and the administrative requirements before assuming command. Subsequently, as part of the 1992 DoD Appropriations Act, Congress required demonstrated professional administrative skills by prospective commanders as a condition of funding. In each of the uniformed services, the Masters degree has since become the benchmark for the development of senior healthcare leaders and is typically accomplished via a combination of recruiting and service-sponsored educational options.
The 2-year Master of Health Administration and Policy (MHAP) program at USU is modeled on the current Master of Public Health (MPH) program and consists of five academic quarters in the first year. During that academic year, students must attain passing grades in all courses, totaling 66 credit hours (minimum), in order to progress to the second year.
The second year of the program consists of an administrative residency, typically in the National Capital Area (NCA), and is meant to provide practical experience in healthcare administration and policy. Residency rotations are 12 months in duration and are accomplished at one site for each student. Residency sites may vary according to the needs of the individual student, but opportunities will be available at organizations including major tertiary healthcare facilities, major research facilities, federal health organizations, MHS oversight offices, and private organizations.
Students are selected for approved residency sites through a series of interviews with the Residency Director and potential Preceptors. The Residency Director and Program Director will match residents with an approved residency site with every attempt to meet the needs of the resident, the Preceptor, and the host organization. Assessment of student progress during the residency year consists of frequent contact between the student, Residency Director, Preceptor and their faculty advisor. Such mentoring and guidance of the student is considered critical in this phase of the program not only to discuss performance of the student in the residency site, but to continue academic oversight of preparation of the student's Graduate Management Project (GMP) project. After successful completion of the residency year, and the completion of a GMP, students will be awarded the degree of Master of Health Administration and Policy.
The addition of an MHAP degree at USU meets service requirements by providing an innovative approach to graduate education and by offering access to top policy-making federal government agencies, think-tanks, universities, and speakers in the NCA. Such a degree also allows for a large population of potential students from multiple services and agencies. This degree, delivered on a major research university campus, enables federal healthcare professionals to apply a systems approach wherever care is delivered and will ultimately have a significant impact on wellness and the population-health aspects of care delivery.
In response to a service-specific requirement for formal training in health services administration as a screening prerequisite for military health facility command positions, the PMB Department offers a Master of Public Health (MPH) degree with a concentration in Health Services Administration (HSA). Students completing this concentration will be able to apply the necessary skills to design and develop, implement and evaluate, and continuously improve programs and systems related to promotion and health education and health care delivery in the Uniformed Services. Students will also understand and be able to apply concepts of financial management, decision making, and quality assessment to health systems and be able to develop broad policy statements concerning health care programs in the public sector as a Health Services Officer in the Uniformed Services.
Recommended courses for the HSA Concentration beyond the core MPH curriculum include PMO523-Fundamentals of US Healthcare Policy, PMO527-Principles of Health Care Management, PMO529-Health Care Financial Management, PMO 532 Quality Assessment and Improvement in Health Care, PMO 533 Decision Making in Health Services, and PMO535-The Law of Health Care. The Division of HSA within PMB offers other courses as electives as part of the MHAP degree program. This concentration requires students to have a designated faculty advisor (or co-advisor) from the HSA Division, to complete an HSA-related project and practicum experience, and to earn a grade of "B" or better in required HSA courses.