New Degree: New Opportunities in Healthcare
Our program will be the only program of its kind in the area. Melinda Brown, director of the Gipson Center for Healthcare Leadership
By Kathleen Swift
New opportunities for healthcare education are arriving at Missouri Southern State University this fall. A new degree program, the Bachelor of Science in Healthcare Administration, will seat its first class in the Gipson Center for Healthcare Leadership located in the Julio S. Leὀn Health Sciences building. The degree is designed to support healthcare services with graduates who can bring business skills to the operation of clinical care.
Dean of Missouri Southern’s School of Health Sciences Dr. Richard Schooler remarked, “When people think of healthcare, they think of the clinical side. This degree will give graduates a solid business foundation and insight into what healthcare is all about.”
The university is hoping initially to have 20 new students enrolled in the Bachelor of Science in Healthcare Administration degree program in addition to about 10 students who are currently enrolled at MSSU. Melinda Brown, director of the Gipson Center for Healthcare Leadership, said, “We will be recruiting students for this degree from local high schools and community colleges as well as across the region. Our program will be the only program of its kind in the area. The program will enable our graduates to serve in a variety of healthcare business and administration settings. It will contain elements of business, communication and health sciences. We intend to make the program a mix of academia and real life by including hands-on learning opportunities along the way. Our goal is to have classes structured using traditional lecture, along with interactive classroom experiences, which engage the students in analytical and decision-making exercises that they will use in their careers. During students’ last semester, they will participate in an internship within their field of interest.
“We are able to offer this program in this facility through the gracious gifts from Dr. Richard Schooler and his wife Cheryl, and Bill and Tracy Gipson. It is our vision that students will get their degree here and join the workforce within the region and tell others they received their education at Missouri Southern State University and the Gipson Center for Healthcare Leadership. Graduates of our program will be prepared for a wide variety of entry-level business and management positions in the healthcare industry.”
Housed on the first floor of the Julio S. Leὀn Health Sciences building, the Center includes faculty offices, conference rooms, classrooms and a student lounge and resource area providing a positive learning environment in the Center and promoting interaction among faculty, students and staff. The classes will be taught by healthcare, business and communication professionals from MSSSU and the healthcare business community.
The idea of healthcare education will not be limited to the walls of the classroom. With the mission of improving healthcare in the region and the state, the Center will offer a variety of symposiums geared toward the medical community. Brown explained, “We want to bring in speakers who have done amazing things in their area to help healthcare. Our goal is improving the healthcare in our communities, and we want to offer cutting-edge ideas in healthcare leadership for our students and the broader community.”