The Woods launches Master of Healthcare Administration

October 30th, 2015 | SMWC


The new Master of Healthcare Administration (MHA) program at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College (SMWC) is a graduate professional degree designed to cultivate effective healthcare leaders with strong practical skills and ethical values to address the challenges of an evolving healthcare environment.

“New technological advances, an aging population and emerging healthcare policies and regulations have created a growing demand for all healthcare professions and for healthcare administrators in particular,” states Natalia Rekhter, director of the MHA program at SMWC. “As healthcare organizations continue to grow more complex, a master’s degree is becoming standard credential for most advance positions. It is an excellent choice for professionals outside of clinical work to acquire skills necessary for non-clinical careers in healthcare. It can also enhance the ability of clinicians to successfully launch or advance administrative careers.”

Healthcare administrators must excel in a variety of areas in order to manage a healthcare organization and successfully lead a team of healthcare professionals. Healthcare administrators must be confident leaders with experience in a variety of fields: marketing, finance, research, networking, communications, laws and regulations. The MHA program at SMWC prepares individuals for the responsibilities of their future career.

“Our program is unique for many reasons, one of which being our strong focus on leadership in the curriculum to cultivate healthcare professionals into effective healthcare leaders,” states Rekhter.

Enhancing its offering of distinctive health-related programs designed to equip students for careers in high demand, SMWC – over the course of a few years – has added a healthcare administration degree, an RN to BSN completion program, a Bachelor of Science in nursing and now, a Master of Healthcare Administration degree.

“With our rigorous curriculum and experienced faculty, the healthcare programs position students for successful careers and enables them to provide outstanding care and service to our community in the future,” states Janet Clark, Ph.D., SMWC vice president for academic affairs.

Ideal candidates for the MHA program are students seeking

  • Career advancement from middle management to upper management
  • A career change from nursing to pursue an administrative position
  • Career transition from clinical to management

Applications are now being accepted for the first cohort of students pursuing a Master of Healthcare Administration (MHA) degree to begin classes in February 2016. The 18-month program is delivered in a hybrid format, with most courses available online and one weekend on campus each 8-week term. This flexible model allows students to balance their graduate study with family and professional responsibilities.

“We will continue to watch the healthcare landscape and to provide educational opportunities to meet those needs. Students will find real world application and clinical experience, as well as critical thinking, problem solving and communication skills that the liberal arts provide,” said Clark. “It’s our goal to help our students succeed in the healthcare field.”

For more information about the MHA program at SMWC including career outlook, curriculum and frequently asked questions, visit