Advanced degree in healthcare administration developed in Upstate

06/14/2014 12:00 AM

06/13/2014 7:36 PM

Baptist Easley Hospital and Southern Wesleyan University have forged an alliance that will develop an MBA program in health care administration that officials say is the first of its kind in the Upstate.

The agreement also calls for other joint projects, such as physician support for the sports program at the school, officials said Friday.

“Our partnership will remain fluid as new initiatives evolve and develop,” said Baptist Easley CEO Michael L. Batchelor. “I am committed to preparing our health care leaders for the future and further supporting the economic development for the communities in which we serve.”

“Higher education institutions need to look for creative ways to address community needs,” said SWU President Todd Voss. “We saw this as a way to resonate with the community and forge partnerships with like-minded organizations.”

The 22-month MBA program will “combine the finance, operations, and business management components of a traditional MBA while also adding key elements of health care management,” officials said. Key hospital administrators will be involved in developing the curriculum and student internships, officials said.

The program, which could launch this fall, will serve 25 students from any Baptist Easley-affiliated hospital, including Greenville Health System and Palmetto Health, officials said.

Under the arrangement, Baptist Easley will make a one-time $80,000 investment to support the program chair for the first year which will be offset by a $3,000 tuition discount for each student in the program, officials said.

The agreement also calls for enhanced faculty, staff, student and dependent health care options such as wellness programs and a possible clinic on the school’s campus in Central that could also be open to the community, officials said.

“Students interested in business and health-related careers will have an array of hands-on experiences through internships, and we will take advantage of using the university facilities for ongoing professional development,” Batchelor said. “Together we will be able to achieve for our community what would not be possible otherwise.”

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