Doctor of Health Administration alumni have high praises for the online-based program:
"Pursuing the DHA degree has been one of the most challenging, yet rewarding adventures thus far in my career. I now have a greater appreciation for hospital administrators and departmental leadership.
As a physician and educator, having a broader understanding about health care law, strategic planning, leadership, communication, and research will enhance my ability to have a greater impact in health care. I can now approach patient care from different perspectives.
The diversity of the cohorts enhances learning opportunities through the sharing of vast professional background experiences and networking. The importance of teamwork and developing interpersonal relationships is reinforced over the three-year curriculum."
Sheila Bouldin, MD, DHAProfessorDepartment of OB/GYNUMMC
"The DHA program has allowed me to understand the importance of putting together a systematic approach when it comes to change initiatives or larger projects within my department and/or organization. Additionally, the DHA program taught me the importance of due diligence and exploring various possibilities before deciding on a path forward.
The DHA program has allowed me to diversify current and future opportunities by way of academic instructing. As my career in health care administration advances, so does my opportunity to mentor and instruct future generations. The DHA helped to further legitimize my level of expertise.
The networking opportunities are great in that each cohort is generally comprised of individuals with various experiences and backgrounds that can act as a wonderful resource while in the program and beyond."
W. Taylor Sisson, DHA, MBADepartment Business AdministratorDepartment of OB/GYNUMMC
"I have used the knowledge obtained to gain a better understanding of topics which are essential for a health care leader in an ever-changing health care climate.
We are encouraged to form a strong professional bond, gain insight from our different perspectives and use the overall experience as one that makes us better-equipped health care leaders."
Although Dr. DeVaul previously held a clinical leadership role, in July 2021, one year after DHA graduation, he assumed the role of Assistant Dean of Academic Affairs for the School of Health Related Professions.
Driscoll DeVaul, DHA, MHS, RRTAssistant Dean of Academic AffairsSchool of Health Related ProfessionsUMMC
"The DHA program most certainly helped me rise to the position of regional chief medical officer for one of the largest hospital systems in the nation. Not only was the program integral in representing my credentials, but the knowledge that I obtained has served me very well. The program has allowed me to successfully make a mid-career transition from clinical medicine to health care administration leadership.
I now believe that leadership is a skill that can be taught, and I am certainly a stronger leader because of the DHA program. I also understand the psychology and behavior of my organization better, and this appreciation clearly stems from coursework in the DHA program. The ability to maintain a full professional work schedule while still achieving the aims of the program was truly remarkable. The assigned coursework maintains discipline, but allows for the flexibility needed as a working health care professional.
Faculty were always accessible and personally invested in my success. The ability for a distance learning program to draw on faculty in a wide variety of disciplines and across campuses is a great asset. The doctoral project was not only challenging, but it taught me how to think critically and gave me a new skill set on how to present and manage data and support my positions as a leader."
Donald S. David, MD, DHAChief Medical OfficerWest Hills Hospital and Medical CenterWest Hills, California
"The DHA degree has helped me have a broader perspective of health care. From leadership, to economics, to operations, to research, I have a stronger understanding of the industry.
Learning how to express myself through writing more effectively has contributed to my impact as a leader more than I expected. Meeting and working with other students from different organizations and parts of the industry has been invaluable. My ability to research solutions, think them through and explain them has strengthened as a result of this program."
Guy Giesecke, DHAChief Executive Officer, Children’s of MississippiUMMC
"Through the knowledge I gained in the DHA program, I am able to bring different perspectives to challenges faced by my department, and I have the confidence to present ideas that may be novel or “outside the box.” Since I have completed the program, I feel that I have a better standing to be an advocate for the stakeholders impacted by the projects that I manage.
The program is well structured and designed. The subject matter covered in the various courses provides the student an opportunity to learn about a variety of topics that will improve the student’s abilities to function in whatever role they play in a health care organization."
Monte E. Luehlfing, DHASenior IT Program ManagerDivision of Information SystemsUMMC
"I appreciated how our professors provided an array of activities and assignments because it made demonstrating our learning more challenging and enjoyable, and this enabled me to build a strong learning portfolio. The blended model of UMMC’s DHA program allowed me to earn my doctoral degree while living and working full time in San Francisco, and it provided worthwhile face-to-face time on campus with professors and fellow students.
The Doctor of Health Administration program at UMMC provided a well-rounded, meaningful curriculum that strengthened my knowledge and skills in many important areas within healthcare and leadership. My responsibilities at UCSF Health include collaborating with interdisciplinary colleagues across all levels of the organization on continuous process improvement efforts aligned with our strategic true north goals. I was able to immediately apply much of what I learned to my work. The education I received through this program continues to empower me to be a better teammate and leader.
The professional connections I acquired through the DHA program are invaluable. I had the magnificent opportunity to learn from and be mentored by caring faculty members who are leaders in their fields. My cohort consisted of highly engaged, collaborative, and driven professionals across the country, which truly enriched my studies. After graduating, an alumnus offered me an exciting opportunity to serve on an advisory council at his university. I look forward to continuing to partner with alumni and faculty on future healthcare and higher education improvement initiatives.
The knowledge and skills I gained enabled me to think more strategically and systematically as my teams approach, execute, and reflect on our change initiatives."
Susan Chim, DHA, MATUniversity of California San Francisco HealthSan Francisco, California
The knowledge and skills I gained through the DHA program have proven invaluable as I further my career in health care administration. The coursework in strategic change management, health systems, and communications in health organizations enabled me to develop proactive, integrative approaches and processes in my role as the inaugural director of UMMC’s Office of Clinical Trials, which became all the more critical while responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally, I especially appreciated the cohort model, as I was able to gain a deeper understanding of and appreciation for the various roles critical to health care administration and experience working in multidisciplinary teams. Whitney Bondurant, DHA, JDDirector, Clinical Trials OfficeDivision of Research and Sponsored ProjectsUMMC
Like many health care clinicians, I expected my clinical leadership experiences would prepare me for an administrative role. Shortly after starting the DHA program, my opportunities for growth became quite clear as I began to understand just how vast a skillset is needed to effectively lead a health care organization.
The coursework and class projects added value that was easily identifiable. The DHA curriculum addressed every topic related to health care leadership and prepared me to not only understand, but contribute to solving the issues that impact my organization. Since graduating, I’ve had the opportunity to broaden my administrative role and take on new projects with significant implications for my organization.
Chris Collado, DHA, NP-C, CPNP-DualClinical and Administrative Services DirectorChildren’s of Mississippi UMMC
I have been able to apply research knowledge gained in the UMMC DHA program to the Mississippi Hospital Association’s community health improvement initiatives. The program equipped me to serve as principal investigator for grants awarded by the MHA Foundation. The online, asynchronous format allowed me to pursue a terminal degree while continuing to work full time. In addition to interacting with diverse cohort members, I also networked with past graduates of the program and other UMMC staff. The experiential opportunities of the program allowed me to work directly with some of these individuals on change initiatives at UMMC.
Shawn Rossi, DHA, FACHEVice President of Communication & Member EngagementMississippi Hospital Association
The DHA program has positively impacted my professional career. The knowledge and credentials I have gained through this program enhance my interactions, especially with business partners in the health care community. Although I lead a private medical practice, the DHA experience helped me to understand the hospital environment, increasing my credibility with hospital partners.
The interdisciplinary nature of the DHA program is a game changer. My cohort consisted of bright people representing a myriad of stakeholders within the health care delivery system including administrators, clinicians, and educators. Because of this, I gained new insights into diverse perspectives which provided me with a better understanding of the complexities of health care in the United States. It also improved my ability to collaborate with people from other disciplines.
One of the most impactful results of the DHA program for me was the confidence that I could overcome challenges and implement change within my organization. The curriculum, research, and networking I experienced during the program helped me to understand that I have the skills needed to do hard things within my organization.
The cohort design of the program is incredibly impactful. Classmates become like family. We celebrated successes and tackled challenges together. The faculty did an excellent job of fostering this collaboration. While I was learning from the curriculum, I was simultaneously learning from the diverse, interdisciplinary cohort purposely selected by the admissions committee.
Marella Yates, DHA, MSM, CMPE Executive DirectorAdvanced Center for Orthopedics and Sports MedicineOwensboro, Kentucky
The DHA program at UMMC was not only rewarding and challenging, but exposed me to a more global view of health care. The vast array of courses in the curriculum offered a comprehensive view of the health care industry. Near completion of the program, I was hired in an administrative role within my organization, and I have no doubt that I am better prepared for my position due to completion of the program.
The program offered me an opportunity to work with other students from around the United States and their input afforded me a deeper understanding of health care. The connection with students and faculty was instrumental in my success. Each faculty member was devoted to helping me succeed, and I continue to view each of them as a colleague and friend. Professionally, I approach my role within the organization differently and use a more systematic approach to solving problems. I have a greater understanding of research and will continue to use what I have learned as I advance my career.
James S. Miller, DHA, FNP-C, RNDirector of NursingChildren's of MississippiUMMC