CORVALLIS - A group of courses in health care administration designed for working professionals in the health care industry has been so successful in its initial offering in central Oregon that the same program is being expanded this spring into Corvallis, Albany, Lebanon and Newport.
The courses are coordinated by OSU Extended Campus, the award-winning program of extended education operated by Oregon State University. They help address a need for more advanced undergraduate or graduate training in the increasingly complex business of health care, officials say.
A series of orientation sessions to learn more about this initiative will be offered from Feb. 19-26 at four locations in western Oregon. Attendance is free and open to anyone.
"Health care is one of the fastest growing sectors of the Oregon economy and also a major business," said Leonard Friedman, an associate professor in the OSU College of Health and Human Sciences. "But it's also an area of great complexity, economic challenges, almost constant change and many governmental and insurance company regulations. Many of the people working in this field have a need for more training in the business, insurance and management aspects of the health care industry."
Last fall, OSU and the St. Charles Medical Center in Bend jointly developed a group of courses that would be of particular value to the physicians, nurses, administrators and other health care professionals who need additional training in the business aspects of this field.
The response to this initiative was extremely positive, Friedman said, and Samaritan Health Systems expressed a strong interest in expanding it to more hospitals in the central Willamette Valley and the central Oregon Coast. The six-course sequence will begin in April as a combination of courses offered both online and on-site at various locations, with weekend class times on just two weekends per term.
"The whole concept of this approach is to offer people advanced training that they can fit in with their busy work schedules," Friedman said. "Courses can be taken for undergraduate or graduate credit, and later be applied to either a bachelor's or master's degree, if needed, in such fields as public health or health care administration."
The upcoming orientation sessions will provide more details about courses, fees, instructors and other information.
They will be held at four times and locations, with a similar program at each orientation:
Among the course topics are management and administration of health care programs; economic issues in health and medical care; financial management of health care organizations; health care information systems; health care law and regulation; and strategic management of health care organizations. People may take individual courses or the entire sequence. Completion of the entire sequence at the graduate level would provide about 40 percent of the credits needed for the masters in public health degree at OSU.
More information on the program can be obtained on the web at ecampus.oregonstate.edu.
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Leonard Friedman, 541-737-2323