In a constantly evolving healthcare environment, managing a successful organization requires a new type of collaborative leader.
Florida International University’s College of Business developed its Healthcare MBA with the mission of preparing these leaders. It has quickly grown into South Florida’s leading source of professional education in the field.
Students in the 18-month program come from all facets of the healthcare industry, with most holding professional positions throughout the course of their studies. In a series of courses and hands-on challenges, students work together to solve the types of problems typically encountered in the working environment. Physicians, nurse-clinicians, administrators and sales professionals all bring their perspectives to classes and are tasked with challenges in a collaborative problem-solving approach. FIU’s world-class faculty members serve as both instructors and mentors, with a wide variety of perspectives and experiences that serve to inform students as they search for new answers in providing effective healthcare in the rapidly changing South Florida environment.
The program’s strong emphasis on a multi-faceted approach to analyzing issues and solving problems is one that has won recognition and praise from the South Florida health care community. It has also produced graduates with skill sets that shine in situations where collaboration and strong presentation skills are paramount.
Case competitions are a prime example. For the second straight year, in 2014, a team of students from FIU’s Healthcare MBA program captured a first-place finish in the graduate division of the South Florida Healthcare Executive Forum’s Student Case Competition.
The victory culminated a six-month effort, which included putting together a team, doing a viability study, and making a recommendation on whether the program in question should be implemented.
The case asked students to analyze the implementation of a disease management program for diabetes, and make recommendations on the most effective implementation strategy. It was an opportunity for students to learn the challenges of developing a detailed timeline for a complex project that had several constituencies with different visions for a successful outcome. It also gave them the opportunity to learn skills that allowed them to juggle priorities, pull together as a team, and develop relationships with some of the most accomplished healthcare leaders in South Florida.
Team co-captains Melissa Stedman and Prima Romulus, along with members Arita Dereus, Nina Hammond, Lourdes Zabalo and Christopher A. Cook, met with physician leaders and healthcare executives from throughout South Florida to solicit their perspectives and study their experiences. The opportunity to hear about real life examples of disease management practices from the professional community, analyze results, and present their findings to top executives brought life to their studies.
Having the opportunity to have their cases judged by community CEOs, and receive input from members of the SFHEF, gave students an invaluable professional opportunity.
“We worked with so many high-level professionals in this community, and they had so many important things to teach us,” Romulus said.
On April 19, 2014, the students presented their findings to the SFHEF panel at Aventura Hospital and Medical Center. A week later, the FIU team learned that their presentation had ranked first.
Reflecting on the victory for the FIU team, Romulus emphasized the value of the competition.
“The opportunity to position ourselves at the South Florida Healthcare Executive Forum was very special,” she said. “As we become top leaders, this essential experience will assist us as we establish ourselves as industry leaders.”
“The caliber of our students, and the effort they put into their presentation, was obvious to everyone who saw them present,” said Program Director Mercy Bradley. “Their work inspires us, and helps us understand that the future of our healthcare community will be in good hands.”
FIU’s Healthcare MBA is offered at Miami Downtown/Brickell and Broward. For more information about the program, call 305-779-7900 or visit hcmba.fiu.edu.