Doctor of Health Administration Degree Online
Online Healthcare Degree
The Doctor of Health Administration degree program at A.T. Still University (ATSU) prepares health professionals to become innovative leaders and problem solvers within the healthcare industry. By blending the theoretical with the practical, the coursework of this advanced doctorate of health administration degree program provides students with the holistic knowledge needed to transition into careers that improve and influence healthcare administration systems.
Offered through ATSU’s College of Graduate Health Studies (CGHS), the respected Doctor of Health Administration degree program is designed to seamlessly integrate advanced business education that provides working healthcare professionals with advanced business strategies and innovative healthcare leadership insight.
ATSU-College of Graduate Health Studies’ doctorate of health administration is a 76-credit-hour program, consisting of 14 core courses, a competency examination and a dissertation. Coursework for the Doctor of Health Administration degree is completed 100 percent online. The ATSU-College of Graduate Health Studies program allows students tremendous flexibility, including the freedom to choose between an applied or theoretical dissertation.
ATSU’s unique partnership with the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE) provides candidates invaluable access to industry professionals, in addition to outstanding faculty who are leaders in their fields. Engage with a mentor of your choosing from the ACHE to help fulfill your dissertation and earn the esteemed credentials necessary to achieve your career goals.
Doctor of Health Administration Program Guide +
Click on the Doctor of Health Administration program guide to learn more about the program and the University.
Read detailed course descriptions for this doctorate in health administration and view program concentrations for answers to many of your questions regarding application information and tuition.
Graduates prepare to take their place in healthcare leadership with a uniquely relevant and respected doctorate in health administration from a leading health sciences University.According to the U.S. Department of Labor, “Employment of medical and health services managers is expected to grow by 22 percent from 2010 to 2020, faster than the average for all occupations. As the large baby-boom population ages and people remain active later in life, the healthcare industry as a whole will see an increase in the demand for medical services. Managers will be needed to organize and manage medical information and healthcare staffs in all areas of the industry.”
If you want to have more career opportunities, add consulting to your resume or transition into teaching, the Doctor of Health Administration degree from ATSU is for you. The program is committed to healthcare management, executive leadership and education emphasizing patient-centered care. It is based on our more than 120 years of experience in holistic health and concern for the total patient.
As administrators, educators, policy makers and thought leaders, doctor of health administration graduates are trained to manage a wide spectrum of health-industry operational functions, including facilities, personnel, purchasing and finance. An understanding of finance, information systems, human relationships and leadership skills is essential to a successful career, which may include:
- Chief executive officer, chief operating officer, president, chief financial officer or vice president of a healthcare facility
- Leadership positions in healthcare advocacy organizations
- Chief nursing officer or assistant chief nursing officer of a healthcare facility
- Director of business development
- Director of patient safety
- Director of risk management
- Healthcare consultant
- Healthcare human resources administrator
- Healthcare insurance administrator
- Healthcare marketing administrator
- Medical director of senior care center
- Policy director of healthcare association
- Practice manager
- Program coordinator or manager at state or local government agencies
- United States Army or National Guard administrative officer
- Academic leadership position, including university president, provost, dean or faculty
Doctor of Health Administration Degree Faculty
The Doctor of Health Administration program offers a challenging, interdisciplinary educational experience that enables intellectual and professional advancement. The ATSU College of Graduate Health Studies (CGHS) faculty and staff are dedicated to your success, and comprehensive student services are available, including advising, tutoring and technical support.
CGHS instructors have diverse academic and working backgrounds in management and healthcare fields, and all hold doctoral degrees or are in the final stage of obtaining a doctorate. Their academic areas of interest include healthcare law, the economics of medical care, organizational theory and its effect in the health industry, health policy, the financing of healthcare, effectiveness/cost-benefit analysis in the healthcare industry, health information systems, quantitative methods and management science.
Don Altman, DDS, DHSc, MPH, MBA, MA
Dr. Don Altman, is the Dean for CGHS as well as Professor and Chair, Department of Public Health (CGHS) and Director, Public Health & Research at the Arizona School of Dentistry & Oral Health. He has been with the University since October 2006.
Dr. Altman graduated from The University of Texas Dental Branch (DDS) in 1983. He completed his Master of Public Health degree at The University of Texas School of Public Health in 1989 and became Board Certified in Dental Public Health in 1999. Dr. Altman completed his MBA at The University of Phoenix (2002) and a MA in Bioethics from Midwestern University (2004). He graduated with a Doctor in Health Science (DHSc) degree in March 2012 from the Arizona School of Health Sciences at A.T. Still University.
Dr. Altman has worked for The City of Houston, the State of Texas, the State of Arizona, as well as The Principal Financial Group. Dr. Altman’s public health experience includes: serving as President of the Arizona State Board Dental Examiners; serving as President of the Arizona Public Health Association; volunteering with Health Volunteers Overseas (Cambodia and Vietnam); Director of the National Oral Health Leadership Institute; and serving as the Consumer Representative to the Dental Products Panel for the Food and Drug Administration. On May 1, 2012 he was appointed as a Director to The American Board of Dental Public Health.
Dr. Altman’s research interests are currently centered on public health and higher education. He has published articles in the Journal of Dental Education, Journal of the American Dental Association, Public Health Reports, Special Care in Dentistry, and Community Dentistry and Oral Epidemiology.
- Don Altman, DDS, DHSc, MPH, MBA, MA
Associate Dean +
Katherine M. Adler, DHA, FACHE
Associate Dean of Academic Success and Assessment
Dr. Adler is the Associate Dean for Assessment and Student Success at the College of Graduate Health Studies (CGHS). She began teaching for the College of Graduate Health Studies in 2006, became the Program Chair for Health Administration in 2009, and became the Associate Dean in 2012.
Dr. Adler holds a Doctorate in Healthcare Administration and Leadership from the Medical University of South Carolina. She has more than 25 years of varied experience in the not-for-profit health care industry, spending the bulk of her career working at safety-net hospitals in urban Detroit.
During her tenure in administrative roles, Dr. Adler worked closely with physicians in medicine and surgery, having direct oversight of those departments and subspecialties, and gained extensive knowledge in public health, epidemiology, social and behavioral sciences, and environmental health sciences. Through her formal training and work, Dr. Adler has a strong background in health services administration as well as public health. She is a patient advocate, understands the plight of the underserved and underinsured, and has worked to incorporate patient-centered care into the curriculum with the understanding that prevention and whole person healthcare are the keys to a healthy community and society.
- Katherine M. Adler, DHA, FACHE
Letha D. Williams, PhD
Chair & Associate Professor
Dr. Williams has more than a decade of higher education experience in both teaching and administrative roles. She began with ATSU in 2010 as adjunct faculty, became a full time Associate Professor later that year, and became Chair of the MHA and MPH programs in 2012. Her professional experience includes more than 30 years in leadership positions in healthcare organizations, including the American Red Cross, as well as hospitals, long-term-care facilities, and a home care agency. Her expertise is in market strategy development, organizational change and crisis management, team building, and leadership development. Dr. Williams has championed many growth-oriented strategic plans and marketing programs, developed and led award-winning teams, and coached supervisors, peers, and students who are currently making positive contributions to their organizations and disciplines.
Dr. Williams holds a Ph.D. in Organization and Management with a specialization in Leadership, and maintains a research interest in leadership ethics. She also holds a Master degree in Public Administration with a healthcare emphasis earned at the University of Michigan, and a bachelor degree in journalism earned at Oakland University. She previously held appointments as department chair for the accelerated business programs at Baker College, and adjunct professor at Davenport University and Trident University International.
- Letha D. Williams, PhD
Lihua Dishman, MBA
Read Bio Close
Ms. Dishman earned a Master of Business Administration. in finance, business, and economics from Wayne State University in Detroit, Mich., and a Bachelor of Science in statistics and economics from Shanghai University of Finance & Economics in Shanghai, China.
She has nearly 27 years teaching experience with traditional and non-traditional graduate and undergraduate degree programs in managerial finance, statistics, research methodology, and more. Ms. Dishman has delivered courses in 100% online, residential, and hybrid modalities. In addition, she has nearly two decades of global financial management experience. Her expertise includes global corporate treasury, global capital markets, and more.
Ms. Dishman led the structure and issuance of multi-billion dollar asset-backed securities within a global treasury group. As lead auditor for a multinational corporation, she successfully completed high profile and strategically critical international assignments. She was a consultant of global corporate finance with a Fortune 10 company for nearly five years following more than six years in private investment banking and institutional asset consulting.
As a member of the CFA Institute and the CFA Society of Detroit, her research interests include financial impact of healthcare reform on healthcare providers, healthcare cost effectiveness of promoting health well-being at workplaces, and how to invest donor assets prudently in not-for-profit healthcare systems.
John W. Fick, EdD, FACHE
Read Bio Close
Dr. Fick is an associate professor at ATSU’s College of Graduate Health Studies. He received his Doctor of Educational Leadership with a focus on higher education administration from Argosy University, Sarasota, Fla., in 2007, and an Master of Science degree with a specialization in community health services from the School of Medicine, Wayne State University (1983). He joined ATSU as an adjunct faculty member in 2007 and in 2009 became a full-time faculty member in the Health Administration program. At ATSU, has served on the curriculum committee and currently serves on the new faculty hiring committee.
Dr. Fick’s research interests include adult learners and online learning. He is board-certified in healthcare management and is a fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives. He has served as a fellow of ACEHSA (now CAHME) and was recently awarded the 2010 Distinguished Faculty Award by ACHE Regent in Mich., as well as nominated in 2010 for Faculty of the Year by students in the Master of Health Administration program at ATSU.
- Lihua Dishman, MBA
Doctor of Health Administration Degree Admissions
Candidates accepted for admission to the Doctor of Health Administration program will have met the following requirements:
- Master’s degree, or higher, from an accredited university recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation. Applicants who graduated from a university outside the United States must provide a degree equivalency evaluation..
- Currently holds a leadership position in healthcare or has a minimum of three years healthcare experience.
- Completed admissions application.
- Official transcript from a qualifying degree-granting institution. For students using VA benefits transcripts for all institutions attended are required.
- Non-refundable application fee submitted with application.
- Minimum Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) of 3.0 (4.0 scale) at the qualifying degree institution. Candidates with a GPA below 3.0 may apply by completing an additional essay during the application process to explain factors that precipitated a student’s low GPA and how and why a student will be successful in a program. Students who did not attend an institution where a GPA system was used are required to petition the program chair.
- A current resume.
- Completion of essay and submission of two professional references.
- Applicants are required to demonstrate proficiency in English when applying to the College of Graduate Health Studies, A.T. Still University. Written and spoken proficiency in the English language may be demonstrated by one of the following options:
- Option 1 - English is your first language.
- Option 2 - Graduated from a regionally accredited four year university or college in the United States (minimum BA or BS).
- Option 3 - You are demonstrating your English proficiency by submitting acceptable scores on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Testing Service (IELTS).
Acceptable minimal scores for CGHS applications are:
- Internet based total score = 80
- Acceptable IELTS score are an overall band score of 6.5
The TOEFL is administered by TOEFL/TSE Services, P.O. Box 6151, Princeton, NJ, 08541-6151, USA, phone: 609. 771.7100. Information is available at http://www.ets.org/toefl. A.T. Still University’s institutional code is 0339. Please be sure to include this information when you submit your application packet. TOEFL Educational Testing Services P.O. Box 6151 Princeton, NJ 08541-6151, phone: 609.771.7100
- Applicants are selected by an admission committee.
- Completion of background check, using a vendor selected by ATSU. CGHS requires criminal background checks on matriculants to ensure the safety of patients and employees. The checks are conducted by an ATSU selected vendor. The student will pay the cost of the criminal background check directly to the vendor. Failure to comply with this mandate will result in denial to matriculate. Applicants who fail to disclose anything on their application that is returned on their background check report will have that finding reviewed by an University Official.
- Technology requirements: All ATSU students are required to own a computer system. Minimum system requirements vary depending on program.
Foreign Credential Evaluation
Applicants who have graduated from a foreign college or university must submit acceptable evidence of U.S. degree/course equivalency. All coursework taken at the foreign institution must be evaluated for American institution equivalence by one of the following services:
- World Education Services P.O. Box 5087 Bowling Green Station New York, NY 10274-5087 phone: 212. 966.6311 fax: 212.739.6139 firstname.lastname@example.org www.wes.org
- Educational Credential Evaluators, Inc. P.O. Box 514070 Milwaukee, WI 53203-3470 414.289.3400
- American Assn. of Collegiate Registrars & Admissions Officers One Dupont Circle, NW, Suite 520 Washington, DC 20036-1135 202.293-9161 www.aacrao.org
- FCCPT - Foreign Credentialing Commission on Physical Therapy (PT Applicants only) p: 703.684.8406 www.fccpt.org
- Josef Silny & Associates, Inc. International Education Consultants 7101 SW 102 Avenue Miami FL 33173 p: 305.273.1616 f: 305.273.1338 email@example.com www.jsilny.com
- ICD - International Consultants of Delaware (General) p: 215.222.8454 www.icdeval.com
Note: All fees and tuition are subject to change.
Most courses are three credit hours, a few are five credit hours, and the Winter Institute is six credit hours. There are additional fees for books, reference materials, Winter Institute travel, and accommodations.
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Doctor of Health Administration Curriculum Overview
The Doctor of Health Administration degree curriculum is grounded in extensive research and provides a full continuum of healthcare specific knowledge and skills essential for effective industry leadership.
ATSU’s College of Graduate Health Studies provides broad training, integrated online instruction, directed readings, email and chat room interactions. The University’s mission driven, context-based curriculum design assesses student learning through authentic embedded assessments.
Academic areas of focus include:
- Healthcare law
- The economics of medical care
- Organizational theory and its effect in the health industry
- Health policy
- The financing of healthcare
- Effectiveness/cost-benefit analysis in the healthcare industry
- Health information systems
- Quantitative methods
- Management science
Leadership and Ethics+
This self-reflective and development executive course is based upon group work and case based activity. Established leadership theories will be used to develop personal skills in leadership and individual ethical perspectives. Students will be required to engage an American College of Healthcare Executive ACHE Fellow as a mentor/coach throughout their Doctor of Health Administration program experience.
Coaching, Mentoring, and Interpersonal Communications+
Building upon practical experience gained via the Leadership and Ethics course, participants will examine the importance of succession planning and develop strategies for organizational development. Doctor of Health Administration program participants will identify interpersonal communication styles and strengths and further develop communication competencies.
Research Methods I+
This Doctorate of Health Administration course focuses on the fundamental techniques involved in designing research studies, including scientific thinking, effective evaluation of literature, identification of problems, and development of purpose statements and hypotheses. Reviews of basic statistics, computer software, and interpretation of statistical analyses are included.
In this executive course, Doctor of Health Administration students will investigate public health risks and how they relate to globalization, changing demographics, natural disaster, and terror based disaster. Population health and well-being will be covered along with identification of resources for data, information, and assistance.
Quality Improvement/Performance Excellence+
In this executive course, concepts and principles of continuous improvement and patient safety using the Baldrige Criteria will be used. Group work and case studies will allow Doctor of Health Administration program participants to develop evidence based management principles leading to patient centered, quality driven practices that will result in improved patient outcomes and more efficient and effective organizational practices.
Health Policy, Law and Regulation+
This executive course will cover significant legislation impacting the health care industry, including current topics in health care reform, along with discussion on advocacy and active participation in policy development. Students earning their doctorate in health administration are required to interface with local, state and federal legislators as a means to investigate and advocate for patient centered health related policy.
Research Methods II+
In this Doctor of Health Administration course, students will be immersed in the principles and techniques involved in quantitative research methods. Topics covered include survey and experimental methods; sampling; hypothesis testing; exploring, displaying, and examining data; measures of association; multivariate analysis; and presentation of results.
Negotiation, Mediation and Managing Conflict+
In this executive course, Doctor of Health Administration students will identify personal negotiation style and strengths; and how to use this individualized approach to mediating and managing conflict at various levels of the organization and with both practitioners and non-practitioners.
Healthcare Economics and Financial Management+
Doctorate of Health Administration program participants will use key financial and economic principles to examine executive level decisions relative to capitalization, credit ratings, debt capacity, alternate funding sources, business plan development, and overall organizational finance strategy. The concepts will be considered from both non-profit and for-profit healthcare organizational perspectives.
Healthcare Organization Informatics+
In this executive course, Doctor of Health Administration students will investigate the qualities necessary to strategically evaluate, select and implement system wide informatics. Consideration is given to the effects of the rapidly evolving informatics field and resulting organizational adaptation. Decision support systems integrating financial, human resources, continuous quality improvement, and strategy and resource utilization will be introduced and applied.
Research Methods III+
The Doctor of Health Administration degree program examines qualitative and mixed methods approaches in research. Students will focus on the researcher’s role in these types of studies, data collection techniques such as observations or interviews, data recording methods, data analysis, and validation of results. Mixed methods issues such as sequencing and integration of findings are also explored.
Health Organization Governance+
In this executive course, students earning their doctorate in health administration are involved in processes used to identify and recruit governing boards, and the use of effective management and communication skills to establish board accountability and buy-in. Board development, board composition, fiduciary responsibility, leadership roles, and the governing role of the board and its infrastructure are examined.
Strategic Change Management for Healthcare Organizations+
In this executive course, Doctor of Health Administration students will investigate and integrate change management practices to strategically position the healthcare organization for the future. Students will assess their organization’s current strategic position, apply relevant theoretical models and necessary change management practices resulting in development of organizational adaptability.
Healthcare Trends/Dissertation Review/Comprehensive Examination+
In this executive course, current healthcare trends and healing environments for patients will be studied. Students will review best practices and develop strategies to use in their specific work environments. In this capstone class, students review and present three dissertations and/or high level theses (if approved by the instructor) relating to their final applied dissertation, and then complete the comprehensive examination.
Dissertation (5 Credits)+
The dissertation is the cumulative project for the Doctor of Health Administration degree program. The topics and projects introduced and implemented during this program of study will be used to complete this requirement.
*A series of DHA 960 courses (DHA 960, DHA 961, DHA 962, DHA 963) are taken until the dissertation is completed; a minimum of DHA 960 and DHA 961 are required, and typically four dissertation courses (DHA 960-DHA 963) are taken to complete the dissertation. The dissertation must be completed within seven years of beginning the program.
Community Health Center
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