DeSales University announces the launch of two undergraduate majors: health communication and healthcare administration.
Appealing to communication-minded students who demonstrate an interest in health or healthcare but do not wish to enter a medical field, the health communication major that will teach students to become professional communicators who inform, influence, and motivate individual, institutional, and public audiences about important health issues.
Health communication, one of the fastest growing fields in the communication discipline, is concerned with people’s communication and knowledge needs in such areas as the relationships between patients and their healthcare providers, family dynamics, dissemination of health information, and the use of emerging technology to improve health and healthcare.
“Health communication is a natural outgrowth of our existing communication program and pairs perfectly with DeSales' nursing, physician assistant, and physical therapy programs,” says Juilene Osborne-McKnight, assistant professor of communication. “We are particularly excited that we have been able to find superb faculty with both academic knowledge of the field as well as experience in the field.”
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects that employment of health educators and community health workers, which include health communication workers, will grow 13 percent from 2014 to 2024. Careers in the field include patient advocate, communication manager for health agencies, health clinic public relations director, medical grants writer, and health facility fundraiser.
Students in the major will study courses in patient-provider communication, media and health, and medical terminology in addition to communication courses such as fundamentals of public relations and persuasive communications. Additionally there is an opportunity for students to include Spanish as part of their foreign language requirement thereby increasing marketability.
The healthcare administration major fulfills the mission of DeSales University by responding to the human and moral factors that are essential to the study of business and healthcare.
The BLS indicates that employment in healthcare administration is projected to grow at a rate three times faster than job growth for the entire economy generating more than one third of the nation’s new jobs through 2024.
“Healthcare administration field is a rapidly growing area with expanding job opportunities,” says Dr. Christopher R. Cocozza, division head, division of business. “We believe this major will help graduates to attain the necessary skills to have a very successful career in healthcare administration.”
Healthcare administration graduates will be prepared to plan, direct and coordinate medical and health services in hospitals, physician group practices, skilled nursing facilities, insurance companies and public health facilities.
Coursework for student will include a foundation of business courses, including management, marketing, and finance, as well as healthcare courses. New healthcare courses will include Foundations of Healthcare Systems, Strategic Management and Marketing in Health Care, and Ethics in Health Care.
The major also complements the University’s Healthcare Systems Management concentration in its MBA program and healthcare administration students have the opportunity to earn an MBA from DeSales in 5 years.
Healthcare administration will be offered in the University’s adult evening undergraduate program, ACCESS.
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