New MBA in Guam and Hawaii makes higher education feasible for professionals
The governor of Guam, Felix P. Camacho (center), thanks Loma Linda University for offering the MBA program; some employees from the government-run Guam Memorial Hospital are enrolled. With Mr. Camacho are S. Eric Anderson, PhD, MBA (right), director of the MBA program, and Bevan Geslani, MD, medical director of Guam Seventh-day Adventist Clinic.
Full-time health care professionals in Guam and Hawaii now have a master of business administration program designed specifically to meet their needs. The LLU School of Public Health recently began the new program in each location.
Thirty-one students are enrolled in Guam and 29 in the Oahu, Hawaii, program. Most of the students come from Guam Seventh-day Adventist Clinic and Castle Medical Center in Kailua, Oahu.
However, there are also students from other institutions in Guam and Hawaii, such as Guam Memorial Hospital, a government-run medical center.
The first class focused on “health systems operations management” and was taught during September in each location. S. Eric Anderson, PhD, MBA, director of the MBA program in LLU School of Public Health, taught the course.
For the next two years, two courses will be taught each quarter at each location. The program is intensive, with classes taught in less than one week—all day Sunday and evenings Monday through Wednesday. Students then have about five weeks to complete their assignments.
This program was started at the desire of health care executives at Guam Adventist Clinic and Castle Medical Center, where prof
Students in the Hawaii program are pictured behind Castle Medical Center, located in Kailua on the island of Oahu. On the far right is Susanne Montgomery, PhD, MPH, associate dean of academic affairs for the School of Public Health. In the back row, third from left, is S. Eric Anderson, PhD, MBA, director of the School’s MBA program.
essionals who wanted to obtain advanced education and better leadership skills had limited options.
“There are a few MBA programs on the island of Oahu, and the University of Guam has an MBA program, but they are not geared for working, full-time health care professionals,” says Dr. Anderson.
In addition, a shortage of qualified health care professionals in locales such as Guam hinders current executive staff from taking leaves of absence to attend school.
About a year and a half ago, Bevan Geslani, MD, medical director at Guam Seventh-day Adventist Clinic, approached Dr. Anderson about the possibility of a distance education MBA for clinic executives. However, the limited resources of the clinic would have made funding an entire MBA cohort difficult.
Dr. Anderson traveled to Guam in September 2005 to begin setting up the program. He remembered that Castle Medical Center had expressed a similar interest in the past, and on the way back to California, he stopped at CMC, recruiting it as a partner. CMC’s inclusion made the MBA cost effective for both institutions.
“The program has enabled us to offer a cost-effective, quality program to our staff in a format that enables them to be productive professionally while strengthening their health administration knowledge and skills,” says Kathy Raethel, MPH, MHA, vice president of patient care services at CMC. “By opening the program to participants from other Hawaii-based health care institutions, we have provided the opportunity for quality networking and sharing of best practices.”
Laura Westphal, RN, director of quality and risk management at CMC, is one of the students in the course.
“Loma Linda offering an MBA program in Hawaii is a wonderful opportunity for us to expand knowledge, viewpoints, and to develop better working relationships with our partners in medicine and our competition,” Ms. Westphal says.