Madonna adds Health Sciences majors for emerging health care needs

Madonna health advisory councilBaby boomers are aging, people are staying active later in life, and health care continues to evolve.
In response, Madonna University now offers two new health sciences majors to give students the skills needed for jobs changes in the health care system.
Students will be able to pursue a health sciences degree in one of two tracks: population health care management or health care informatics and quality systems management. Both tracks are delivered through Madonna’s College of Nursing and Health, with the informatics track offered in partnership with the School of Business.
Mary Mitsch, Ph.D., R.N., professor of nursing and health, said the program takes an interdisciplinary approach to provide a wide range of knowledge, including:  psychology, aging studies, humanities, science and hospice, with special emphasis on cultural humility and social justice, (for the more vulnerable population) which ties in with Madonna’s Franciscan mission. “There is a tremendous need for advocacy as people transition and navigate the health care system,” she said.
Students studying population health care management will likely help patients manage their care, coordinate care transitions, promote good health habits, and educate patients in self-care. Possible jobs for a graduate include wellness coaches and consultants, community health liaisons, and care coordination specialists.
In the health care informatics and quality systems management track, students will learn to analyze data to improve quality and safety in health care. They’ll be able to address reporting errors and look for trends that could identify patients who need extra care or follow-up.
Each track requires two, semester-long internships, during which students work with health care professionals.
Due to the fact that Madonna is a relatively small university, a team was able to move quickly to develop the tracks and get out ahead of the market, Mitsch explained. A community focus group of health executives was convened on campus to help determine the best response to new and emerging needs in health care, and ultimately collaborated with Madonna faculty on the development of the two academic concentrations in the new major.
“Graduates of a values-based program, like Madonna’s, who also serve as health care advocates for vulnerable populations are attractive to organizations such as ours,” said Ewa Matuzzewski, CEO of MedNetOne Health Solutions and a member of Madonna’s health sciences advisory council.

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