New Class Preps for Health Care Administration

July 06, 2021 | Education | Kim Strobel

A new class offered by the Walla Walla University School of Business and in partnership with Adventist Health is helping to prepare WWU students for careers in health care administration by providing opportunities to learn from senior level health care executives.

“The health care industry is a booming sector worldwide with a projected 23% growth in jobs,” said Patience Taruwinga, School of Business dean. “This industry provides many opportunities for students, good earning potential and the opportunity to accelerate in their careers.”

Twenty-six students took the elective class during the first quarter it was offered. Taruwinga says many additional students are ready to register for the class next year because they are hearing positive reports from students taking the class.

Senior business administration major Lauren Fry said, “What stands out to me about this class is that we’re seeing a well-rounded view of different management positions within Adventist Health. This class is a really good introduction to my  summer internship with Adventist Health in Portland.”

During the last three years, more than 25 students from the WWU School of Business were hired as either health care administration interns or as part of the administration residency programs offered by various health care networks. “Through this intensive 12-week internship program, our students interact with health care executives and work with multiple teams within the health care environment," said Taruwinga. "By the time they are finished they have a clear sense of the careers they want to pursue in health care administration.”

Fry says that, while she has always been interested in helping people, she has never had a passion to work on the clinical side of health care as a doctor or nurse. “I’ve always had more of a business mindset,” she said. “When I learned that health care has this other side to it — this business component — it really appealed to me because I want to have a job where I feel like I am really making a difference.”

Through classes in the School of Business, mission-minded students like Fry are learning excellent problem-solving and communication skills, strong analytical and quantitative skills all while developing a strong work ethic — qualities Adventist Health values in employment candidates.

“Adventist Health is looking for bright, young and mission-driven students to come work for us. The Introduction to Healthcare Administration class is an opportunity for WWU students to put their name forward — to step up and say, ‘I want to make a difference in the world,’” said Alex Bryan, Adventist Health chief mission officer, who teaches the class at WWU. “There is no better way to make a profound difference in the world than through health care — to love people who are hurting, to heal people who are sick, to bring hope to people who find that they have no hope.”

To learn more about how the WWU School of Business can help you prepare for a career in health care administration, visit wallawalla.edu/business and watch the video that includes interviews with students in the class.