Sloan Program welcomes first EMHA class

Sloan EMHA students

Thirty-nine health care professionals from across the nation are participating as members of the inaugural class of the Sloan Program’s Executive Master of Health Administration degree.

The students participate in online classes, while concurrently continuing their careers, and meet in-person for two weeks on the Ithaca campus and one weekend in New York City during the 18-month curriculum.

“Our program’s goal remains the same: to provide a rigorous education to health care professionals who, for personal and professional reasons, cannot take two years off and move to Ithaca for a residential degree but seek to have greater impact and leadership opportunities,” said Mariya Thompson, director of executive education for the Sloan Program.

“They are an incredibly diverse group, coming from all parts of the U.S. and one from Vietnam and from a variety of health care sub-sectors including hospitals, clinics, long-term care, insurance, pharmaceutical, biotech, consultancies, government and others,” she said. “This diversity of perspectives adds tremendous richness to the group discussions.”

Sloan leaders have been impressed at how close the class of health executives have become in just the first few weeks of the program.

“We were hoping to form a close-knit group through the shared cohort experience, but I don’t think we expected the level of cohesion we witnessed at our first on-campus intensive in June 2019, just five weeks into the program,” Thompson said. “Our students work together, help each other, and communicate through various platforms within and outside of the course structure.”

Students in the program have opportunities to network with residential Sloan students, and residential students have the opportunity to serve as teaching assistants for some of the Executive MHA classes.

Executive MHA student Karen Burke is currently the associate director for research compliance at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. The Sloan Program stood out to her because of its small size, she said.

“I knew I’d be able to develop meaningful relationships to support professional growth,” she explained. “This degree is certainly an important step for continued advancement within my field and I believe it will be valuable in supporting any potential ‘pivots’ that I take down the road in my career.”

The program was also appealing, Burke said, because she truly enjoys her job and she didn’t want her career to lose momentum by taking several years off. “Completing this program online through Cornell allows me the opportunity to attend remotely without short-cutting the educational experience,” she said.

This class will finish their studies in December 2020. Before then, in May 2020, the Sloan program will bring in a new cohort of at least 40 health care professionals to begin the next round of the program.

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