The Department of Health Policy and Administration at Penn State

Interested in health management, health policy, or health services research? The Department of Health Policy and Administration (HPA) at Penn State prepares students to be the health care leaders of tomorrow.

Undergraduate Program
Our undergraduate program develops graduates with the knowledge, skills, and values appropriate for beginning a career in health management or health policy or for graduate education in public health, health policy, health law, health services research, and other health-related and clinical fields.
Master of Health Administration (M.H.A.)
Our Master of Health Administration (M.H.A.) degree prepares students for the complexities they will face in health services management, one of the fastest growing management occupations. The M.H.A. program is available via resident and online instruction options.
Ph.D. program
Our Ph.D. program develops intellectual leaders who will produce important new insights through research on health policy, health care organizations, and population health.

HPA Highlights

Read a more thorough discussion of HPA Programs, Research and Service.

Latest News

Alumnus named COO of Mount Nittany Physician Group

James Prowant ’78 ’86g MHA has been named chief operating officer of Mount Nittany Physician Group.

Originally from Lewisburg, Prowant holds a master’s degree in healthcare administration and a bachelor’s degree in biology from Penn State. He is also a certified medical practice executive through the American College of Medical Practice Executives.

Most recently, Prowant worked as the vice president for primary care operations at Lehigh Valley Physician Group, a subsidiary of Lehigh Valley Health Network. Prowant has also worked in administrative roles at Ephrata Community Hospital in Ephrata, Pa.; Lombardi Cancer Center at Georgetown University Medical Center in Washington, D.C.; and Susquehanna Health in Muncy, Pa.; among other locations.

Read more about James Prowant's new role at Mount Nittany Physician Group.

HPA senior recognized for research on age and social isolation in the U.S.

Sharon Qi's research paper has been selected as a winning undergraduate-level paper in the Francis G. Caro Student Paper Award Contest at the University of Massachusetts.

Her paper, “The Effects of Social Isolation on Chronic Illness Among Older Adults: A Review of the Literature,” discusses the impact of social isolation on the aging U.S. population, a population already stricken with a chronic disease epidemic. Qi, of Wallingford, Pennsylvania, wrote the paper following independent study at the University's Center for Healthy Aging during the spring 2014 semester.

Read more about Qi's recognition in the Francis G. Caro Student Paper Award Contest at the University of Massachusetts.

Hospitals recover from recession, some financial issues remain

The recent economic recession affected hospitals across the nation, regardless of financial status, but following the rebound, financially weak and safety-net hospitals continue to struggle, according to health researchers.

"Poor financial outcomes [for hospitals] could lead to poor care," said Naleef Fareed, assistant professor of health policy and administration, Penn State. "This is an issue that needs attention as health care reform moves forward."

Fareed and colleagues used data from both the American Hospital Association Annual Survey and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to analyze how different groups of hospitals fared financially during the recession, and where these groups stand as health care reform continues in the United States.

Read more about hospitals recovering from recession but facing remaining financial issues.

2014 Stanley P. Mayers Endowed Lecture

View the 2014 Stanley P. Mayers Endowed Lecture online.

HPA student, Army veteran wins Penn State adult learner award

Stephanie Vellucci receiving award

Stephanie Vellucci grew up in a rural town and barely made it through high school. As a teenager, she fell in with the wrong crowd and struggled with a lack of motivation toward her education. But as time passed, she realized she wanted more for herself and wanted to make her family proud. She took steps to turn her life around. Vellucci enlisted in the U.S. Army as an operating room technician, serving at U.S. posts and overseas. She assisted with surgeries and saved lives. Vellucci then knew she could make a difference. Read more about Stephanie Vellucci, 2014 recipient of the Penn State Outstanding Adult Student Award >>

Students place highly in health administration competition

four MHA students with award

Penn State students in the master of health administration (MHA) program were selected as finalists (top five out of 37 teams) in the eighth annual University of Alabama-Birmingham (UAB) Health Administration Case Competition. Students Jared Stanger, Yamini Kalidindi and Keerthana Rajagopal, with Kevin Hawkins as alternate, participated in the competition, which was held Feb. 26-28. The UAB Health Administration Case Competition provides graduate students from health administration programs that are accredited by the Commission on Accreditation Healthcare Management Education an opportunity to put what they have learned into practice with a real-life, real-time case. It is designed to be a capstone experience. Each year, student teams from around the country travel to Birmingham, Ala., to present their recommendations before a national team of judges. The first-, second- and third-place teams receive cash awards. Read more about Penn State MHA students at the University of Alabama-Birmingham (UAB) Health Administration Case Competition.

Marianne Hillemeier named head of Health Policy and Administration

Marianne Hillemeier

Marianne Hillemeier, professor of health policy and administration and demography, and associate director of the Population Research Institute, has been named head of the Department of Health Policy and Administration (HPA) at Penn State. She will assume the position July 1. Hillemeier will replace Dennis Shea, who was named associate dean for undergraduate programs and outreach in the College of Health and Human Development last summer. Dianne Brannon, professor of health policy and administration, has served as interim department head. Read more about Hillemeier's appointment.

Time and Patient$

Time and Patient$ screen

The "bad guys" in Jonathan Clark's video game are not gun-wielding guerillas, fire-breathing dragons or flesh-eating zombies. Instead, the "antagonists" are wasted time, lost customers and reduced profits. In the summer of 2013, Clark — assistant professor of health policy and administration and executive director of the Master of Health Administration (M.H.A.) program — piloted a video game in his online M.H.A. class HPA 897A, Healthcare Operations Management. He is using the game again this semester as part of his resident M.H.A. version of the class. The setting of the game is a walk-in physician clinic; the goal is to optimize the clinic's operations to ensure patient satisfaction and maximize profits. Read more about the learning tool Time and Patient$.

Department of Health Policy and Administration
604 Ford Building
University Park, PA 16802-6500
Phone: 814-863-2900

Member of AUPHACommission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education