The University of Scranton and TCMC Announce MD-MHA Degree Program

07/22/10

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The University of Scranton and The Commonwealth Medical College signed a Memorandum of Understanding to offer a dual degree program in Medicine and Health Administration (MD-MHA) beginning in the summer of 2011. At the announcement are, from left, representing The University of Scranton, Daniel West Jr., Ph.D., chairman of the Department of Health Administration and Human Resources; Joseph Dreisbach, Ph.D., interim associate provost for academic affairs; and Debra Pellegrino, Ed.D., dean of the Panuska College of Professional Studies; and representing The Commonwealth Medical College, Robert D’Alessandri, M.D., president and dean; and Raymond Smego, M.D., associate dean for educational development.

      On Thursday, July 22, officials of The University of Scranton and The Commonwealth Medical College (TCMC) signed a Memorandum of Understanding to offer a dual degree program in Medicine and Health Administration. The Doctor of Medicine and Master of Health Administration (MD-MHA) is an innovative dual degree program - the first for the region that combines the strengths of two highly-specialized degree programs to train future physicians for roles as healthcare administrators and leaders in the delivery of healthcare services. Medical students who know early in their careers that they wish to pursue healthcare administration in tandem with a medical career can begin the program in August 2011.  

      “The Commonwealth Medical College is committed to working with area colleges and universities to develop educational programs and affiliation agreements that will enhance and expand the overall educational experience for students in our region,” stated Robert D’Alessandri, M.D., president and dean of TCMC. “As healthcare organizations respond to the dynamic changes in healthcare, the dual MD-MHA degree program will integrate leadership and management functions in the medical and clinical environment to meet the demand for delivering the most efficient and highest quality healthcare.”   

      “The University of Scranton and The Commonwealth Medical College share a strong commitment to academic excellence, scholarly research and applied training with an emphasis on primary care,” said Debra Pellegrino, Ed.D., dean of the Panuska College of Professional Studies at The University of Scranton. “This dual degree MD-MHA program combines our strengths to educate and retain people in the medical field in northeast Pennsylvania.”

      As an effort to meet the demand for primary care physicians in the region, medical students who complete the TCMC-University of Scranton dual MD-MHA degree program will be eligible for family medicine or internal medicine residencies practice at either The Wright Center for Graduate Medical Education (formerly Scranton Temple Residency Program) in Scranton or the Wyoming Valley Family Residency Program in Wilkes-Barre.   

      Nationally accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education, Scranton’s MHA program provides a highly interactive learning program that integrates teaching, research and community service. The 52-credit MHA degree program (44 coursework, 8 fieldwork) requires students to use and apply care management tools, principles, techniques, methods and strategies to provide them with the core skills needed for medical leadership positions or to run a private practice. Scranton’s MHA program also maintains full graduate membership with the Association of University Programs in Health Administration.

      The combined MD-MHA program will be a five-year course of study. The first two years are devoted to medical school coursework supplemented with summer credit courses at Scranton. The third year will be completed entirely in The University of Scranton’s Department of Health Administration and Human Resources. Years four and five will be spent at TCMC for completion of medical school training. In addition, a 1,000-hour health administration residency is requested after the completion of all MHA coursework. Students interested in the program will be advised to apply at the time of medical school acceptance or by the end of the first semester of study.  

      The MD degree will be conferred by TCMC and the MHA degree by The University of Scranton. 

      Students applying for admission to the dual-degree program in Medicine and Health Administration must meet the standards and be accepted by both TCMC and The University of Scranton. 

      The dual degree program will allow TCMC students access to Scranton’s many existing international partnerships with other Universities, some of which include The University of Georgia, and Caucasus University in Tbilisi, Georgia, and St. Elizabeth University of Health and Social Work in Bratislava, Slovakia, which has primary care centers in 24 countries.

      The University of Scranton offers several health profession programs in addition to the MHA, including nationally accredited programs in physical therapy and occupational therapy among others, and a highly respected premed program. Of Scranton’s 389 senior applicants to medical schools over the last decade, an average of 81% were accepted. Scranton graduates make up approximately ten percent of TCMC’s first class of students.

      TCMC currently has affiliation agreements and pipeline educational programs with colleges and universities throughout the region including:  Wilkes University, Luzerne County Community College, King’s College and Misericordia University. 

      For information about the MHA program at the University of Scranton, go to http://academic.scranton.edu/department/HAHR/mha/   

For information about the combined MD-MHA program, please visit www.thecommonwealthmedical.com/mdmha 



Press Release Contact:
Stan Zygmunt
Director of News & Media Relations
The University of Scranton
(570)-941-7662