DepartmentHealth Care Administration and Public Health

Senior citizens eating in a nursing home cafeteria talking to an administrator

Prepare for a successful career in health care, senior living, public health and aging services.

Bellarmine's Health Care Administration and Public Health programs prepare students to pursue a wide range of rewarding career opportunities as leaders in the delivery of health care, senior living, public health, aging services, or other interdisciplinary careers associated with health humanities.

One of the most prominent demographic shifts anticipated across the United States – and throughout the industrialized world – over the next 10-15 years is an unprecedented growth in the number of older adults, both in pure number and percentage of the population. Organizations providing long-term care, senior living services, aging care and services, and public health services that address this demographic shift are expected to grow exponentially, as are companies that supply goods and services to those providers and public service agencies that regulate them.

“The first wealth is health”
 —Ralph Waldo Emerson

Completing the requirements for any of the majors offered by this department will equip students with a strong liberal arts undergraduate education as a life foundation, guided by ethics, critical thinking and accountability. The various majors in the department utilize a core set of health services courses that together provide a curricular framework of interdisciplinary courses in business, communications and informatics, health sciences, and public and global health policy that meets individual student learning needs and career interests.

Minors in Health Care Administration and Public Health

The minors offered by the Department of Health Care Administration and Public Health are designed to further prepare students for the dynamic demands of a health care careers. Recent surveys indicate that nearly 20% of employees in the United States, as well as in Louisville, are employed in some sector of health care. Louisville is also the corporate headquarters for 10 major health care companies. Regardless of your major, you may find yourself working for a company with a health care focus. The following minors augment several majors from various academic departments at Bellarmine, including business administration, accounting, anthropology, English, finance, fine arts, psychology, communication, nursing, respiratory therapy, medical laboratory science, biology, sociology, and more.

Minor in Health Care

Students pursuing the minor in Health Care will gain information on various aspects of the health care system in the United States. This minor is an excellent choice for students in business administration, psychology, biology, accounting, finance, communication, or sociology to gain greater familiarity with aspects of health care that may impact and inform a future career. Coursework for the minor includes six courses (18 credits) focused on the current health care system, health policy and legal issues in health care, health care finance, leadership in health care, quality improvement, and health care ethics.

Minor in Health Humanities

This minor requires students to analyze the intersections of health and the human condition through spirituality, ethics, law, culture, literature, and the arts. Studying health from this interdisciplinary perspective fosters compassion, resilience, cultural awareness, and innovation. The minor in Health Humanities prepares students for the dynamic demands of a patient-centered health care ecosystem, which requires professionals to absorb the bigger picture of health care and create sustainable options that are not one-size-fits-all. The program includes six courses (18 credits) covering health humanities, narrative medicine, health care ethics, health policy, gerontology, and cultural communication.

Minor in Health Care Leadership

For students who are already pursuing a major in a healthcare-related discipline, the minor in Health Care Leadership will complement discipline-specific coursework by adding essential knowledge about the broader health care field and business aspects of health care operations. This minor is ideal for students majoring in nursing, exercise science, respiratory therapy, medical laboratory science, or radiation therapy. Based on feedback from health care leaders, various organizations value additional knowledge when seeking to hire or promote candidates from within their companies. In the required seven courses (21 credits) for the minor, students will learn about business administration, health care law, health policy, quality improvement, health care marketing, financial considerations, and leadership.

Minor in Public Health

The Public Health minor focuses on important issues such as social inequality, health disparities, determinants of health, the health care system, and human illness and diseases. The minor also contains elective courses to provide students the flexibility to take subjects that are aligned with their interests. The Public Health minor complements several majors at Bellarmine, including biology, nursing, environmental studies, psychology, and sociology, as well as pre-professional programs such as Pre-Medical Studies and Pre-Physical Therapy. Coursework includes four required courses and two electives (18 – 19 credits).

Faculty

Jessica Hume, Ph.D., MFA (email)
Amy Tudor, Ph.D., MFA (email)
Anne Veno, DNP, MBA, RN (email)
Harry Dadds, J.D., LL.M. (email)
Jennifer Thomas, MBA, CPA, CHFP (email)
Chris Ekstrom, Department Assistant

Internships

Experienced leaders of highly regarded organizations in the fields of health care, senior living, public health and aging services serve as mentors during internships designed to familiarize students with such operations. Every students can expect to gain first-hand, relevant career experience by completing a departmental rotation in a care center, participating in internal and external meetings, or performing approved projects for the host organization.

Student Organizations

  • Health Care Administrators of Bellarmine: Recognized Student Society of ACHCA
  • Sigma Phi Omega is the international academic honor and professional society in Gerontology, recognizing excellence in aging services and promoting scholarship, professionalism, friendship and service to older persons. 

Accreditation

The Department of Health Care Administration and Public Health at Bellarmine University is one of only 15 programs in the nation accredited by the National Association of Long Term Care Administrator Boards (NAB). NAB granted accreditation in 2021 for the Bachelor of Science in Health Care Administration degree. Students with this degree are eligible to sit for the national nursing home administrator and assisted living licensure exams, and are eligible for licensure in the majority of states following graduation.

National Association of Long Term Care Administrator Boards Logo

Health Humanities: First in Kentucky

Health Humanities is a rapidly growing interdisciplinary field, with programs at many other outstanding universities across the country. In 2021, Bellarmine became the first – and only – university in Kentucky to offer a four-year baccalaureate degree in Health Humanities. The launch of this innovative program was funded by a generous grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, which extends until 2024. For more information about the grant and its implementation in the department, read Bellarmine's news article about our New Interdisciplinary Major in Health, Culture, and Compassion, or WTVQ's news article about Kentucky's first major of its kind.  

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