Influential Healthcare Administration Professors to Know
Healthcare administrators play a crucial role in patient outcomes in settings ranging from clinics to hospitals to acute care facilities. A person in this role has the responsibility of planning and coordinating health and medical services for patients, which can include managing a facility or specific groups of employees, from doctors to nurses to support staff.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS 2020), healthcare administration is a high-demand field with an anticipated growth-rate of 18 percent nationally in the decade preceding 2028. The median annual pay for a medical and health services manager was $100,980 or $48.55 hourly.
Achieving success in this career requires a solid knowledge of current healthcare trends along with business skills and general leadership and management abilities. While every institution may have its own unique culture and provide valuable on-the-job training, bachelor- or graduate-level academic programs can help prepare students with proper skills for any situation. Professionals already working in the healthcare realm also may consider seeking advanced training to better themselves professionally, blending their professional experience with advanced leadership abilities.
Continue reading to learn about skilled faculty members at various healthcare education programs nationwide who are happy to share their expertise if a student chooses to study at their institution.
Featured Professors of Healthcare Administration and Related Fields
Barbara Andraka-Christou, PhD - University of Central Florida
Dr. Andraka-Christou, an assistant professor of health management and informatics at the University of Central Florida, also teaches case studies in public law. She earned her doctorate in law and social science from Indiana University in 2016. Her dissertation covered social and legal perspectives on the underuse of medication-assisted treatment for opioid dependence. Dr. Andraka-Christou earned a Juris Doctor in 2013 from the same school, and a bachelor of arts in economics from the University of Florida in 2008. She was admitted to the Florida Bar Association in 2014, and previously served as an adjunct professor of health policy at Indiana University-Bloomington School of Public and Environmental Affairs.
Darla Branda, MA - Southern New Hampshire University
Darla Branda is a health information educator, program administrator, curriculum developer, and designer. She serves as a faculty lead in health information management at Southern New Hampshire University, and has been a registered health information administrator since 1991. She earned her master’s degree in higher education administration from Saint Louis University in 1997 and her bachelor’s degree in health information management from the same school in 1991. Ms. Brand has extensive experience in coding, statistical reporting, peer review and quality management, and data abstraction for national registries in addition to her current duties at SNHU.
Robert Burke, PhD - George Washington University
Dr. Burke serves the Milken Institute School of Public Health at the George Washington University as chair of the Department of Health Services Management and Leadership and as a professor of healthcare administration. He is a nationally recognized expert in long-term care and a medical sociologist with extensive experience developing, evaluating, and implementing healthcare policy. He has managed health service research projects for many private insurers, as well as for Medicare and Medicaid. Dr. Burke received his PhD in medical sociology from the University of Florida in 1977 and his master’s in sociology from Boston College in 1970.
Chris Calkins, PhD - Penn State World Campus
Dr. Calkins has worked in healthcare organizations and education for more than 30 years. As the current executive director of MHA programs at Penn State World Campus, Dr. Calkins brings the combined experiences of his many previous roles in healthcare. Some of these include serving as a clinical liaison officer for Penn State Hershey Medical Center; as a health portfolio and engagement director for Penn State Outreach; and as the director of special projects for the College of Health and Human Development at Penn State. Notably, Dr. Calkins has worked on several independent research projects, developed courses and conferences on emerging issues in healthcare delivery, and helped to create and implement state health policy plans in Pennsylvania.
Jamie Cuda, EdD - Utica College
Dr. Cuda has more than 25 years of experience in the field of healthcare administration. Along with being an assistant professor in the healthcare administration program at Utica College, she’s currently director of the school’s healthcare administration graduate program. This role requires focusing on accreditation, assessment, evaluation, online course development and instruction, and program curriculum development. One of Dr. Cuda’s greatest successes was transferring hospital programs in healthcare administration to programs she designs and teaches at the college level. Presently, she reviews content for major healthcare publications. She holds an education doctorate in executive leadership from St. John Fisher College, a master’s degree in education from State University New York, and a bachelor’s degree in business public management.
Lynda Davidson, PhD - Robert Morris University
Dr. Davidson not only serves as the founding dean of the School of Nursing and Health Sciences at Robert Morris University, but she is also a member of the faculty, who teaches courses in practical nursing and administration in healthcare. She began her nursing career in the late 1970s, and has held several faculty and management positions over the years, including at the University of Pittsburgh, the University of Oklahoma, and Brigham Young University. Her publications have included “Outcomes Management for Nursing Practice” and “The Impact of Staffing on Patient Outcomes Across Specialty Units.” Notably, a scholarship at RMU has also been created in her honor.
Lucille Fisher, PhD - University of California, San Francisco
Dr. Fisher is a clinical professor, academic coordinator and curriculum director of the master’s program for healthcare administration and interprofessional leadership at University of California, San Francisco. She is also a current member of the California Commission on Aging and chair of the organization’s federal policy committee. She earned her master’s degree at Stanford University in education and also holds a master and doctoral degree in nursing from UCSF. Dr. Fisher previously was project director for a study funded by the National Institutes of Health, where she studied teens with physical and mental disabilities and their immediate family as the subjects transitioned from adolescence to adulthood. She also has significant experience with mental health, cultural diversity, and long-term care.
Dana Goldman, PhD - University of Southern California
Dr. Goldman is considered a national expert in many areas of healthcare administration. He’s the Leonard D. Schaeffer Chair, professor, and director of University of Southern California’s Center for Health Policy and Economics, and also a distinguished professor of public policy, pharmacy, and economics at USC’s Sol Price School of Public Policy. His professional interests include healthcare reform, health economics and finance, pharmaceutical regulation and innovation, precision medicine, the role of prevention in healthcare, and the value of delayed aging. Dr. Goldman has published over 200 book chapters and articles in the leading economic, health policy, medical, and statistical journals and publications, and also serves as an advisor on healthcare to the Congressional Budget Office and is a member of the National Academy of Medicine.
Donald Lewis, MA - Champlain College
Donald Lewis brings a variety of professional experiences as an adjunct professor teaching online healthcare administration courses at Champlain College Online. He has worked as a healthcare administrator for an acute care long-term care facility for 15 years and has served as a CFO for 23 years. He holds a fellowship with the American College of Healthcare Executives and has received board certification in healthcare administration. Mr. Lewis currently works for the Universal Service Administrative Company, overseeing a broadband network responsible for bringing equal access to healthcare to 6,500 rural healthcare providers in 42 states. He holds a professional membership with the American College of Healthcare Executive, a master of health administration from George Washington University and a bachelor’s degree from Towson University.
Michelle Maus, MBA - Tiffin University
Michelle Maus has played a key role in developing healthcare-focused online programs for Tiffin University, where she’s currently an assistant professor of computer information systems and healthcare administration. She developed the healthcare administration specializations for the school’s associate degree and bachelor degree programs in business, and is working on designing a healthcare emphasis for the school’s bachelor of science program. Her previous healthcare experience includes working in hospitals, specialized laboratory testing, and the nonprofit sector. Michelle Maus also serves as a peer reviewer for the American Public Health Association and a reviewer for a health insurance textbook company. Recently, she presented information about the use of supplemental instruction in the online learning environment at an international conference. Her bachelor degree is in acute care administration from Ohio University and her MBA is from Cleveland University.
Andrea McGill-O’Rourke, PhD - Franklin Pierce University
Dr. McGill-O’Rourke is a big believer in teamwork. As an assistant professor of healthcare administration at Franklin Pierce University, she teaches emergency medical services, general business administration, healthcare administration, and sports and recreation. Her research interests include bullying in higher education, civility in the workplace, leadership in healthcare, teamwork in the classroom, and optimal work-life integration. Dr. McGill-O’Rourke recently published “Teamwork Skill-Building for Future Healthcare Leaders.” She earned her PhD from the University of Maine, her master of social work from the University of Pennsylvania, and her bachelor degree from Ithaca College.
Kevin Mitchell, PhD - Drexel University
Dr. Mitchell serves as an assistant professor in Drexel University’s health administration department. He holds a BS in public health, an MBA in health services administration, and a PhD in public health. He brings more than 20 years of professional experience to his teaching and research, having served as a director of health, program manager, director of residential services, pharmaceutical sales representative, and health services administrator, among other roles. He managed healthcare projects for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, as well as the Dow Chemical Company. He continues to work as a health administrator for special projects at Abington Jefferson Health Lansdale Hospital.
Laura Schmidt, PhD - University of California, San Francisco
Dr. Schmidt is a health policy professor at the University of California, San Francisco in the School of Medicine. Her other positions at the school include serving as co-director for the community engagement and health policy program for the Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute, as well as a joint appointment in the Philip R. Lee Institute for Health Policy Studies. Dr. Schmidt earned her PhD in social work from the University of California, Berkeley and her master’s degree in clinical social work from the same college. She also completed doctoral coursework in public health. Dr. Schmidt routinely receives funding from the National Institutes of Health, the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, and several private donors.
Twila Weiszbrod, DBA - St. Joseph’s College
Dr. Weiszbrod is the program director for the online health administration program at St. Joseph’s College. She holds a doctor of business administration from Northcentral University, a master of public administration from California State University, Fresno, and a bachelor of science in healthcare administration from St. Joseph’s College. Prior to taking on her current role, Dr. Weiszbrod held healthcare administrative positions in mental health clinics and county hospitals. She currently holds affiliations with the American College of Healthcare Executives and the American Health Information Management Association. Her most recent publication is titled “Healthcare Leader Competencies and the Relevance of Emotional Intelligence,” which indicated a connection between soft skills and leadership abilities in administrative roles.
To be included on this list of influential healthcare administration professors, they had to meet the following criteria:
- Affiliated With a Reputable University - The professors are actively teaching or conducting research at an accredited, recognized university.
- Accolades - They have been publicly celebrated in their field for professional excellence, research breakthroughs, or exceptional teaching.
- Publications in Established Journals - They have been published widely in healthcare administration research and closely related fields, ideally in high-impact scholarly journals.
- Service - They continue to give back to their communities through volunteering, non-profit work, professional advocacy associations, or taking on roles at the university beyond teaching.