Short Term Practicum in Healthcare Administration

banksInstructor: Shannon Banks ’85

(see biography at end of page)

Overview: This course was held in 2014 as part of the pilot for the Purposeful Work Pracitioner-Taught Course program. It provides an introduction to the American health care system, with a particular focus on problems faced in delivering and paying for quality health care, along with approaches to addressing those problems. After a brief overview of the US system, specific topics explored may include access to care, the role of primary versus specialty care, quality measurement, health care finance, legal and compliance issues, human resources, and approaches to continuous improvement. Through reading, class discussion with professionals in various roles in health care, job shadowing, and preparation of a final project (report, presentation, or proposal), students examine ideals and aspirations in delivering high quality, affordable health care as well as practical limitations and barriers to doing so. They improve their understanding of health care and implications for leaders who seek to change the way health care is delivered, administered and paid for in the United States.

Meeting Times: Mon/Wed 1-4pm and Thursdays onsite in a job shadow (plan for 8-4)

Learning Goals:

  • Increased understanding of the US health care system, including:
    • the impact of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare)
    • payment related challenges, their connections to quality, and “pay for performance”
    • health care human resources and approaches to engaging employees in transformation
    • the importance of the patient’s role and experience
    • the role of leaders
  • Increased understanding of a variety of professional roles (finance, human resources, health care delivery, quality management, information technology, leadership) which comprise a health care delivery system and applications of a liberal arts education to such roles.
  • Completion of a professional quality product relevant to a health care administration issue, such as a business proposal or informational presentation.

Concentration: GEC credit for C065, Public Health, category B

Biographical Information about the practitioner instructor:

Shannon Banks is Principal of BanksBellwether Strategy & Organization Development, a consulting firm helping health care and mission-driven organizations to clarify vision, establish strategic goals, implement action plans and improve results. Prior to BanksBellwether, Shannon served as a senior healthcare administrator, at Martin’s Point Health Care, with oversight for  the operations of 9 health centers in Maine and New Hampshire. At Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston, she led a $25M division including Medical Staff services, physician recruitment, the Emergency Department, Health Information and additional service departments.

Shannon has experience at teaching at the graduate level, having taught Strategic Planning to students in the Master’s degree program in Organization and Management at Antioch University. She taught this Short Term Practicum at Bates in 2014.