A seven week online certificate providing professionals with the knowledge to become effective leaders in Healthcare.


Healthcare administration requires a new understanding of how to lead during a time of complex change. As leaders, you navigate a landscape that requires the management of systems, people, process and technology. From effective strategic planning to creating a culture of employee engagement, this online certificate explores the dynamics of healthcare management through the lens of health care reform. After completing this series of modules, participants will be able to:

The instructors represent viewpoints from hospital administration and information technology departments, legal counsels, independent organizations and the University of Vermont, providing participants networking opportunities with leaders in many aspects of the industry.

Sonja Fuller“I learned more about myself through this course and feel reassured that I have the skills to make a career change from banking, finance, and capital markets to healthcare. The instructors at UVM inspired me to read beyond their materials and gather more research throughout each module. I especially appreciate the discussions from my classmates–their real life examples and issues brought so much meaning to each topic and helped make the online experience incredibly dynamic and collaborative.”

-Sonja Fuller, Student
UVM Healthcare Administration Professional Certificate Program

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Learning Modules

Module 1: Healthcare Administration and Implementation in an Age of Reform

Instructor: Catherine Hamilton

In this seminar, leaders will analyze the complexities of multiple, and sometimes competing priorities, involved in shaping public policy at the state and federal level to achieve health care goals. In this seminar, participants will:

  • Understand the architecture of health care systems, organizations, administration and finance mechanisms involved in shaping public policy.
  • Identify and define the roles of key stakeholders in the private and private sectors, and the roles of consumers and advocates in public policy.
  • Analyze issues of access to affordable healthcare and the financing of healthcare.
  • Examine the underlying sociological, financial, ethical and quality rationale for health care reform.
  • Examine the effectiveness of reforms in addressing the underlying issues driving reform.
  • Identify and consider future health care reform initiatives and how they might be executed at the state and federal level.


Module 2: Healthcare Finance

Instructor: Steven J. Kappel

It is critical to understand how the money works in the healthcare system in terms of creating and managing a budget, how resources get allocated, and funding sources. In this seminar, you will explores the three major activities of a healthcare financing system: creating a budget, raising funds, and allocating resources. An exploration of the Vermont and U.S. system will be the focus of our discussion.

In this seminar, participants will:

  • Examine the role of each participant in the financing system including patients, payers, and providers.
  • Learn how the financial incentives (or disincentives) that impact behavior both for individuals and for providers can be useful tools.
  • Discuss how reform efforts, both nationally and in Vermont, will affect financing and the broader healthcare system.
  • Explore the ethical implications of how healthcare costs are allocated and how healthcare costs are financed.
  • Understand how the US health financing system operates.


Module 3: Strategic Planning for Organizational Effectiveness

Instructor: Catherine Howland Hamilton, Ph.D.

Developing a great strategic plan is only the first step in effectively realizing improved business results. Traditional measures, such as financial results must be balanced with the customer perspective, internal operational processes, information technology and the employee perspective. Using a performance framework, participants will learn how to effectively move from the development of a high level strategic plan to implementation of organizational goals and objectives in health care organizations using a balanced scorecard and strategy map.

In this seminar participants will:

  • Understand how using a balanced scorecard and strategy map provides a road map for navigating the complexities of the current challenges and opportunities facing health care organizations.
  • Examine their organization’s strategy using multiple perspectives.
  • Identify how to use a balanced scorecard to move from strategy development to implementation and operationalization of goals and objectives.
  • Identify key initiatives and develop a strategy map to achieve strategic goals and objectives.
  • Develop performance measures associated with strategic initiatives.



Module 4: Data Based Decision Making – Management by Fact

Instructor: Kathleen C. Letendre

Managing with data releases the vast potential that exists in healthcare organizations to take a quantum leap to unprecedented results through a shared understanding about the facts and thereby more productive discussions and actions. In this seminar leaders and managers in healthcare organizations will use practical exercises to learn new ways of thinking based on an understanding of process and process variation.

In this seminar, participants will:

  • Use data to make informed decisions and manage to improve performance.
  • Understand how to determine and use the most appropriate improvement strategy.
  • Learn alternative data collection and analysis techniques
  • Understand the imperative for improvement.


Module 5: The Role of Health Informatics in Reforming the Health Care System

Instructor: Julie Jones

The system of healthcare is broad and diverse, ranging from direct care to reimbursement methodologies. Within that system there is an abundance of information and data that can guide planning and decision-making and improves the overall quality of care received by the patient. Health informatics brings together the people and the technology to improve efficiency and health care outcomes.

In this seminar participants will:

  • Understand basic concepts of information architecture.
  • Learn how to effectively manage data and information to support decision-making.
  • Examine the practice of evidence-based medicine and how it can be used to improve the outcomes within the health care system and the patients served by the system.
  • Examine knowledge base systems and how they support current operations from the perspective of the provider, payer and consumer.
  • Understand how Electronic Health Records integrate with Health informatics and discuss challenges and opportunities.
  • Examine organizational constraints including systems, financial, and human resources and discuss the benefits and risks associated with making trade off decisions in determining implementation of information systems.


Module 6: Ethics and Compliance for Healthcare

Instructor: John H. Wallace

In the field of healthcare, we are trusted on a daily basis to conduct our business openly and honestly, maintaining confidentiality and security at all times. Having a strong grasp of ethics and compliance ensures healthcare organizations are doing the right things on behalf of the constituents they serve.

In this seminar, participants will:

  • Understand the federal and state laws and statues with which they must comply.
  • Learn how to develop an effective compliance program that includes relevant policies, procedures and training.
  • Develop goals and metrics to measure effectiveness of compliance program.
  • Learn how to proactively review and audit your organization’s compliance program.
  • Understand state and federal enforcement entities and regulations.
  • Understand the role of leadership in creating a culture of commitment to ensure business practices are transparent, legal and fair.
  • Use case studies to learn how to respond to reports of unethical practices.




Module 7: Creating a Culture of Engagement Through Organizational Learning

Instructor: Jane Harrison Bradley

Imagine entering a time of great change with employees that are fully engaged and ready to take on new challenges with a shared vision for the organization. This is precisely what is necessary for organizations to achieve excellence during a time of transition and ambiguity. This seminar examines the role of the leader in creating a culture of employee commitment and workforce engagement during times of ambiguity, stress, and organizational change.

In this seminar, participants will:

  • Align continuous learning and growth with strategic business goals.
  • Recognize the difference between employee compliance and employee commitment and the impact that has on organizational success.
  • Learn how to identify organizational and individual readiness to become engaged with a shared vision and business outcomes.
  • Identify what is required of leaders in creating the conditions in which learning and growth can occur.
  • Analyze the learning needs of the organization in relationship to the technological and regulatory changes of healthcare reform.
  • Develop learning plans with employees to prepare them to acquire new skills to meet the demands of the changing environment.
  • Create a culture supportive of employee learning where inquiry, analysis and reflection are institutional practices.


Jane Harrison Bradley

bradleyJane Harrison Bradley is a senior partner at Harrison Bradley Associates, a firm specializing in personalized learning and development solutions for business organizations and schools.

Jane has more than 15 years’ experience as a leader in organizational development and training, applying performance improvement frameworks such as the Malcolm Baldrige Criteria. She also draws upon years of experience working as a nurse and health educator in a wide variety of medical settings.

She successfully led a multi-year performance improvement initiative at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont. In 2008, the initiative was recognized by the Vermont Council for Quality, receiving a Governor’s Award for Performance Excellence.

In working with adult learners, Jane uses a consultative approach to develop personalized learning that increases knowledge and improves performance. She specializes in performance management and leadership coaching.

Jane has an undergraduate degree from Johnson State College. She is a curious life-long learner, singer and fiction writer.

Catherine Hamilton Ph.D.

chamilitonLecturer, UVM College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and Health Care Management Certificate program
Director, Heath Care Management Certificate Program
Education: B.A. Bowdoin College, 1988; Ph.D. Robert Wagner School of Public Service, New York University, 2001.

Dr. Hamilton has worked in health care policy, management, finance and administration for 25 years in a variety of public, private and not-for-profit organizations. Her areas of expertise are in strategic planning, health care finance, health care reform policy and programs to expand health insurance coverage. Dr. Hamilton oversees strategic planning, health care reform, Medicare and individual markets and customer service for Vermont’s largest health insurance plan, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont. Prior to her position at BCBSVT, she worked as a regulator of health plans at the Mayor’s Office of Medicaid Managed Care in New York City. She is a part-time lecturer at UVM of Health Care Management and Strategic Planning in Health Care and serves as the Director of the Health Care Management Program.

Julie Jones

jjonesJulie Jones is a leader in health care informatics. A Clinical Informaticist Specialist at the University of Vermont Medical Center, she was one of the nurse leaders who championed the transition from paper-based charting to a fully integrated electronic health record at Vermont’s largest academic medical center. As the University of Vermont Medical Center began implementing the new system in 2008, she was at the forefront, serving on the Clinical Informatics Specialist RN staff.

As the chair of Sigma Theta Tau International (STTI), Honor Society of Nursing, Technology and Innovation Taskforce, Julie plays a global leadership role; as one of the founding members and co-leader of the first state chapter of the American Nursing Informatics Association, she is a local leader. In addition, Julie serves as president of the Vermont State Nurses’ Foundation, secretary for the Vermont State Nurses’ Association District One and programming chair for the Kappa Tau Chapter of STTI Leadership Succession Committee and Region 15.

Julie is an adjunct professor at the University of Vermont and a preceptor for undergraduate nurses at SUNY Plattsburgh College.

She has a bachelor’s degree in nursing from Rhode Island College and a master’s degree from the adult nurse practitioner program at UVM. Her master’s research focused on embracing the use of e-mail as a mode of mentoring new graduate nurses.

In her free time, Julie volunteers for the hospice program and races cars with her husband as part of the New England Hillclimb Association.

Steve Kappel, MPA

kappelFounder of Policy Integrity and MPA Lecturer
MPA 2003 University of Vermont
BS 1974 Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Areas of Expertise: policy development, health care systems

Steve has been involved in health policy for over 25 years. He recently founded Policy Integrity. Formerly, he provided policy and fiscal analysis to the state legislature, focusing on health care issues. He has been Executive Director of the Vermont Program for Quality in Health Care and has worked for the Department of Banking, Insurance, Securities and Health Care Administration, Blue Cross, and the Department of Health. He received his MPA from UVM in 2003.

Kathy Letendre

letendreKathy Letendre is a Partner at the Institute for Quality Advancement, where she coaches organizations and individuals in performance excellence transformation.

Before joining the institute, Kathy worked as Vice President of Planning and Organizational Excellence for Rutland Regional Medical Center. She led the organization’s transformative “journey to excellence,” which resulted in the Governor’s Award for Performance Excellence and Magnet designation for excellence from the American Nurses Credentialing Center.

Earlier in her career, Kathy was a consultant in Ernst & Young’s Healthcare Performance Improvement Group.

Kathy has a master’s degree in health services administration from the University of Michigan School of Public Health and a B.S. in engineering from Duke University. She completed a Management Fellowship at Mercy Health Services.

In addition, she is a member of the American College of Healthcare Executives and served on the Board of Directors of the Vermont Council for Quality. She presents at professional conferences on topics including organizational transformation, integrated management systems for performance excellence, strategic planning and customer relationship management. She has been recognized with an Award in Excellence from Rutland Regional Medical Center and as Ambassador of the Year from the Vermont Council for Quality.

John H. Wallace

wallaceJohn H. Wallace has been a health care attorney for 14 years and has been the Chief Compliance Officer for Rutland Regional Medical Center since 2006.

Before working at Rutland Regional, John worked in the Compliance Department at the University of Vermont Medical Center and as an Assistant Attorney General for the state of Vermont.

John has been a frequent speaker at national and regional compliance conferences and webinars. He is a chapter author of The Health Care Compliance Professional’s Manual, published by Wolters Kluwer Law and Business.

John is a 1998 graduate of Vermont Law School. He has a master’s degree from Johns Hopkins University and a bachelor’s degree from St Lawrence University.


What is the time commitment per week?
5-7 hours per week.

Do I need to be on the computer at a certain day/time each week or is it all on my own time?
The program is asynchronous and students do not need to be online at a specific time.

Is this a video lecture and will this be recorded and accessible at a later date?
Yes, the lectures/presentations will be recorded and available for students to review on their own time.

Are there any tests/quizzes?
Most content will be project based, discussions, and reading material. This is a non-credit program and there is no transcript.  There may be quizzes to assess comprehension of the material. Students must successfully participate in 80% of the program in order to receive the certificate of achievement.

What types of assignments will we be asked to complete?
Project based, reviewing of peer work, discussions, reading material, short videos, quizzes, personal reflection, case studies, etc.

Are materials included? If yes, will they all be housed on the online site?
Yes, and the materials will be accessed through Blackboard, our online training platform. 

Is the program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education?
Program participants earn 4 Continuing Education Units (CEUs) through the University of Vermont Continuing and Distance Education upon successful completion.

Is this a graduate level program?
This program is designed for professionals working in the healthcare field of those looking to transition into healthcare administration. CDE assumes participants have completed a bachelor’s degree or equivalent, but do not require an undergraduate degree to participate in the program.  Some of our participants have more advanced degrees.

What are the professional backgrounds of students who complete the program?
Students who have completed the program have held a wide variety of positions including: Director Integrated Health Management, VP Finance & Administration, Associate Director, Strategic Planning Consultant, CFO, Senior Accountant.  We have also had students with no background in healthcare seeking a career change, as well as clinical staff such as nurses and nurse managers.

Is this certificate designed solely based on Vermont practices?
The program is designed for a national audience, with participant utilizing their own personal case studies as well as some Vermont based case studies. 

Is Federal or Institutional Financial Aid available? Also, is tuition remission available for UVM employees?
While this non-credit Certificate does not qualify for federal student grants or loans or University of Vermont scholarships, depending on your home state, this program may qualify for workforce development grants. Contact your State Department of Labor to determine which grants may support individuals seeking education to pursue opportunities for career change.

The Vermont Legislature designates a certain amount of grant money every year for Vermont residents who want to pursue education or training beyond high school. These grants are administered through VSAC, and are distributed based on financial need.

Can I enroll in this Certificate if I am an out-of-state or international student? Does the tuition rate differ if I am an out-of-state or international student?
Yes! Anyone may enroll in the program. The tuition rate is set at $1695 for all students and does not differ based on a student’s residency. We offer a 20% discount off the course costs for UVM affiliates, PMI Champlain Valley and VBSR members.

Are payment plans available?
No, payment plans are not currently available for this program. Tuition must be paid in full prior to beginning the program. 

Why should I attend this program over others?
The program is taught by leading expert practitioners and academics.  Multiple instructors that provide a variety of perspectives.  (Most online programs are taught by one instructor). It is designed for working professionals to learn online on their own time. The information you will learn can be applied to your workplace, and help you lead change in your organization. The content is current and based on what is happening NOW in the healthcare field.

Is this program for someone who is new in the field/looking to make a career change, or someone who is already working in healthcare and is broadly familiar with these topics? Or both?
 This program is designed for:

  • Individuals with a fair amount of administration experience, and is a great opportunity for moving into the healthcare field
  • Client/Patient facing professionals already working within the healthcare field.
  • Individuals seeking administrative positions within the healthcare industry, not directly related to patient care (IT, Finance, Marketing, Customer Service, Insurance).
  • Administrative support person in position related to patient care. 

What is the grading outline? (Breakdown of what activities/assignments count for what, what percentage so I need to receive the ‘Certificate’)
Most content will be project based, discussions, and reading material. There may be quizzes to assess comprehension of the material. Students must successfully participate in 80% of the program in order to receive a Certificate of completion. Because this is a non-credit program there is no transcript.