UIW Hosts Second Annual MHA Educational Symposium

June 1, 2023

By Dr. Chris Nesser, MHA Program Director

Group of students dressed in business attire

The H-E-B School of Business and Administration Master of Health Administration (MHA) Program held its second annual MHA Educational Symposium at the SEC Ballroom on UIW’s Broadway campus Friday, May 19. This two-day event brought the MHA program’s residential students and online students together, along with MHA alumni, to connect with each other and the faculty to hear from esteemed guest speakers and to serve the community.

The symposium is one of three required in-person events for the MHA program’s online students, who attend class synchronously via Zoom two times per week. Most of the online students reside in San Antonio, but others live elsewhere in Texas and as far away as New Jersey and New York.

Friday’s line-up of guest speakers for the MHA Educational Symposium included Larissa Bueno (UIW MHA, ‘19), administrator of ABC Health Care, who spoke on pediatric home health care. Erika Ramirez, senior director of health policy for the Texas Hospital Association, provided insight on the latest health policies being debated in the Texas Congress.

Wayne Young, CEO of Harris Center for Mental Health and Intellectual or Developmental Disabilities (IDD) in Houston, shared insights on the delivery of behavioral healthcare services in Houston and the variety of opportunities for future graduates to consider. UIW Director of Behavioral Health Dr. Kevin Milligan discussed maintaining mental health and resiliency while being a student.

Christophers Sandles, president of hospital operations at University Health, located in San Antonio, shared his leadership experience, health administration journey and advice for aspiring administrators. Additionally, WellMed Medical Management’s behavioral health project manager Kara Lindeman (UIW MHA, ‘20) presented on the managed healthcare delivery model.

The day’s events concluded with a special social event about cocktail party etiquette. The presentation was given by Diane Gottsman, a UIW alumnae, and co-sponsored by UIW Career Services. Gottsman is a national etiquette expert, television personality and the owner of The Protocol School of Texas. 

On the second day of the symposium, the MHA students and faculty participated in a community service event at the Ronald McDonald House Charities. As a cohort, MHA students complete at least one major community service event each year of the program. This year, students and faculty prepared food and cleaned parts of the facility before heading to campus for more activities.

Students sitting on a porch smiling

The afternoon’s events included interacting with a panel of MHA alumni on a broad range of topics, many of which were career focused. A second MHA alumni panel shared their experiences on applying for and participating in a post-graduate fellowship, as this is the time when students start the fellowship process. The rest of the afternoon’s events were led by the MHA faculty with a focus on reviewing the program’s first year experiences and preparing students for their second and final year in the program.

The next time both the residential and online students come together will be for their third major in-person event – celebrating the program’s completion and graduation in May 2024.

Learn more about the UIW MHA Program