Around 60 million Americans live in rural communities, but with unique challenges and workforce shortages, rural healthcare is struggling — OpusVi and UofA’s Eller Executive Education are now contributing to the solution by empowering healthcare professionals through an accelerated rural healthcare business program
It’s no secret that the continuing downward pressure of cost for healthcare organizations weighs heavier on rural organizations than urban ones. The limited ability of rural healthcare providers to cross-subsidize, combined with the fact that they have to navigate a payer mix that is composed of a higher percentage of Medicare, means that it’s more difficult for rural healthcare providers to operate profitably. What follows is that, tragically, an increasing number of rural providers have to shut their doors to patients who might already be struggling with accessibility and relying on them. According to the North Carolina Rural Health Research Program, 136 rural hospitals have closed between January 2010 and May 2021. Traditional healthcare education often passively and actively contributes to the healthcare workforce shortages in rural areas.
“Many institutions of higher learning are concentrated in urban regions, naturally limiting the graduate talent pool of rural healthcare organizations,” says Nicole DeJong, Director of Learning Experience Design at OpusVi. “We have consulted rural healthcare professionals who reported actively being discouraged from entering rural communities during their education. We believe that instead, education should empower rural healthcare professionals through skills-based learning so that they can make an impact and maximize positive outcomes in the communities they serve.”
Launching a Mini-MBA in Rural Healthcare
OpusVi and Eller Executive Education, the leadership development arm of the University of Arizona's Eller College of Management, are now taking further steps to ensure that education contributes to the solution by launching a Mini-MBA in Rural Healthcare.
“OpusVi was founded on the very idea of improving access to the best-in-class healthcare education,” says Andrew Malley, CEO of OpusVi. “We provide skills-based programs from great academic partners that are fully online and asynchronous. This means healthcare professionals don’t have to leave their area to attend classes, and they’re not reliant on high-bandwidth internet access at a certain time of the day to attend an online lecture. They can study whenever, wherever, without having to opt for a low-quality option — this program was in fact modeled after our existing Mini-MBA in Healthcare where students reported feeling that they were truly being taught by the best of the best.”
Addressing the most pressing issues in rural healthcare business
The Mini-MBA in Rural Healthcare builds upon groundbreaking and innovative approaches from our Mini-MBA, such as insights from Olympic and Super-Bowl winning athletes on performance management and a star faculty of 11 academic experts from the University of Arizona’s Eller Executive Education and Eller College of Management, while carefully reexamining topics relating to healthcare business administration through a rural lens. Rural healthcare experts have been included in the program creation to ensure that pressing issues in non-urban healthcare are addressed. Some of these issues include:
Talent acquisition and retention
Stakeholder and community engagement
Communicating with the media
Grant Writing and the reality of healthcare economics in the rural setting
Personal boundaries in small communities
Persevering under pressure
Empowering rural healthcare professionals to create their own solutions
“We know that rural areas are highly varied, so we’re not trying to present a one-size-fits-all solution,” says Giuseppe “Joe” Carella, PhD, Assistant Dean at Eller Executive Education. “Instead, we’re providing rural healthcare professionals with a framework that will help them break down the complex issues in their region and leverage their communities to create innovative solutions. Healthcare is not only full of unique challenges, but also unique opportunities for growth and development are exponentially higher. Rural healthcare professionals get to take on multi-functional roles and tackle diverse challenges — broad knowledge in healthcare business administration along with topics like community engagement and talent acquisition can be a true game changer.”
Transforming the Healthcare Workforce
About Eller Executive Education
Eller Executive Education is passionate about disrupting traditional executive education. By exploring the latest science in leadership development, modern business management theory, and contemporary learning design, they help organizations in over 93 global locations discover new ways to lead, manage, and innovate. Eller Executive Education is the fastest progressing executive education provider and holds a No. 5 ranking in the U.S. and No. 15 ranking globally for Customized Executive Education in the Financial Times Executive Education Ranking 2019.
As the non-degree leadership development arm of the University of Arizona's Eller College of Management, Eller Executive Education is connected to leading institutions that are internationally recognized for pioneering research, offering an innovative curriculum, working with distinguished faculty, their social responsibility, and their excellence in management information systems and entrepreneurship.
OpusVi partners with globally ranked Eller Executive Education
OpusVi and UofA’s Eller Executive Education launch online Mini-MBA in Healthcare
The National Association of Latino Healthcare Executives (NALHE) and Dignity Health Global Education (DHGE) are aligned in their mission to increase access to high-quality education and equity in healthcare