In the mid-1960s, few hospital administrators in the state of Alabama had received any formal management education for the positions they held. But the financing of health care services in this country changed dramatically once legislation creating Medicare and Medicaid was enacted and more breakthroughs in medical technology occurred.
The School of Health Services Administration at UAB was founded in 1966, and the first three graduates completed requirements for the Master of Science in Hospital Administration degree the next year. Since that time, much has changed.
- The School of Health Services Administration has grown into the School of Health Professions (SHP), which now enrolls about 1,000 undergraduate students and about 1000 graduate students. SHP offers undergraduate and graduate education in health administration, nutrition sciences, occupational therapy, physical therapy, physician assistant, health informatics, clinical laboratory sciences, medical technology and a variety of other allied health disciplines.
- The Master of Science in Hospital Administration Program has become the Master of Science in Health Administration Program, reflecting the enlargement of the field, changes in the delivery system, and the wide variety of settings where graduates work.
- New academic programs (one focusing on health informatics and one training health administration academics and researchers) and new teaching modalities (including blended education) have been added to the department's offerings.
- Undergraduate programs in health care management (formerly health sciences) and health information management have been included.
- Research on health services organization and financing has become central to the department's mission. The new knowledge generated is having a direct impact on health management practice, supports the quality of educational services and provides needed financial resources.