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Programs News Kevin Storr February 08, 2023

After a nationwide search, Jane Banaszak-Holl, Ph.D., has been named chair of the University of Alabama at Birmingham Department of Health Services Administration. Before coming to UAB, she was a professor of Public Health and Preventive Medicine at Monash University, Australia.

Her first day as chair of the Department of Health Services Administration is March 1, 2023.

“Dr. Banaszak-Holl has impressive experience at the global level and excellent credentials in health care policy and leadership,” said School of Health Professions Dean Andrew J. Butler, Ph.D. “Her knowledge of UAB and our school will allow her to advance her priorities immediately and her global experience will help the department rapidly expand its reach and realize its considerable potential.”

Banaszak-Holl first came to UAB in September 2022 as a professor and subsequently was named the L.R. Jordan Chair in Health Services Administration on November 4, 2022. Because of this time spent as a member of the faculty, she has an acute sense of the department’s strengths and a realistic vision of what they can accomplish moving forward.

“My plans for the immediate future are ambitious in building on the strong period of growth and success under the leadership of former chair Christy Lemak, to grow the department’s student body and research programs and in operationalizing the department’s strategic plans,” said Banaszak-Holl. “In part, we will do this by continuing to develop our timely training in leadership capabilities for clinicians in the workplace and by building on our core strengths in leadership and management, informatics, clinical simulation, and executive training.”

For more than 20 years, Banaszak-Holl has conducted research toward improving quality of care and quality of life for seniors with chronic health issues and for employees of long-term care facilities. Today, her research looks to improve timely access to services for those with dementia, to evaluate how families feel about the quality of care at the end of life, and to develop approaches for managing workforce shortages and employee training in patient-centered care.

Banaszak-Holl has more than 70 peer-reviewed publications with half-a-dozen other articles currently in review. She has edited books and been the author or co-author of chapters in 10 books on health care management, organization theory and management of intellectual capital. Currently she sits on three editorial boards for publications located around the world.

In addition to the academic experience at the global level, Banaszak-Holl has first-hand knowledge of international health and health care from her time living and working in Australia during the COVID pandemic.

“A key lesson from Australia is that countries across the world grapple with the same problems of workforce shortages, controlling costs, and delivering high quality care,” said Banaszak-Holl. “Australian healthcare is particularly strong in relying on data registries to inform care and in developing strong cost-effective models for making decisions about how to deliver care. They are grappling with workforce issues much worse than in the USA as doctors and nurses routinely work overtime, leading to substantial burnout for all clinicians, and we could also learn from them in terms of how to support clinician workforces through burnout.”

She takes over a department that offers more than a dozen degrees and certificates at the bachelor, master’s and doctoral levels. It is also home to the M.S. in Health Administration program, which is ranked #1 in the nation according to the most recent rankings from U.S. News & World Report. The MSHA program is the highest ranked program in UAB history.

Banaszak-Holl received a bachelor’s degree with honors from the University of Chicago, and a master’s degree and Ph.D. in sociology from Cornell University. She replaces Christy Harris Lemak, Ph.D., who served as department chair for eight years and oversaw the transition of faculty, staff and students to be more diverse today than in its nearly 60-year history.

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