Health Care Administration Grad Student Earns First Place in National Essay Competition

March 7, 2011—UT Arlington graduate health care administration student Michael P. Aslin was named first place winner of the Richard J. Stull Essay Competition sponsored by the American College of Healthcare Executives. Michael’s essay focused on Accountable Care Organizations, a new model under the Patient Protection and Affordable Health Care Act for delivering health services to Medicare beneficiaries through a network of doctors and hospitals that share responsibility in providing care to patients.
 
Michael’s essay, “Unveiling the Unicorn: A Leader’s Guide to ACO Preparation”, recommends that effective health care leaders proactively prepare their organizations before ACO final rules are released by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. “The challenges for healthcare leaders have never been greater,” Michael argues. “The reason…is there has never been so much uncertainty. For the nimble healthcare leader, however, opportunities have never been more abundant. As rules for an ACO are still being finalized, there are timely steps executives should be making now to prepare their organizations.”
 
Last fall, health care administration students across the country were invited to submit essays with a focus on health management topics such as policy, accountability, financial management, research, and law and ethics. The purpose of the competition is to stimulate and demonstrate the ability of future healthcare executives to identify and describe important issues and developments in their chosen profession.
 
As the first place graduate winning entry, Michael will receive the TORCH Foundation’s 2010 MHA Scholarship Award of $3,000 and will be invited to attend the Congress on Healthcare Leadership, March 21-24, 2011, in Chicago with expenses paid by the American College of Healthcare Executives. Furthermore, Michael’s essay will be published in future issues of the Journal of Healthcare Management.
 
“Michael’s award speaks not only to his own ability and potential, but also to the overall strength of our program,” says Demetria Wilhite, director for the Master of Science in Health Care Administration. “Our highest purpose is to prepare tomorrow’s health care leaders. These future administrators must be bold and must guide their organizations with a strong vision. Michael’s work illustrates the caliber of leadership this industry demands.”
 
UT Arlington’s M.S. in Health Care Administration is an accelerated, cohort-based program designed for professionals currently working in the health care industry. Part of the University’s nationally-recognized College of Business, the HCAD was recognized in 2007 by Modern Healthcare Magazine and the Association of University Programs in Health Administration as the third largest Health Care Administration program of its kind in the nation. The program is offered at UT Arlington’s downtown Fort Worth Center and in downtown Dallas at the Universities Center at Dallas campus.