When people first think of healthcare, most think about the doctors and nurses whom we have face-to-face contact with during the course of our lives – but there is so much more to it than that. We sat down with Meghan Hope, ACU Online’s Program Director for Bachelor of Science in Healthcare Administration and Master of Healthcare Administration programs from the College of Graduate and Professional Studies to hear how she is spurring on the next generation of healthcare administrators to lead and serve their communities from patient to co-worker.
A Heart for Healthcare
Meghan found her passion for healthcare early on in life. Inspired by family members in the field, she pursued an undergraduate degree in Biology from Midwestern State University in her hometown of Wichita Falls, TX. During her undergrad, she studied abroad in London and found her calling in public healthcare. There, she learned all of the ways she could make a difference in the lives of patients beyond the four walls of a hospital room.
After completing her undergrad, Meghan worked at a primary care physician’s office, but realized she was not quite done learning the ins and outs of the administrative functions. She furthered her expertise at the University of Tulsa’s College of Law where she got her Juris Doctor with a health law concentration and later received her Master of Healthcare Administration from Midwestern State University’s online program.
From there she moved to Chicago where she oversaw radiation oncology operations at Rush University Medical Center and joined a healthcare regulatory operations consulting firm where she merged her love for management and health law.
In 2018, Hope joined ACU Online’s program as an adjunct professor and was later asked to help construct the undergrad healthcare administration curriculum. From there, she was fully invested in ACU Online’s ventures as the director for the bachelor’s and master’s programs in Healthcare Administration.
Curriculum Rooted In Care
A firm believer in remote learning as a prior online student herself, Meghan reflects that the opportunities the asynchronous program offers is a blessing to people who work full-time jobs and still want to pursue their education. “They get real-life experience with practical application to their work as it’s happening,” she said. “I love being able to connect with my students and always make myself available for any questions they might have.”
With healthcare being such a specialized industry to work in, Meghan feels it’s her calling to make a difference in teaching students how to provide the best care to patients and how to properly meet the needs of physicians to make their jobs easier. Through her vast experience, she is able to share real-world scenarios in the classroom to instruct students on topics from insurance to state and federal training.
“I want my students to leave ACU knowing that it’s a difficult task to meet the needs of everyone…cutting cost, making sure physicians have treatments and making tech available…but having empathy and understanding of the patient’s journey will help them make those challenging decisions,” she commented. She explained that understanding what’s right for the patient first and seeing things from their perspective is going to be their north star throughout their careers.
While her courses discuss in depth what is happening within the physical hospital, Hope has structured the curriculum to open students’ eyes to community health and how it affects healthcare as a whole. She notes that the COVID-19 pandemic has made the ways in which healthcare is accessible to particular populations clearer than ever and how her students consider how healthcare is affected beyond physical hospitals and clinics.
Her program purposefully gives students’ opportunities to explore an array of career avenues and find something they love. Her accomplished team of professors touches on both how to build a team and the technical skills needed for a meaningful career that will impact others. With a mission-minded outlook, Meghan Hope is eager to see how her students will change the healthcare field for the better.
Wondering if healthcare administration is for you? Check out our website at acu.edu/online or contact us at 855-219-7300.