Hospital Administration Class Examines Possible Merger

Posted by on July 30, 2013

Every student at some point during their educational journey has questioned the classroom material and wondered when they will use it in a real life situation.  With applied learning projects at Minnesota School of Business-Brooklyn Center, students do not have to ask this question because the classroom material truly is preparing each student for situations they may encounter in the workplace.

health care management, Minnesota School of BusinessMichael Zdychnec, health care management executive program chair, taught the Hospital Administration class at the Brooklyn Center campus and found a perfect real life situation for his students to examine.

Earlier in the year, South Dakota-based Sanford Health Systems announced they would be pursuing a potential merger with Minnesota-based Fairview Health Systems.  The announcement created quite a stir in the health care community as it was looked upon as an out-of-state health care organization attempting to move into Minnesota. Politicians, health care professionals, and Minnesota citizens were trying to figure out the real motivation.

The Hospital Administration class was given the assignment of analyzing the merger as consultants, through their made-up MSB Consulting organization, then presenting their findings to the Senior Partners of the firm (Zdychnec, as well as, Jerry Lovrien, the former network dean of healthcare management for Globe Education Network).

The students worked together as a team to gather the information they needed and collaborated to formulate their recommendations.  Since several of the students were from other campuses, including one student from the Eau Claire, Wisconsin, campus, they used technology to communicate, share information, and develop their report and presentation.

Despite the fact that the actual merger fell through because of political reasons, the class felt the merger would have been good for Minnesota. It would have added a new component to the competitive environment and provided Fairview the resources it needed to improve its business position.

According to Zdychnec, “This was a good project for the class.  Health care employers are looking for individuals who can critically think, who can work together in teams, and who can manage projects even when they may not be able to physically be in the same location all the time.  It also allowed them to look beyond the existing politics and develop recommendations based on what is best for a client or customer.  The students were able to take the information that they had learned in class and apply it to a real-world situation.”

For more information on the health care management program at the Brooklyn Center campus, please call 763-566-7777.

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