Healthcare is an incredibly important field these days, and managerial positions within this industry can make or break how well millions of ill patients are cared for each day.

Saint Leo University is proud to offer an MBA in Health Care Management to help students gain the perfect balance between having an ample business acumen with working in the healthcare field in some capacity.

We recently caught up with Dr. Rafael Rosado-Ortiz, chair of this MBA program and Saint Leo's Health Care Management Department, to discuss the ins-and-outs of what it offers and how it can benefit students in their professional endeavors.

Q: When was Saint Leo's MBA in Health Care Management program started, and what were the reasons behind offering it?

A: Saint Leo started this program in the early 1990s at the bachelor's level.

Over the past several years, there have been many changes made to healthcare, and the number of patients has gone up simply due to a population increase. So, educating students in this field is extremely relevant today.

This program is geared toward those who have some experience in healthcare and are looking to move up the ladder,. We also get students who are looking to make a career change.

Q: What topics are covered in the curriculum?

A: Students must complete 36 credit hours' worth of coursework for this program, which combines both MBA core courses and the healthcare management courses.

If you enroll, you'll learn about:

  • Healthcare law
  • Public health
  • Community assessments
  • Business and finance
  • Basic medical terminology and jargon
  • How various medical care facilities are managed in the 21st century

 Q: What are the primary goals of the MBA in Health Care Management program?

A: The curriculum is designed to

  • Prepare managers on the nuances of the various programs within the healthcare field
  • - Help current and future managers navigate thru the whole system, finances, marketing, community assessments, etc.
  • Prepare managers to know which types of communities they serve when working for a healthcare organization
  • Identify who their target customers are, and then match them with the appropriate services they need

In the end, students should walk away being more effective managers and should be more compassionate for the people they serve. They should have the tools they need to handle any problem thrown at them, especially ethical and other common issues in healthcare.

Q: Where is this program offered?

A: This is an online program. However, the MBA business-specific core courses can also be taken on-ground at Saint Leo's University Campus or at some of Saint Leo's Education Centers.

Q: Who are the faculty teaching in this program?

A: We have four full-time faculty members and a number of adjuncts who teach in the curriculum. Learn about our full-time faculty below.

Dr. Rafael A. Rosado-Ortiz is a trained Family Practice physician with over 30 years of experience in public health management, preventive medicine programs, healthcare management, state and private managed care programs research, development and implementation, and development and management of comprehensive community healthcare initiatives addressing the needs of minority target markets and the underserved populations in the U.S., the Caribbean, and Latin America.

Prior to joining Saint Leo in 2012, Dr. Rosado-Ortiz worked as an executive physician for the Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice as its statewide Assistant Medical Director where he managed and coordinated medical services for 30 medical units. In addition, He has held other executive and management healthcare positions in the areas of direct medical services, statewide public health prevention, and treatment program initiatives that have addressed the medical needs of populations affected by acute and chronic medical diseases.

He obtained his BS from Charter Oak State College in New Britain CT, his medical degree from the UCIFAS Medical School in the Dominican Republic, and he also obtained his MBA in health care management from Saint Leo.

Dr. Rosado-Ortiz is based out of Saint Leo's Marietta Education Center.

Dr. Galo Alava is an assistant professor of healthcare management at University Campus and has been at Saint Leo since 2004.

He received his medical degree from Universidad Central del Ecuador and his Master's degree in healthcare from the University of Phoenix.

Before coming to Saint Leo, Dr. Alava worked as a Medical Examiner for APPS in Brandon, Fla., as chair of the Surgical Technology Program at Florida Metropolitan University in Brandon, and as a Regional Respimed Representative for Apria Healthcare in Tampa. His interests include quality assurance in healthcare services, development and implementation of effective community prevention programs, and development of innovative teaching initiatives.

Dr. Claudette Andrea works in the Healthcare Management Department as an assistant professor of healthcare management at Saint Leo's South Hampton Roads, Va. Education Center.

She has a doctorate in Public Health and Epidemiology from Walden University and a master's in Healthcare Management from American Intercontinental University.

Dr. Andrea's experience includes working at Emory Crawford Long Hospital and Atlanta Medical Center, she also worked as an assistant professor of healthcare management at Strayer University and Westwood college and as an adjunct professor of healthcare management at Saint Leo's Morrow Education Center in Atlanta.

Dr. Tasia Hilton earned her BS in chemistry from the University of South Carolina in 2005. In 2007, she received a second Bachelor of Science degree in medical technology (Medical Laboratory Science) from Armstrong Atlantic State University. In 2011, she completed a master's in healthcare administration from Ashford University followed by a PhD in health services administration from Walden University in 2015.

She brings over 6 years of experience working as a certified Medical Laboratory Scientist in areas of Clinical Chemistry and Clinical Microbiology where she worked in the research and development of patient testing used for diagnosis, prognosis, and cost-effective treatment modalities. She has also spent over four years teaching both healthcare administration and management.

She is based at Saint Leo's Savannah, GA Education Center.

Q: What separates this MBA in Health Care Management program from others?

A: A key difference with this program is the strong public health component.

Many of the other programs out there focus strictly on healthcare management, but ours prepares students to not only work in a medical facility but to also account for the community in which a facility is located. Recognizing and examining this public health concept is so important to making a difference in this field.

Also, Saint Leo prides itself on offering a unique online learning environment with one-on-one support from faculty and a 7:1 instructor-student ratio. Students have quick access to their professors and receive their personal cell phone numbers so they can call or text them with questions, along with social media and other platforms. The standard response time among many other universities' faculty is 48 hours, but we keep it to 24 hours.

Q: What types of career opportunities can graduates of this program expect to be considered for?

A: Attaining this MBA can help graduates seek employment in the following types of positions:

  • Department managers
  • Department administrators
  • Chief operating officers
  • Chief executive officers

Types of facilities where graduates may find such positions include:

  • Health insurance companies
  • Pharmaceutical companies
  • Hospitals
  • Assisted living facilities
  • Nursing care facilities
  • Medical offices/complexes
  • University healthcare systems

Q: How can students learn more about this program?

A: A: You may contact myself directly at You can also visit the program page for further details.