The Department of Health Policy and Administration at Penn State

Food for the week on a table

Something different to digest

Health policy and administration students challenged to eat on about $30 for one week.

Patricia Miranda’s Principles of Public Administration class took part in the nationally recognized SNAP Challenge earlier this month, which charges participants to live on the U.S. daily food aid benefit — about $4 a day — for one week.


Interested in health management, health policy, or health services research? The Department of Health Policy and Administration (HPA) at Penn State prepares students to be the health care leaders of tomorrow.

Undergraduate Program
Our undergraduate program develops graduates with the knowledge, skills, and values appropriate for beginning a career in health management or health policy or for graduate education in public health, health policy, health law, health services research, and other health-related and clinical fields.
Master of Health Administration (M.H.A.)
Our Master of Health Administration (M.H.A.) degree prepares students for the complexities they will face in health services management, one of the fastest growing management occupations. The M.H.A. program is available via resident and online instruction options.
Ph.D. program
Our Ph.D. program develops intellectual leaders who will produce important new insights through research on health policy, health care organizations, and population health.

HPA Highlights

Read a more thorough discussion of HPA Programs, Research and Service.

Latest News

Students in Patricia Miranda's Principles of Public Administration class, HPA 410, took the SNAP Challenge

Rebecca Fry, a senior majoring in HPA and marketing, said after completing the challenge, her perspective on the decisions people facing hunger have to make has changed.

“I now realize how limited their choices are and how hard it must be to choose the healthier options,” Fry wrote in her blog on Nov. 14. “When you’re battling a very limited budget, it must be easier to pick the unhealthy, cheaper, more filling foods. Even people without a very limited budget struggle against that. It’s sad that healthy food options are expensive and may be outside the budget of many low-income Americans — this is why I strongly believe in local produce markets and subsidizing farmers.”

Read more about Fry's experience with the SNAP Challenge.

Alumnus named COO of Mount Nittany Physician Group

James Prowant ’78 ’86g MHA has been named chief operating officer of Mount Nittany Physician Group.

Originally from Lewisburg, Prowant holds a master’s degree in healthcare administration and a bachelor’s degree in biology from Penn State. He is also a certified medical practice executive through the American College of Medical Practice Executives.

Most recently, Prowant worked as the vice president for primary care operations at Lehigh Valley Physician Group, a subsidiary of Lehigh Valley Health Network. Prowant has also worked in administrative roles at Ephrata Community Hospital in Ephrata, Pa.; Lombardi Cancer Center at Georgetown University Medical Center in Washington, D.C.; and Susquehanna Health in Muncy, Pa.; among other locations.

Read more about James Prowant's new role at Mount Nittany Physician Group.

HPA senior recognized for research on age and social isolation in the U.S.

Sharon Qi's research paper has been selected as a winning undergraduate-level paper in the Francis G. Caro Student Paper Award Contest at the University of Massachusetts.

Her paper, “The Effects of Social Isolation on Chronic Illness Among Older Adults: A Review of the Literature,” discusses the impact of social isolation on the aging U.S. population, a population already stricken with a chronic disease epidemic. Qi, of Wallingford, Pennsylvania, wrote the paper following independent study at the University's Center for Healthy Aging during the spring 2014 semester.

Read more about Qi's recognition in the Francis G. Caro Student Paper Award Contest at the University of Massachusetts.

Hospitals recover from recession, some financial issues remain

The recent economic recession affected hospitals across the nation, regardless of financial status, but following the rebound, financially weak and safety-net hospitals continue to struggle, according to health researchers.

"Poor financial outcomes [for hospitals] could lead to poor care," said Naleef Fareed, assistant professor of health policy and administration, Penn State. "This is an issue that needs attention as health care reform moves forward."

Fareed and colleagues used data from both the American Hospital Association Annual Survey and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to analyze how different groups of hospitals fared financially during the recession, and where these groups stand as health care reform continues in the United States.

Read more about hospitals recovering from recession but facing remaining financial issues.

Department of Health Policy and Administration
604 Ford Building
University Park, PA 16802-6500
Phone: 814-863-2900

Member of AUPHACommission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education