Lehigh Valley announces new degree in Health Policy and Administration

February 10, 2015

Representing nearly one-seventh of the entire U.S. economy, the health care industry continues to expand. In the Lehigh Valley, it is the fastest growing sector of the local market, creating demand for qualified professionals who can handle the management, business and policy aspects of the field. Penn State Lehigh Valley’s newest baccalaureate degree program in Health Policy and Administration is designed to prepare students for high-demand health care careers or advanced study. Lehigh Valley is the only Penn State campus other than University Park to offer this four-year degree, which is enrolling students now for courses beginning this summer.

“This major gives students -- whether traditional college age or adult learners -- a great deal of flexibility to select courses that fit their personal and professional goals,” said Anita Yuskauskas, coordinator of the program and former technical director at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services in Baltimore, Maryland.

The program supports three areas of specialization -- business and finance, health information technology, and long-term care -- chosen carefully based on national and local demographics, future demand and employment opportunities. Graduates find job prospects in a variety of settings including health systems, long-term care organizations, physician group practices, state and federal agencies, and private trade and research organizations.

While local demand will provide career opportunities for graduates of the major, sophomore Stephanie Bernal of Allentown plans to capitalize on the program’s flexibility to meet her professional goals on a global level. The Dieruff High School graduate was inspired to pursue international development and humanitarian work after a recent church mission trip to the Dominican Republic.

“We volunteered at two orphanages in Santo Domingo where many of the children have HIV. Despite living with this disease in an environment with limited resources, they were just like other kids who want to have fun and enjoy life,” said Bernal. “It made me want to do something. This major allows me to choose courses that will help me understand health from a social, political and economic perspective. It’s a great foundation for my future plans.”

For more information about the major, visit www.lv.psu.edu/HPA.

  • Student and professor chatting in conference room

    Dr. Anita Yuskauskas (right), Program Coordinator for Health Policy and Administration, advises sophomore Stephanie Bernal of Allentown about scheduling her classes. Bernal was the first student to register for the new HPA program.

    IMAGE: Penn State

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated February 11, 2015