Department of Health Policy and Administration welcomes new instructor

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Karen Kent has joined the Department of Health Policy and Administration (HPA) faculty as an instructor in the Master of Health Administration (MHA) programs. Kent is an undergraduate alumna of Penn State in health planning and administration. 

She earned a master of science degree in health systems management from Rush University in Chicago and a doctorate in social gerontology from Miami University of Ohio. 

Kent has spent her career both as a health care practitioner and an academic leader. She held positions at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, as the coordinator of managed care arrangements, and as administrator of the Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, where she led one of the largest ear, nose and throat departments in the country.

Kent also serves as an independent consultant leading strategic planning and business development efforts for health care and business clients. 

For the past 13 years Kent was a faculty member in the graduate program in health services administration at Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio. In that role, Kent taught graduate courses in management and leadership, strategic management, and marketing, and she conceptualized and implemented an integrative seminar in health services administration, the capstone of Xavier’s Master of Health Services Administration program. She designed the undergraduate program and curriculum, as well as served as the inaugural director of Xavier's bachelor's degree program in health services administration. Kent received the CINCO Innovation in Teaching award from Xavier University in 2016 in recognition of her efforts to design service-learning opportunities for her students.

Kent has several research interests, including the delivery of health care services to aging clients — in particular, those with disabilities. He dissertation, titled “Autism Spectrum Disorders and the Healthcare Experiences of Older Adults,” focused on the experiences of adults diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders and intellectual disabilities and their challenges and successes in receiving quality health care services.

“I am thrilled to be back at Penn State,” Kent said. “I feel privileged to be working with HPA’s talented and dedicated faculty and staff, and look forward to working with our graduate students, both residential and online. Penn State’s reputation for innovation, excellence and collaboration provides an exciting opportunity to impact the next generation of health care professionals, and I am glad to be part of the team.”

Christopher Calkins, executive director of both the residential and online Master of Health Administration programs, said Kent brings a unique set of professional experiences to the MHA programs, which aligns well with the diversity of professional roles occupied by its students.

“Dr. Kent’s background, coupled with her commitment to education excellence, are a perfect match for our team and our students,” Calkins said.

“We are very fortunate to have found someone who has extensive and relevant education and experience to provide guidance, teaching, professional development and support for our MHA students,” said Christopher Hollenbeak, professor and head of the Department of Health Policy and Administration.

A degree in health policy and administration prepares students to work in a variety of health care organizations, such as hospitals, physician practices, home health agencies, health insurance companies, medical device manufacturers, research and policy organizations, or governmental agencies.

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Last Updated July 25, 2018