Fast forward to 1966. Former dean of the Faculty of Medicine Walter Mackenzie was approached by Carl Meilicke, a recent graduate of the hospital administration PhD program at the University of Minnesota. Meilicke proposed the W. K. Kellogg Foundation might be interested in funding a master’s program in health services administration (MHSA) within the Faculty of Medicine.
Known to be a visionary man, Mackenzie championed the idea of a new graduate program at the University of Alberta. In 1967, the Kellogg Foundation approved the proposal submitted by the University of Alberta, and Mackenzie recruited Meilicke as director of the Division of Health Services Administration, a position he held until 1980.
“The times begged for better policy research, better planning and better administration at all levels of the heath care system,” explains Meilicke. “At the time, no university in western Canada offered any teaching, research or service related to the administration of health services.”
Meilicke describes “administration” as an inherently multi-disciplinary body of knowledge and skills. “We worked very hard to establish and maintain cross-disciplinary relationships across campus,” he explains.
The MHSA program ran from 1968 until 1995. During this period, it achieved a high standard of excellence and was accredited three times by the Accrediting Commission on Education for Health Services Administration.
More than 300 students graduated from the program. Alumni continue to hold leadership positions in virtually every sector of health care, including acute care, long-term care, government, academia and the private sector.
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