Richard Currie, MHSA '89

Vice-President (Finance and Operations)

Concordia University of Edmonton

Richard Currie received his master of health services administration (MHSA) in 1989. Currie knew he wanted to pursue a career in health services administration and was aware that the program at the University of Alberta had a great reputation.

"Earning my MHSA was a lot of work, but the reward was high quality education," says Currie.

After graduation Currie worked in health services from 1989 - 1997. For the next eight years, an opportunity presented itself for Currie to work in a mission hospital in Nepal while splitting his time in Canada with the sponsoring host organization. As the hospital administrator, Currie was tasked with handling a hospital that would see an average of 40,000 patients per year.

"Working in the mission hospital in Nepal was one of the highlights of my career," explains Currie.

Since 2005, Currie has shifted his focus to education administration holding positions with Taylor University College and, more recently, Concordia University of Edmonton.

"My career path has really evolved," says Currie. "I didn't plan my career the way it has turned out, but I find the work I do now to be a synergy of acquired skills and learning over the years. The skills I acquired during my MHSA program have been transferable from health services to volunteer work to what I'm currently doing in advanced education."

And while Currie has shifted his focus to higher education, his roots remain firmly in public health. Since 2009, he and his wife, Luella, have worked with Catholic Social Services to offer a welcoming home to refuges from Bhutan and Nepal.

"I'm very interested in empowering communities and helping from arms' reach. When we first went overseas we thought we'd have so much to teach, but we ended up learning so much more from our experiences than we imparted to others."

The University of Alberta offered the master of health services administration degree program from 1968 until 1995 and saw more than 300 students graduate from the program. During this period, it achieved a high standard of excellence and was accredited three times. 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.

(Last updated September, 2017)