Creighton University Introduces Online Master of Science in Healthcare Ethics

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Web-based Degree Program Will Provide Students with Comprehensive Introduction to the Field of Bioethics

Offered through the Center for Health Policy and Ethics (CHPE) at Creighton University, the new Master of Science in Health Care Ethics (MSHCE) is a fully accredited MS program offered entirely online. This new degree program is designed for professionals who have an advanced degree in a healthcare field, as well as professionals with some undergraduate coursework in health care or bioethics who are seeking a deeper understanding of the impact of relevant historical, cultural, philosophical, political, economic and legal issues in health care practices and policies, especially regarding their impact on vulnerable populations.

The (MSHCE) program will provide students with a comprehensive introduction to the field of bioethics. Graduates of the program will be able to:

  • Understand the complexities of the myriad ethical problems and controversies in today's health care environment, especially those concerning vulnerable populations
  • Apply ethical principles and theories to problems and issues in health care and provide justification for a particular course of action in response
  • Facilitate open discussion among diverse individuals in ethically complex situations
  • Design educational tools and policies to improve the ethical quality of health care

Comprised of 30 credit hours, the MSHCE program consists of 27 core credit hours and 3 elective credit hours allowing the student to select a course that is relevant to their distinct career objectives. The program is highly customizable based on the elective choice and student-designed practicum experience. Unlike existing programs offered in the marketplace, the MSHCE program curriculum offers flexibility in course order, while ensuring proper preparation for the advanced courses. Each 8-week module allows the student to concentrate on just one content area at a time. Further, there is no on-site or residency component, allowing students to complete the entire program online.

The Center for Health Policy Ethics at Creighton University is committed to forming and educating agents of change by integrating critical reflection on students' own attitudes, actions, and personal development into the program. Unique to this program is the commitment to advance the Jesuit value of concern for the poor and marginalized and to draw strongly upon a variety of disciplines to form and educate agents of change through intellectual and humanistic engagement with the enterprises of health care.

The program faculty is highly recognized and respected in the disciplines of health care ethics and health policy. The Center Director, Dr. Amy Haddad, PhD, was recently awarded the 2007 Pellegrino Medal presented by the Healthcare Ethics and Law Institute (HEAL) at Samford University. The award is presented to honor individuals recognized nationally as leaders for contributions to healthcare ethics. Dr. Haddad was selected for the national Carnegie Scholars program of the Carnegie Center for the Advancement of the Scholarship of Teaching in 2001, and teaching and learning in ethics education continues to be the primary focus of her research. Additionally, Dr. Haddad is an accomplished poet, having published numerous poems about the vulnerability of patients in anthologies and journals.

Center Professor, Richard O'Brien, MD, is an influential voice in the current debate about health care reform. He is co-chair of the Nebraska Health Care Reform Task Force and has made numerous presentations throughout the state advocating high-quality, efficient, affordable, and accessible health care for all citizens, the recommendations of which have introduced as legislation in the Nebraska legislature. At the national level, Dr. O'Brien has participated in the National Congress on the Un- and Underinsured and served as a consultant to the Hagel Healthcare Commission, which was tasked with making comprehensive recommendations for transforming American health care.

In the coming decade, the healthcare industry will continue to grow as will the need for health care professionals who can understand and address the complex ethical issues faced in health care. The MSHCE program at Creighton University is an affordable, flexible and customizable education option for health care professionals who desire a better understanding of how to identify ethical dilemmas and hone their knowledge and skills to make better ethical decisions.

Creighton University is a prestigious institution grounded in Jesuit values, and has been consistently ranked by US News & World Report as the #1 Master's degree granting university in the Midwest. Our approach to education creates a passion for learning and a zeal for making a difference, while our focus on the development of ethical and spiritual character produces graduates who are highly motivated to succeed and make a lasting impact in their chosen career field

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Susan Schreiber
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