HA620 Healthcare Leadeship Capstone Seminar

for SPP 2013

Printer Friendly

Mission Statement: Park University provides access to a quality higher education experience that prepares a diverse community of learners to think critically, communicate effectively, demonstrate a global perspective and engage in lifelong learning and service to others.

Vision Statement: Park University, a pioneering institution of higher learning since 1875, will provide leadership in quality, innovative education for a diversity of learners who will excel in their professional and personal service to the global community.


HA 620 Healthcare Leadeship Capstone Seminar


SPP 2013 DL


Discenza, Suzanne


Associate Professor of Healthcare Leadership



Office Location

Kansas City Downtown Campus

Office Hours

Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays 9:30 – 11:30 a.m., and 2:30 – 4:30 p.m., by appointment

Daytime Phone




Semester Dates

January 14 - May 12, 2013

Class Days


Class Time


Credit Hours



The following textbook is required:

Healthcare Strategic Planning
Authors: Zuckerman, Alan M.
Edition: 3rd 2012
ISBN: 978-1-56793-434-2
Publisher: Health Administration Press (ACHE Management Series)

The following text is recommended as an excellent resource:

Strategic Management of Health Care Organizations
Authors: Swayne, Linda E., Duncan, Jack, and Ginter, Peter M.
Edition: 6th 2008
ISBN: 978-1-4051-7918-8 (HB)
Publisher: Jossey-Bass (Wiley)

The online bookstore is accessed through the Park University home page.

Textbooks can be purchased through the MBS bookstore

Textbooks can be purchased through the Parkville Bookstore

Additional Resources:
Journal articles, reports, and other research may be provided during the course and will be required reading. Students may also be required to review and report upon journal articles that students find during internet/library research and these articles can also serve as general background reading for discussions.

The electronic database offered by the Park University Library is an excellent resource for locating journal articles. To access the database:

  1. Click on Library on the Park University Main web page.
  2. Click on electronic databases.   As an example, you may wish to use EBSCOhost.
  3. Go to EBSCOhost web (click on the database you prefer)
  4. Click on Academic Search Elite
  5. Choose FULL TEXT to see the actual article
  6. Other online databases are similar to EBSCO. Experiment with the databases to see which works best for you

The database has numerous other health-related publications that you will be able to access in the course of your research. Students should also check the webliography and document sharing for additional internet links and sources.

McAfee Memorial Library - Online information, links, electronic databases and the Online catalog. Contact the library for further assistance via email or at 800-270-4347.
Career Counseling - The Career Development Center (CDC) provides services for all stages of career development.  The mission of the CDC is to provide the career planning tools to ensure a lifetime of career success.
Park Helpdesk - If you have forgotten your OPEN ID or Password, or need assistance with your PirateMail account, please email helpdesk@park.edu or call 800-927-3024
Resources for Current Students - A great place to look for all kinds of information http://www.park.edu/Current/.
Advising - Park University would like to assist you in achieving your educational goals. Please contact your Campus Center for advising or enrollment adjustment information.
Online Classroom Technical Support - For technical assistance with the Online classroom, email helpdesk@parkonline.org or call the helpdesk at 866-301-PARK (7275). To see the technical requirements for Online courses, please visit the http://parkonline.org website, and click on the "Technical Requirements" link, and click on "BROWSER Test" to see if your system is ready.
FAQ's for Online Students - You might find the answer to your questions here.

Course Description:

This is the capstone course for the MHL program that will provide students the opportunity to integrate and synthesize previous course work in health care management.  The focus of the course will be on the application of healthcare leadership and management theories and concepts.  The course will require a major project, an internship with a healthcare organization, and completion of an organizational strategic plan.

Prerequisites: Completion of at least 27 credit hours of MHL courses, including all core courses, and permission of the program director are required. (16- week format)

Educational Philosophy:

The professor's educational philosophy is one of interactive and research-based learning, employing a variety of techniques including readings, lectures, student-initiated inquiry, threaded discussions, case studies and examples, internet, websites, critical thinking, writing, and assessment. Current issues, use of real-world experiences and best practices, and reasoned debate will be encouraged.  

Learning Outcomes:
  Core Learning Outcomes

  1. Identify/discuss several important contemporary health care/health service administration issues.
  2. Analyze an issue, gather information, formulate defensible conclusions, and make recommendations for action.
  3. Write a formal research paper, in acceptable format, on the issue of health care rationing based on the required text as well as external student research.
  4. Demonstrate, through discussions and research, critical thinking about current health care challenges as detailed in the highest levels of thought conveyed in Bloom's Taxonomy.

  Instructor Learning Outcomes
  1. Produce a formal strategic plan for a healthcare organization that demonstrates knowledge and the application of healthcare strategic management principles and theories.
  2. Complete an internship in an existing healthcare organization, requiring shadowing of a healthcare administrator and completion of a value-added administrative project for the organization.
  3. Replace #3 under Core Learning Outcomes with:  Write a formal Internship Project Paper summarizing your internship and project(s) completed.  Include "artifacts" such as agendas for meetings attended, policies and procedures developed, reports and charts developed, PowerPoints for presentations, etc.
  4. Integrate and synthesize previous coursework in health care/health services administration.
Core Assessment:

Class Assessment:

Assignments and Class Participation:
1.           1. Discussion Questions 
iscussion grading and assessment
will be based on the following:

Timing and Frequency of Postings: Students should post at least twice before Thursday and at least 3 times between Thursday and Sunday, engaging in discussions about the topics with classmates. Students should present original ideas for posting and not simply agree or disagree with their colleagues. Any agreement or disagreement would need to be explained with justifications for agreement or disagreement.

Postings demonstrating application and analysis must use Bloom's Taxonomy (see course documents for Bloom’s taxonomy). Class discussions/postings must be based on analysis and evaluation of readings from the assigned chapters in the text and assigned readings for the topic under discussion. Students should use examples from the health care sector (i.e., your organization, experiences as a health care professional and/or external readings related to the politics of health care) that demonstrate the applications of the readings and assignments, and opinions should be based on research and referenced sources. Sources must be credible resources such as peer-reviewed publications and professionals in the healthcare area (see webliography). Acceptable sources include research or policy position papers from professional associations (e.g.,  AMA, ANA, ADA, ACHE, AUPHA), foundations pursuing healthcare research (e.g., Commonwealth Foundation, Kaiser Family Foundation, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation), and established national and regional newspapers (e.g.,  New York Times, Washington Post, Kansas City Star).

Research and writing tools are available in the webliography section of this course.

  1.  Strategic Plan: Comprehensive Strategic Plan for the organization in which you complete your internship (preferred) or the healthcare organization in which you work.

A major assignment will be the development of a strategic plan for a healthcare organization. During the first week of class, the healthcare organization for your internship or organization will be identified. Each week, students will be provided with discussion questions and/or assignments that will work toward the development of a comprehensive strategic plan. This will include rough drafts of approximately nine sections of the Plan. A few weeks prior to the end of the semester, the finalized Comprehensive Strategic Plan will be due. Due dates for each section and submission of the final plan will be listed in the course schedule for HA 620. 

  1.  Healthcare Internship

Internship Program: Along with faculty approval and assistance as needed, you will set up an internship with an approved program outside of Park University. This internship is considered non-paid. You will spend around 10 - 15 hours a week for a total of 150 hours. Internships need to be approved by the end of week two of class to allow you ample time to complete your project. Your schedule is up to you and your preceptor (manager/administrator) to design. The internship is broken into two parts: Experiential and the Project. For instance, you could shadow a manager (or administrator) and be involved in a project 2 hours a day, 5 days a week for 15 weeks, or possibly 2 half-days (4-5 hours each) a week for 12-15 weeks if you work. This can be done if you work on-site with your preceptor 1/2 day a week and work 1/2 day on the weekend doing research and putting together your project. There can be many variations of your work schedule and all the hours do not have to be in direct contact with your preceptor. Ideally, the internship is more valuable to you in the future if you can sit in and/or participate in meetings, presentations, etc., at the facility. Please arrange a face-to-face meeting (or phone conference if outside of the Kansas City area) with you (the student), the faculty member, and the preceptor prior to you starting your internship.

Shadowing and projects might include developing an updated Policies and Procedures manual for a hospital department or nursing/hospice/long-term care facility, helping put together facility standards and documentation prior to a JCAHO visit, helping with EMR in practice management, health promotions within an insurance company or healthcare organization, marketing strategies for a not-for-profit, strategic planning in a skilled nursing facility, conducting research for Planned Parenthood regarding types of patients seen or procedures completed (including charting trends and/or forecasting), project development for the Alzheimer's Association or the Parkinson's Association or for certain age groups of children at Children's Mercy Hospital or KU Children's Center, tracking treatments and outcomes for PTSD or head injury patients in the military installation on which one might be stationed, etc. Additional projects may be suggested by the preceptor. The essence is meant to be value-added to the facility you will be interning with. The internship is expected to be administrative in nature. You will be required to post in the Discussions what you are doing in your internship.

At the completion of your internship, you will submit your final project paper and related "artifacts". This might include a project summary, Policies and Procedure manual, reports or data collected, PowerPoint presentation, etc.

Lastly, your internship cannot be completed as part of your current job/regular work hours, but must involve shadowing of a manager/administrator (with at least a master's degree - must be minimally higher than your current degree status) in another organization or, minimally, another department if you must do it in the organization in which you work. While 150 hours on-site would be ideal, you should log a minimum of 75 hours on-site in the facility in which you are doing your internship. Up to 75 hours, if necessary, appropriate, and agreed to by your preceptor, may be completed off-site doing research conducting a survey, writing reports, etc.

 Steps in Developing a Comprehensive Strategic Plan 

  1. Demographic Analysis: Gathering and presenting demographic and relevant socio-economic data on the region from appropriate on-line sources.
  2. Conducting an internal analysis of the organization: defining organizational structure, services offered, and market region.
  3. External or environmental analysis: Identifying external environment that impacts on the organization and delivery or services of your organization.
  4. Competitive Analysis: Identifying competing institutions and services.
  5. Developing goals for the organization and objectives to reach these goals  
  6. Determining actions and alternatives to reach those goals. 
  7. Establishing an evaluation plan.
  8. Identifying the "added value" of services or goods provided.
  9. Concluding information and next steps.



Exceeds Expectation

Meets Expectation

Does Not Meet Expectation

No Evidence

Cognitive Skills

Points deleted

Content/Comprehension Definition: Student provides evidence, through explanation and supporting rationale in the development of a comprehensive strategic health care plan.

Student provides an explanation and supporting rationale that is substantiated by reading, external research and class discussions.

Student’s explanation and supporting rationale is based partially on readings, research and class discussions and partially by assumptions or explanations which are not substantiated.

Student does not provide either an explanation or does not provide a supporting rationale and does not substantiate their arguments

Student does not provide an explanation and rationale.

Application Definition: Students are able to apply the major strategic management elements necessary to develop a successful healthcare strategic plan.

Students are able to apply all of the strategic management elements in the development of a strategic plan.

Students are able to apply at least 80% of the strategic management elements in the development of a strategic plan.

Students are able to apply at least 60% of the of the strategic management elements in the development of a strategic plan.

Students are unable to apply the strategic management elements in the development of a strategic plan.

Synthesis Definition: Students are able to integrate their relevant previous core coursework in healthcare leadership in the development of the strategic plan.

Students are able to integrate all of the relevant previous core coursework in healthcare leadership in the development of the strategic plan.

Students are able to integrate relevant previous core coursework in healthcare leadership in the development of the strategic plan. but can only partially integrate all of the elements into a comprehensive plan.

Students are able to integrate relevant previous coursework but are only able to integrate two or three of core subject areas into the plan.

Students fail to integrate any of the previous coursework into the development of the strategic plan.

Competency Skills

Writing Definition: Writing is clear, well-developed, logical, grammatically correct, spelling and punctuation is correct. Citations and references are documented according to the American Psychological Association (APA) guidelines.

Writing is clear, well-developed, logical, grammatically correct, spelling and punctuation is correct with no more than three errors. All citations and references are documented according to the American Psychological Association (APA) guidelines.

Writing is clear, well-developed, logical, grammatically correct, spelling and punctuation is correct with no more than five errors. 80% of citations and references are documented according to the American Psychological Association (APA) guidelines.

Writing is clear, well-developed, logical, grammatically correct, spelling and punctuation is correct with no more than ten errors. Less than 80% of citations and references are documented according to the American Psychological Association (APA) guidelines.

Writing and documentation do not demonstrate any of the criteria noted in the definition.



 Course Grading Scale: Total Points for the Course
300 possible total points
1.  60 points for responses to Discussion Questions, including Updates on Internships (4 points weekly for 15 weeks)
2.  90 points for strategic plan section summaries and final strategic plans
3.  150 points for internship (includes final project documents/summary and input from preceptor)
It is expected each student will maintain a minimum of a “B” on all assignments, including both faculty and preceptor input.

Late Submission of Course Materials:

Work that is late may be graded down at least five percent for each day it is late. Work that is submitted more than week from the due date may not be accepted. Students may be asked to present verifiable outside documentation, such as a signed physician statement medical excuse or verifiable outside documentation. Be aware that this a 16 week course, plan in advance and turn in your assignment or post early if you know that you will be unavailable during the deadline date.

Classroom Rules of Conduct:

  Ground Rules for Online Communication & Participation
  • General email: Students should use email for private messages to the instructor and other students. When sending email other than assignments, you must identify yourself fully by name and class in all email sent to your instructor and/or other members of our class.
  • Online threaded discussions: are public messages and all writings in this area will be viewable by the entire class or assigned group members.
  • Online Instructor Response Policy: Online Instructors will check email frequently and will respond to course-related questions within 24-48 hours. 
  • Observation of "Netiquette": All online communications must be composed with fairness, honesty and tact. Spelling and grammar are important in an online course. What you put into an online course reflects on your level of professionalism. Here are a couple of online references that discuss writing online http://goto.intwg.com/ and netiquette http://www.albion.com/netiquette/corerules.html.
  • Please check the Announcements area before you ask general course "housekeeping" questions (e.g., how do I submit assignment 3?). If you don't see your question, please contact your instructor.

Course Topic/Dates/Assignments:

Week 1: IntroductionRead Chapter 1 in the text and respond to the Discussion Questions.

Start locating and securing a preceptor and the organization in which you plan to do your internship.


******Additional assignments will be posted in a separate document under “Course Schedule” in the Menu.

Academic Honesty:
As a learning community, the University upholds the highest standards of academic integrity in all its academic activities, by faculty, staff, administrators and students. Academic integrity involves much more than respecting intellectual property rights. It lies at the heart of learning, creativity, and the core values of the University. Those who learn, teach, write, publish, present, or exhibit creative works are advised to familiarize themselves with the requirements of academic integrity and make every effort to avoid possible offenses against it, knowingly or unknowingly. Park University 2012-2013 Graduate Catalog Page 21-22


Plagiarism is the appropriation of another person's ideas, interpretation, words (even a few), data, statements, illustration or creative work and their presentation as one's own. An offense against plagiarism constitutes a serious academic misconduct.  Although offenses against academic integrity can manifest themselves in various ways, the most common forms of offenses are plagiarism and cheating. Plagiarism goes beyond the copying of an entire article. It may include, but is not limited to: copying a section of an article or a chapter from a book, reproduction of an art work, illustration, cartoon, photograph and the like and passing them off as one's own. Copying from the Internet is no less serious an offense than copying from a book or printed article, even when the material is not copyrighted.

Plagiarism also includes borrowing ideas and phrases from, or paraphrasing, someone else's work, published or unpublished, without acknowledging and documenting the source. Acknowledging and documenting the source of an idea or phrase, at the point where it is utilized, is necessary even when the idea or phrase is taken from a speech or conversation with another person.

Park University 2011-2012 Graduate Catalog Page 21

Attendance Policy:

Students must participate in an academically related activity on a weekly basis in order to be marked present in an online class. Examples of academically-related activities include but are not limited to: contributing to an online discussion, completing a quiz or exam, completing an assignment, initiating contact with a faculty member to ask a course related question, or using any of the learning management system tools. Park University 2012-2013 Graduate Catalog Page 26

Disability Guidelines:
Park University is committed to meeting the needs of all students that meet the criteria for special assistance. These guidelines are designed to supply directions to students concerning the information necessary to accomplish this goal. It is Park University's policy to comply fully with federal and state law, including Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, regarding students with disabilities. In the case of any inconsistency between these guidelines and federal and/or state law, the provisions of the law will apply. Additional information concerning Park University's policies and procedures related to disability can be found on the Park University web page: http://www.park.edu/disability .

Additional Information:

Course Specific Policies:

Class Week:

A class week is defined as the period of time between 12:01 a.m. Monday and Sunday midnight, Central Standard Time, the time zone of the home campus in Parkville, Missouri. Students who anticipate earning an "A" or a "B" in the course will have reviewed the material and posted some of the assignments by midweek, so as to have time to engage in discussions in a meaningful way. Failure to do so is the equivalent of coming to class late or unprepared. Posting course assignments late in the week will likely have a negative impact on performance and grades.

Online Connections:

Students are expected to have reasonable access to the internet and to the Park online sites, and to log in frequently to participate. This is an online course. If you have difficulty getting online, you will have difficulty with this course. A high-speed connection is not required but is helpful in transmitting large files. If your dial-up connection is slow, expect to spend more time during the week online. If possible, identify a "back up" way to connect on the off-chance that your computer "crashes". Failure to log on and participate is the equivalent of missing class and will have a negative impact on your performance and your grade. The excuse "my computer crashed" IS NOT acceptable. Have alternate ways to get on-line including local Library, Internet Cafe, a friend, etc.

Writing assignments should be completed and successfully delivered to the instructor by the due date, regardless of whether it is delivered by email, fax or express mail. Please make prior arrangements before submitting assignments by anything other than posting within the course format or emailing them to the instructor.

Online Participation:

Students should use email for private messages to the instructor or other students. Any emails sent to the instructor should have the course name and number (HA 620) as well as the student's name and the date.

The class discussion section is for public messages that will benefit the entire class. It is often helpful to compose your messages in a word processing document and then copy it into the appropriate discussion thread. Please also note the distinction between posting a response to a particular entry and posting a general entry in the discussion thread as assigned.

Students are expected to spend at least five hours per week on course activities. Again, at least half of the time should be spent early in the week. Students should spend at least 200-300 minutes ONLINE in discussions with classmates. The most important issue is the quality of the thinking, communications and the results you achieve, not the amount of time spent

Students are responsible for thoroughly reading each online course policy. If you have questions about any of these policies, please contact your instructor for clarification.

Academic Norms for Citation:

Graduate students in Park University's MHL Program are expected to be familiar with and follow consistently the American Psychological Association (APA) Style Manual accepted norms for citations of other texts, articles or online resources and for preparing a bibliography/ reference page. 


This material is protected by copyright and can not be reused without author permission.

Last Updated:1/12/2013 10:15:55 PM