Health Informatics program ranked No. 1 most affordable program

J'Leigha Long, Reporter

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Marshall University’s Health Informatics graduate program was ranked No. 1 for the most affordable program in the nation, out of a total of 25, according to the MBA Healthcare Management in the United States. This was based off of the overall flexibility, quality and research trends within each program.

The Health Informatics program is a multidisciplinary profession that utilizes information technologies, information systems integrated into the health care arena and informatics.

Dr. Girmay Berhie, program director for health informatics, said the program consists of a partnership between three of Marshall University’s colleges: the College of Business, the College of Health Professions and the College of Information Technology and Engineering.

“The program was accredited within the first three years,” Berhie said. “That speaks quality. The health informatics program is the only in the state of West Virginia, and its one of the three informatics programs in the United States to be accredited by the Commission of Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management.”

Berhie said he believes it is the combined expertise and skills, combined with knowledge from the three colleges that make the health informatics program unique.

Debra Stinson, graduate student in the informatics program, said she went to school for web development as an undergraduate student and combining the three disciplines helped her adapt.

“I came from a technological background, and that also helped me to adapt to the informatics program because one of the disciplines are information technology,” Stinson said.

Students graduating with a master’s degree in health informatics can typically get jobs as security officers, data analysts, professors, CIO’s, consultants and program managers.

Berhie said Marshall’s program is a prime example of how both affordability and quality can go together.

“Students will spend less money on tuition and after graduation will have a better chance of finding a good paying job,” Berhie said. “Most of our graduates from this program are making $60,000 to $125,000 yearly. This can repay any loans they might have.”

Michael Jones, a graduate of the program, said it wasn’t until receiving his degree at Marshall that he found the career where he could truly succeed.

“As a nurse with a background in neuroscience, health research and data analysis, I had been seeking the right graduate program that could combine the kind of education and experience with today’s cutting-edge health information sciences,” Jones said. “I found my answer at Marshall University’s health informatics program. As a recent graduate, I now have an exciting and rewarding career as a health informatics specialist working in the area of informatics and health data analytics.”

J’Leigha Long can be contacted at [email protected]

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