Healthcare Management Scholarship Aims to Support Interns

September 19, 2019


  • The healthcare management program is ranked 15th in the country
  • A developing scholarship will support students during summer internships
  • HCMT students will attend an inaugural healthcare management case competition at MUSC in October

ROCK HILL, SOUTH CAROLINA – When Chiquila Barber '19 graduates this fall, she will join the ranks of a dynamic network of alumni from the healthcare management (HCMT) program at Winthrop University.

She will also graduate knowing that this past spring, Winthrop’s HCMT program ranked 15th in the country, according to Bachelor’s Degree Center’s 2019 rankings of the top 25 best bachelor’s in healthcare administration degree programs

With the Bureau of Labor Statistics reporting a 20 percent increase in jobs for healthcare managers and administrators, Winthrop graduates are already working successfully in the field. Brittany Lavis ‘10 was among those named in Modern Healthcare Magazine’s 2018 Up and Comers list, garnering her accolades as an emerging leader and one of the youngest chief financial officers of a major hospital in the country. She is currently the CFO of Detroit Medical Center. And take for instance Keslie Blackwell, a 2013 graduate who is the CFO of Placentia-Linda Hospital in California. Even more alumni are in top leadership positions locally and nationally. The HCMT program has a 90 percent job placement rate for graduates.  

Barber envisions herself among these powerful alumnae and hopes to one day become director of an assisted living facility. Through a newly developing scholarship offered by the healthcare management program, she is on target to reach that goal.

“This scholarship allowed me to stay on course for graduation for the fall of 2019. Because I am a mother working part time, every penny counts and this scholarship relieved a lot of pressure and allowed me to focus on my academics,” Barber said.

This summer she took on a 400-hour internship – required by HCMT’s accreditation standards – at Agape Hospice of Rock Hill, where she received hands-on learning and was able to conduct a radio interview as part of a marketing project. The healthcare management concentration is one of the only programs under the College of Business Administration (CBA) that requires an internship for graduation.

“The internship is the single best class a college could offer. You cannot replicate the 400-hour summer internship in a classroom. It is also the most common way a student finds their first job in our discipline,” Associate Professor of Management Michael Matthews said. “The internship is essential for professional development as well as continued learning.”

One of the challenges, Matthews said, is that 70 percent of summer internships are unpaid. HCMT faculty and members of the CBA advisory board understand that the cost of interning can be financially restrictive for many students. The group banded together in 2017 to provide seed money to establish a scholarship for HCMT interns.

They are hopeful more alumni and community stakeholders will see value in growing the scholarship and the healthcare management program, the only program in South Carolina fully certified by the Association of University Programs in Health Services Administration (AUPHA).

Next month, a delegation of HCMT students will attend an inaugural healthcare management case competition at the Medical University of South Carolina.

For more information about giving to the HCMT program or other university scholarships and initiatives, please contact the Division of University Advancement at 803/323-2275 or

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