MHA Domains & Competencies

The competency framework for the MSUM MHA program has been adapted from the Healthcare Leadership Alliance common competency domains. The 26 program competencies are classified under five major domains: Leadership; Professionalism; Communication and Relationship Building; Knowledge of the Healthcare Environment; and Business Skills. These domains align with the mission, vision, and values of the MHA program in preparing a generalist leader that is prepared to lead in a variety of community settings. It provides a solid administrative foundation to allow students to emerge prepared to lead in the ever-changing world of healthcare.

Competencies were developed and adapted from the Healthcare Leadership Alliance (HLA) competencies and the American College of Healthcare Executives competencies, as well as input from community partners, students, and pedagogical models to meet the needs of MSUM MHA students under each of these five domains (HLA, 2010; ACHE, 2021). Within each domain, specific competencies are associated with required courses throughout the curriculum. Students will achieve basic, intermediate, or advanced skills within each of these competencies. Courses are sequenced to work towards building a minimum of intermediate competency with the goal of advanced competency in the end, capstone courses. Students should expect to emerge with at least intermediate competency skills in the five domains and corresponding competencies at the conclusion of the program. Individual course specific competencies are available on each course syllabi. The goal is that course activities support competencies to help students witness a progression in their competency development throughout the MHA program.

Assessment of domains and competencies:

B = Basic skills encompassing knowledge and comprehension of subject matter;
I = Intermediate skills encompassing application of knowledge to analyze a problem;
A = Advanced skills encompassing ability to evaluate, judge and synthesize information.

Domain #1: Leadership – the ability to inspire individual and organizational excellent, create and attain a shared vision and successfully manage change to attain the organization’s strategic ends and successful performance.


  1. Utilize a systems approach as an organizational leader to effectively plan resource use
  2. Build and facilitate relationships within the healthcare environment to inspire stakeholders toward a shared vision
  3. Employ ethical decision-making when encountered with a problem
  4. Improve system outcomes by implementing evidence based practice to organizational issues
  5. Provide innovative thinking and critical reasoning on issues that impact health care organizations
  6. Use change theory to implement change to assure safe, high quality patient outcomes

Domain #2: Professionalism – the ability to align personal and organizational conduct with ethical and professional standards that include a responsibility to the patient and community, a service orientation, and a commitment to lifelong learning and improvement.


  1. Uphold ethical principles and corporate compliance standards
  2. Advocate for optimal health care in communities and populations
  3. Demonstrate professional norms and behaviors
  4. Engage in continued professional development and lifelong learning

Domain #3: Communication and Relationship Building – the ability to communicate clearly and concisely with internal and external customers, establish and maintain relationships, and facilitate constructive interactions with individuals and groups.


  1. Develop clear and concise communication methods as an emerging healthcare leader
  2. Collaborate as leader/member of interprofessional teams to optimize care management, coordination, and administrative practices
  3. Establish cultural competency within a diverse workforce
  4. Create a shared vision that strategically aligns with an organization
  5. Collaborate with community stakeholders to enhance healthcare decision making

Domain #4: Knowledge of the Healthcare Environment – the understanding of the health care system and the environment in which health care managers and providers function.


  1. Apply safety and quality principles, methods, performance measures, and standards to continually improve health outcomes across the continuum of care
  2. Develop and articulate organizational performance improvement programs and goals
  3. Prepare projects that align with governmental, regulatory, professional and accreditation agency requirements
  4. Evaluate, advocate for, and support organizational/governmental policy to improve health care delivery and population health outcomes
  5. Utilize evidence for establishment of standards, practices and innovative patient care models within an organization

Domain #5: Business Skills – the ability to apply business principles, including systems thinking, to the healthcare environment.


  1. Utilize data and information management to drive business decisions
  2. Employ basic financial management and analysis principles
  3. Demonstrate human resource management for effective workforce planning
  4. Demonstrate strategic resource to effectively lead projects within an organization and/or community
  5. Demonstrate operations management through problem solving skills that impact employees, the patient, the organization and the environment
  6. Analyze healthcare market demands of organizations, communities and populations