Nourished by an aging demographic, job prospects for medical and health services managers are expected to balloon by a whopping 23 percent by 2022, reports the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

(Photo Courtesy of Dr. Ric Zappala)

(Photo Courtesy of Dr. Ric Zappala)

This promising outlook serves as encouragement for anyone considering taking on a health care executive’s demanding role. In Los Angeles, it is a dedication to an evolutionary medical industry that awards these professionals an annual yearly salary that stretches to $143,000, according to current employment trends.

“Advancements in medicine have certainly created the need for more medical providers which, in turn, has dramatically increased an urgency for educated individuals who understand the business and administrative side of health care,” said Dr. Ric Zappala, program director at UCLA Extension’s department of humanities and sciences.

Knowledgeable health care administrators must be able to adapt posthaste to radical changes in laws, regulations and new, surfacing technology. This is a commanding reason UCLA Extension offers an aggregate of certificate courses in health care management and leadership.

“By taking certificate courses focusing on the design and function of U.S. health care systems, and learning about organizational behavior in health care and information technology, these students are perfectly suited to ensure that the delivery of services is efficient,” said Dr. Zappala, who earned his Juris Doctor degree from Boston University School of Law. “With these skills, our students are almost assured career advancement.”

What makes this curriculum attractive to newcomers?

“Our certificate program is structured like a master’s of business administration program, with exclusive emphasis on the health care industry.”

Why would a medical doctor need to take your courses?

“Working physicians are able to bring new skills back to their organizations, which would advance the efficiency, profitability and safety of their services.”

What is your message to aspiring health care managers?

“My advice is to get in on the ground floor. Learning leadership and management skills now will not only put students at an advantage in availing themselves of new and exciting job opportunities, but create a larger group of individuals whose work will be of vital importance to the improved health of all Americans.”

Sharon Raiford Bush is an award-winning journalist who covers topics of social interest in greater Los Angeles. Some news articles she has authored have been archived by the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC. Sharon also contributes to


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