VCU Department of Health Administration announces new PhD program director

Virginia Commonwealth University’s Department of Health Administration has appointed Laura McClelland, PhD as the new director of the PhD Program in Health Services Organization and Research (HSOR).

As program director, McClelland will be responsible for recruitment efforts for both part-time and full-time doctoral students; overseeing the curriculum of the PhD program; mentoring and supervising degree progress for doctoral students; as well as interfacing with the program’s robust HSOR PhD alumni community.

"I am honored to take on the role for a program that has reliably produced so many outstanding PhDs that have gone on to lead distinguished careers," said McClelland. "This is an incredible opportunity to build on the many programmatic successes of our previous director and faculty emeritus, Dr. Jan Clement."

McClelland who has been a member of the Department of Health Administration and taught in the PhD program for 10 years, says that a top priority is to grow the program’s full-time enrollments. 

"CHP funded student scholarships and stipends will enable the HSOR PhD program to attract the brightest research-oriented students, which will further strengthen the reputation of the program, and also synergistically fuel productive research collaborations for its students and faculty," she said. "The latter, in turn, enhances the reputation of our college. It's a win-win. In the long-term, we want to further strengthen our reputation as a top-tier PhD program that reliably produces highly productive health care organizational scholars."

McClelland has expertise in the areas of health administration, organizational behavior, management and organization theory. Her research interests include workplace compassion, employee well-being. and patient experience. Her work examines the nature and effects of organizational compassion practices on important outcomes for healthcare organizations.

Her research is published in leading health services and social science journals, including Health Services Research, Medical Care and Human Resource Management Review, and is cited in popular press outlets such as CNN and Kaiser Health News. Additionally, her work was featured in VCU Health's annual report this past year.

"I consider it a privilege to take on this role at such a unique time for our department and college because we are better resourced to best support our students and in turn produce strong PhD graduates," said McClelland. "We have successfully recruited a number of leading scholars in the field to join our department faculty, which further strengthens the caliber of our curriculum and research mentoring. In addition, due to CHP's commitment to our PhD program, we are now able to fund up to four incoming full-time PhD students who each will receive full tuition scholarships, a stipend for their living expenses, and provide support to attend research conferences."

McClelland encourages anyone who is interested in a career in research and teaching, with a passion for studying health care organizations and health services research, to reach out to see if the VCU HSOR PhD program can help you achieve your goals. For more, visit the HSOR PhD Program.

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