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Paula Song, Ph.D, named new chair of Health Administration

Sep 15, 2020

Richmond, Va. (Sept. 15, 2020) — The VCU College of Health Professions has named Paula Song, Ph.D., as the new chair of the Department of Health Administration, effective Sept. 1.

“I am thrilled to welcome Paula, to our team,” said Susan Parish, Ph.D., dean of the VCU College of Health Professions. “She brings an extraordinary set of experiences, and I am confident their collective energy, leadership and vision will have a considerable impact on the College.”

Since 2017, Song served as program director for the residential master’s program in the Department of Health Policy and Management at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC) and a research associate at the Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research. As program director, Song focused on programmatic improvements, enhancing efforts around diversity and inclusion, and engaging in national organizations. Under her leadership, the national ranking of UNC’s master of health administration program rose from no. 5 to no. 3 according to U.S. News and World Report. 

Song began her career as a health administrator, and subsequently transferred her interests in health administration to teaching and research. Her current research focuses on the financial management of healthcare organizations, payment reform, and how alternative payment models impact utilization and access to health services for underserved populations. Her work has been published extensively in leading health services research and healthcare management journals. She teaches courses in healthcare accounting and finance and has co-authored five leading textbooks in healthcare finance.

“I feel very fortunate to contribute to a dynamic field that has an impact on people’s lives and healthcare experiences,” said Song. “I look forward to continuing my research at VCU to address emerging questions relevant to health administration and policy, teaching and mentoring students and colleagues to be successful in their careers, and leading programs and the Department of Health Administration.”

Song is actively involved in national professional organizations such as the Association of University Programs in Health Administration (AUPHA) and the Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education (CAHME). Most recently, she was named the 2020 recipient of the John D. Thompson Prize for Young Investigators by AUPHA. The Thompson Prize was established to honor John D. Thompson, a professor of health administration education, who set teaching, commitment to learning, collegial relationships, and health services research standards which are without peer.

She received her doctoral degree in health services organization and policy, her Master of Arts in applied economics, and Masters of Health Services Administration from the University of Michigan. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in biological basis of behavior from the University of Pennsylvania. 

An avid long-distance runner, Song enjoys spending time with her husband, two small children and their dog. She and her family will reside in Richmond.