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UVU: Students enhance learning with Kirton McConkie healthcare law professional

By Alessia Love - | Jan 22, 2022
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Students and Charles W. Dahlquist II participate in a mock trial class.
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Kirton McConkie attorneys, including Charles W. Dahlquist II, pose with the UVU students who participated in the mock trial class.

During the 2021 Fall Semester, the Utah Valley University Healthcare Administration Program partnered with Kirton McConkie law firm to provide an exceptional engaged-learning opportunity for students in the program. Kirton McConkie designed and introduced a semester-long course on healthcare law. This initiative was led by Charles W. Dahlquist, II, member of the firm’s Risk Management & Insurance Defense Practice Sections, along with the assistance and expertise of attorneys James T. Burton, Robbie G. Yates and Ryan B. Frazier.

Throughout this course, Kirton McConkie attorneys mentored students as they engaged with industry specific topics including malpractice, litigation, physician credentialing, risk management, and human resources.

“It’s like taking Music 101 and Billy Joel is your teacher,” said EmRee Moody, a senior majoring in healthcare administration and student in the course. “Dahlquist has been a wonderful professor and lawyer to learn from. He has a lot of experience he shares in class which gives a good context to definitions and cases we discuss. I can tell that he cares about his clients and is passionate as an attorney as well.”

To develop essential skills, Kirton McConkie brought actual cases into the classroom, which allowed students numerous opportunities to participate in the real-world legal process.

“The most important thing I have learned in the class is that there are so many dimensions to the healthcare world,” said Collin Christiansen, a junior majoring in healthcare administration. “Often, many people think of the only healthcare professions as doctors and nurses, or, in other words, the front-line workers. The law class has taught me that what goes on behind the scenes — and how healthcare centers actually operate — is just as important as primary care.”

“Having Mr. Dahlquist as a teacher has given the class a taste of what the actual field of law looks like,” Christiansen said. “His experience and wisdom in the field helps the students understand healthcare law to an extent that a textbook wouldn’t be able to provide.”

Students also participated in four real-life experiences including a mock medical malpractice trial, mock Institutional Review Board examination, fair hearing, and a presentation regarding the rising legal issues due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Our goal in our healthcare law class is not only to build a certain level of competency and awareness of legal issues, principles and processes in our students,” said Dahlquist. “It’s also to assist them in developing those essential learning objectives identified by UVU, including communication, critical thinking, and ethical reasoning. Healthcare in the future will be in good hands as our students graduate and take their places in the healthcare industry.”

In addition to the undergraduate healthcare law class and the school’s Healthcare Administration bachelor’s degree, UVU’s Woodbury School of Business (WSB) is now offering a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree with a healthcare administration concentration of study.

The bachelor’s and MBA degrees prepare students to work in public, private, and non-profit health organizations or companies that offer healthcare-related products. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of medical and health services managers is projected to grow 32% from 2020 to 2030, a rate faster than the average for all occupations.

The Bureau website also states that approximately 51,800 openings for medical and health services managers are projected each year, on average, over the decade. Many of those openings are expected to result from the need to replace workers who transfer to different occupations or exit the labor force. The average salary for a medical and health services manager in 2020 was $104,280 per year or $50.13 per hour.

UVU’s bachelor’s and MBA degrees in healthcare administration are based on “Engaged Learning” where students receive real-world experience in planning, directing, consulting, and coordinating the business management activities of healthcare organizations. “Students armed with the healthcare MBA will make an important difference in the practice of medicine at a time when the market dynamics of the industry are undergoing significant change,” said Norman Wright, dean of the Woodbury School of Business.


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