A degree concentrating on healthcare administration and new wellness programs are among the enhancements that an agreement between Southern Wesleyan University (SWU) of Central, S.C., and Baptist Easley Hospital will make possible.

Baptist Easley CEO Michael L. Batchelor and Southern Wesleyan University President Todd S. Voss signed a memorandum of understanding, aligning the two organizations for years to come.

“Collaboration is the future for higher education as well as health care, and joining forces with an innovative and caring organization like Baptist Easley allows for both organizations to serve the community and our constituents in new and exciting ways,” said Voss.

“As we continue to preserve, promote, and enhance the health of those we serve, it is critical that we connect with partners who share a common mission and commitment to our community,” said Batchelor.

One of the first joint initiatives will be the development of a master of business administration with a healthcare administration concentration that could start as soon as the fall semester. The 22-month degree program – the first program of its kind in the Upstate – will combine the finance, operations, and business management components of a traditional MBA while adding key elements of healthcare management.

The memorandum also addresses physician and healthcare support for the growing sports program at SWU; enhancement of faculty, staff, student, and dependent healthcare options, including wellness and prevention programs; a possible future healthcare clinic on the SWU campus that would also support the surrounding community and advance the outreach mission of Baptist Easley; and investigation of healthcare benefits and savings options by working to find solutions through collaboration.

This new partnership will remain flexible, allowing new initiatives and ideas to develop, according to Voss, adding, “This is an exciting venture with a great partner.”

“Together, we will be able to achieve for our community what would not be possible otherwise,” said Batchelor.

Pictured: Southern Wesleyan University President Todd Voss, left, and Baptist Easley CEO Michael L. Batchelor sign a memorandum of understanding signaling collaboration on initiatives that include a new MBA healthcare administration concentration and wellness and prevention programs.