MHA Grad Heads Certificate Offering

Theres such a need for qualified people in healthcare compliance, says Pacifics new program manager

A seasoned professional—and Pacific University alumna—will oversee a new online graduate program due to debut in January at Pacific University.

Aurea Beidler, a 2010 graduate of Pacific’s first cohort in the master of health administration program, will oversee the University’s new healthcare compliance certificate program. The program will help provide the tools and training for people working in healthcare organizations striving to meet guidelines mandated by changing federal and state law.

Beidler did not originally set out to be a healthcare professional. A native Oregonian, she earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Oregon in 2002, then worked part time in advertising and creative design for the Newport (Ore.) News-Times. She also worked part time as a clerk in the radiology department at Samaritan Pacific Communities Hospital, a job that sparked her interest in healthcare.

“I did a little bit of everything,” she said.

The new interest in healthcare took her to Oregon State University, where she earned a graduate certificate in healthcare management and policy in 2006. She also worked for Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center in Corvallis, doing risk management with insurance. 

“I really liked the regulation side of that, the compliance issues,” she said.

To many, perhaps, working with regulations might be a boring job, but Beidler finds it very interesting.

“Really, there isn’t a typical day, but one of the main things we do is make sure
that any new regulations…that we interpret those and [make] sure that the institution is complying or will comply with those regulations.”

Later, Beidler became a member of Pacific’s first class of MHA students.

“We kind of set the stage for the MHA program, working through improvements to help make it what it is today,” she said.

Beidler began working at Salem Health with the title of corporate integrity analyst for the healthcare system, later promoted to administrator of the corporate integrity program. Her capstone project for her MHA degree, which examined the strategies of Oregon hospitals to comply with Medicare’s Recovery Audit Contractors, “really pushed me into a position as a compliance analyst,” she said.

As an administrator, however, she noticed a need for qualified professionals. 

“There aren’t enough people in healthcare who truly understand compliance requirements and the need for an effective compliance program. 

“I really decided I want to go train and teach these people.”

In 2011, she earned a graduate certificate in biomedical informatics from Oregon Health Sciences University, where she is also a teaching assistant.

As the manager of Pacific’s new compliance certificate program, Beidler will co-teach three classes. The program will be almost completely online, she said, with only three credit hours required on the Health Professions Campus. 

“It is for someone who’s already working in compliance or risk management kind of area, or for someone who wants to get into that field,” she said. 

“You do have to have a bachelor’s degree in anything you want. Our ideal candidate would have healthcare experience.”

Unlike any other program currently at Pacific, the newest healthcare compliance program will use software in which the teachers will be using face-to-face broadcasting with the students at a set time, essentially a virtual online classroom with both teachers and students able to see and hear each other.

“We set up times…so everyone would come together,” Beidler said. “We’d do a lecture; then they break into groups and work on a project. They would come back and present or we would work through a case study.”  

The 18-credit program will generally take 12 months to complete, depending on students’ backgrounds. Students may apply the credits earned to the MHA program if they so desire, Beidler noted.

Outside of her academic career, Beidler still finds time to use the skills she learned as a journalism major. She does freelance writing for travel magazines and websites.

Posted by Jenni Luckett ( on Oct 3, 2012 at 12:17 PM

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