The McCombs School of Business at The University of Texas at Austin announced the Leadership in Health Care Privacy and Security Risk Management certificate program, a first-in-the-nation professional program designed to help address a critical workforce shortage issue.
The program’s aim is to develop leaders who can manage risk in American healthcare systems, protecting them from cybersecurity threats. 

Endorsed by the Texas Hospital Association, and by CynergisTek and Clearwater Compliance, the program brings together leading industry experts as teachers and case facilitators.

“We are excited to offer this program to give students knowledge, leadership skills, and problem-solving competencies to protect patients from the irreparable harm that comes from the relentless cyber-attacks on health care organizations,” said Leanne Field, clinical professor and director for digital healthcare innovation at UT Austin and co-director of the program.

“The number of data breaches is rapidly increasing across the globe and cybersecurity threats have a major impact on patient safety in health care organizations,” said Sri Bharadwaj, chief information security officer at UC Irvine Health and co-director of the program.

The eight- week program graduated a pilot class of 16 participants in August 2019. Students ranged in age from their early 20s to their late 50s and included working professionals from cybersecurity, information technology and clinical fields, as well as military veterans and recent college graduates.

Students could attend class in person or participating remotely via a live distance-learning video connection. Only six of the students were from the Austin area. Six others were from other parts of Texas and four were from outside the state (Alabama, Florida, Iowa and Illinois).

McCombs plans to offer the program again in spring 2020.