Health Care Diploma Essay

Healthcare Management Essay Competition Scholarship By Richard J Stull

This annual essay competition provided under Richard J. Stull is sponsored by the American College of Healthcare Executives and was designed to encourage and inspire future healthcare management leaders to detect and illustrate the issues of importance affecting the healthcare industry. The competition is open to undergraduate students in the United States and Canada enrolled in healthcare programs that participate in the ACHE Higher Education Network.

Prizes are awarded in the undergraduate and graduate divisions to the first, second and third place winners in amounts of $3,000, $2,000 and $1,000 respectively. Students must complete an essay up to 15 pages long. The total page count for each essay does not include the executive summary, which can be 100 to 150 words, the endnotes and the bibliography. The faculty within each participant program must choose the student and essay that will represent their program in the competition. Schools with both undergraduate and graduate programs in health care administration can choose one student to represent each division.

Eligibility Requirements:

  • Undergraduate or graduate student in the United States or Canada enrolled in a health care administration program that participates in the ACHE Higher Education Network.
  • Be an ACHE Student Associate or be active in ACHE as a Member or Fellow.
  • Complete and submit an individual, previously unpublished essay in an eligible topic relevant to the field.
  • Students completing post graduate programs are not eligible. Students enrolled in Executive Programs are eligible if the essay is the result of an individual effort.

Essay Instructions

  • Essays can be up to 15 pages, not including the executive summary, the end notes and the bibliography.
  • The executive summary must be between 100 and 150 words and must follow the title page.
  • The student’s name must appear only on the title page.
  • The essay’s title must appear on the executive summary and on the first page of the essay text.
  • Essays must be typed, double-spaced and exhibit margins of 1 ¼ inches on all sides.

Essay Topic Examples

  • Policy and strategy
  • Board, medical staff and management relationships and their accountability
  • Financial management
  • Management of human resources
  • Systems management
  • Education
  • Marketing
  • Research
  • Law and ethics
  • Public/community relations
  • Government regulations

Judging Criteria

  • Selected essays will be graded by a panel consisting of practitioners in the field as well as faculty. The judges’ criteria include five areas:
  • The essay topic’s significance in healthcare management
  • The creativity of how the topic as been approached
  • How precise and thorough the topic as been developed in the essay
  • The practicality of the suggestions proposed in the essay to guide any action in the field of health care administration
  • The clarity and brevity of the essay


Three winners will be chosen from each division of undergraduate and graduate. The first place winners from each division will receive $3,000 in cash and their educational program will receive $1,000. The second place winners will each receive $2,000 and the third place winners will each receive $1,000. All students who participate and whose essays are sent to ACHE for judging will also receive a certificate and keepsake as recognition for their participation in the competition. Additionally, all six of the finalists will be invited to attend and participate in the Congress of Healthcare Leadership, to be held March 11 to March 14, 2013 in Chicago.

The transportation and accommodations expenses for two nights for each finalist will be paid by ACHE. The finalists’ awards will be presented during the Leon I. Gintzig Commemorative Lecture and Luncheon. The first place winners in the undergraduate and graduate divisions will also have their essays published in an issue of the Journal of Healthcare Management. These two winning essays will become the permanent property of the Foundation of the American College of Healthcare Executives. These essays cannot be reprinted without written permission from the editor.


Entries to the Richard J. Stull Student Essay Competition are only accepted via email. The academic director of each program must send the completed entries to by December 7, 2012. For more information you can visit the scholarship page.

Each entry must include:

  • The academic director’s affirmation that the accompanying entry has been chosen as an official representative to the 2013 Richard J. Stull Essay Competition in Healthcare Management.
  • An indication to which division the entry is being submitted: undergraduate or graduate.
  • The complete and official name of the participating health administration program.
  • The college or university’s name.
  • The title of the essay.
  • The student’s full name.
  • Two copies of the official entry in a format compatible with MS Word 6.0/95 (or higher).

The copies must be organized as follows:

  • One attachment named “AUTHOR.DOC” which includes the student’s identifying information and will be used for ACHE’s internal records. This document should include a title page with the essay’s title, author’s name and the name of the school.
  • One attachment named “NO AUTHOR.DOC” which will not include any author identifying information and will be sent to the panel of judges. This document should not include any information that can be used to identify the author, the school or the program. Any program formatting information that can be used as identification should also be removed.
  • Both documents must include the executive summary as well as any applicable figures, tables and references.

I believe it is possible for your own personal preferences, attitudes, beliefs and heritage to impact on your working practice if you allow it to. There could be a number of different issues that could cause this such as:

  • Upbringing
  • Culture
  • Religious Beliefs
  • Trauma
  • Re-affirmed Belief Systems
  • Learnt Behaviours

The above issues could all impact on your day to day working practice as any of the above experiences could affect the way you interact or deal with others due to your personal experiences and attachments to the situation. From my own personal experience of delivering a domestic violence programme with offenders it is important that I facilitate impartially and don’t allow myself to form judgements of people or their experiences due to any personal views, opinions or beliefs. During these groups individuals share experiences that are extremely personal and could also be distressing to them or have strong emotional attachments for that person.

It is important for us to remain professional and supportive towards the person sharing their experiences and to remember Diversity, Equality and Inclusion guidelines to uphold the integrity of the programme and also encourage participation without any judgement. If staff fail to use proper working practice and begin to let are own preferences and beliefs influence our duties it could impact in a number of different ways. Compromising the effectiveness of the programme is one risk and it only takes a number of small thinks to do so such as, verbal responses to group members. It is important to use a range of active listening skills when doing this to encourage group members such as:

  • Making eye contact
  • Be mindful of body language
  • Tone of voice
  • Using empathy
  • Reflective Listening or Affirmation

The above skills if used properly display genuine interest in the participant’s experiences. A sincere approach that reinforces that you are there to support them, this also helps to create an environment that is supportive and non judgemental and hopefully promote full participation from all group members. Your duty of care is a constant reminder of your professional role and how the examples of contributing factors previously discussed should not impact on your working practice. This duty of care reinforces that our personal beliefs, attitudes or preferences are irrelevant and any decisions we make have a wider impact that go beyond our own role, we are dealing with a much bigger issue than our own morals or what we believe to be right, we have to consider others and the impact it has on the “bigger picture”.

Our role is not making judgements or presuming; it is to consider the feelings, thoughts, and opinions of others when carrying out our duties. These contributing factors have to not only be kept in mind but also have to be respected and constantly focused on when making decisions that may have an impact on others, or we risk jeopardising the integrity of not only ourselves but the services we provide to others. This then has the potential to create negative attitudes and beliefs towards our practices in the future which creates a bad cycle of working and client relationships.

Inclusive practice is an approach to your clients that recognises the diversity of others, enabling full participation in all learning activities and demonstrates a balanced working style that is considerate of all parties. Inclusive practice values the diversity of others as a style that enhances others learning experiences. This approach promotes equal opportunities and removes any barriers such as race, age, gender, religion, sexual orientation etc to provide a balanced environment that considers and respects the previous examples. Other examples that may need to be considered with inclusive practice are issues such as learning difficulties, health issues or disabilities as there may need to be extra support put in place to better working practice such as support for literacy issues i.e. help for reading and writing.

Protocol’s may need to be put in place for individuals with health issues i.e. Asthmatics may need to have inhalers with them if they are prone to asthmatic attacks. The previous examples are things that can be catered for if you are aware of the diversity of your clients and the necessary preparations can be made to make sure inclusive practices are in place. However this is not always possible and you may be required to be responsive to your clients in order to ensure you are inclusive within your working environment, for example if someone was to become ill in your care you have to respond to a situation you may not be prepared for but still ensure that your duty of care is upheld and you are implementing inclusive practice.





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