LOS ANGELES — UCLA Extension is pleased to announce the appointment of Leah J. Vriesman as Associate Dean of Academic and Faculty Affairs, effective August 1, 2022. Professor Vriesman currently serves as the Executive Director of Executive Programs in Health Policy and Management and Co-Director of the Center for Healthcare Management at the UCLA Jonathan and Karin Fielding School of Public Health.
“Leah Vriesman is a pioneer in higher education with an impressive career in academic leadership and management. She is an innovative researcher who has focused attention on evaluating and implementing curriculum with outcomes that create outstanding graduates,” said Eric A. Bullard, Dean, Continuing Education and UCLA Extension. “Her inclusive leadership style aligns with our division’s strategic goal to deepen our collaboration with our campus partners and to grow in demand programs for our community.”
Professor Vriesman assumes a key leadership role at one of the nation’s oldest and largest university-based programs for professional continuing education. Serving an annual enrollment of more than 39,000+, UCLA Extension offers over 100+ certificates and thousands of courses.
As faculty in the UCLA School of Public Health, Vriesman currently teaches graduate courses, including Healthcare Strategy, International Health Systems and Policy, and Microeconomics of the Health Sector. Prof. Vriesman secured two $1 million gifts to establish the UCLA Center for Healthcare Management with an endowed Chair in Healthcare Management. Additionally, she created the UC system’s first-ever Master of Healthcare Administration, pioneering online education at the professional master’s level at UCLA. In 2018, Vriesman was named Faculty Member of the Year by the Association of University Programs in Health Administration and was the first recipient of the award, which recognizes a faculty member for accomplishments in academic leadership, including meeting participation and network engagement.
Vriesman’s research and teaching have focused on strategic leadership and operational effectiveness, hospital information systems, digital health innovation, healthcare management, as well as user design and experience in healthcare. She frequently lectures on the transformation of health care delivery to healthcare professionals in East Africa, Asia and Europe.
Dr. Vriesman received her Master of Healthcare Administration and MBA in Strategy & Finance from the University of MN – Minneapolis, and her PhD in Medical Sociology from UCLA.
Her service to UCLA includes membership on the UCLA Steering Committee for Online Teaching and Learning and she is a member of the UCLA Health Educational Technology Advisory Committee. She is credited with reviving the Executive Master of Public Health in Health Policy and Management program, creating a sustainable program for current and future generations of public health professionals.
Vriesman was a Senior Fulbright Scholar in Germany at the University of Applied Sciences (HNU) and visiting scholar and professor in Gesundheit management (healthcare management). She received her B.A. in Psychology and Business Management from Luther College, her MHA and MBA from the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, and her Ph.D. in Health Services Research and Medical Sociology from UCLA.