Published on March 20, 2023 by Frank Ruggiero  
shp mgma group
Faculty and students from Samford's Department of Healthcare Administration and Informatics attend a recent MGMA meeting.

The Alabama and Birmingham Medical Group Management Association (MGMA) chapters are putting the “care” in “health care” for students in Samford University’s School of Public Health.

In fall 2022, the Alabama and Birmingham chapters endowed a scholarship to benefit students enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate program in Samford’s Department of Healthcare Administration and Informatics.

To be eligible, students must be rising seniors and hold Alabama and Birmingham MGMA memberships with plans to pursue a career in medical practice management after graduation.

“This scholarship will assist students in continuous preparation for a career in health care administration, which offers vast opportunities,” said Carol Ratcliffe, chair and professor of the Department of Healthcare Administration and Informatics. “It places emphasis on the opportunities in physician practice management, one of many areas of specialization as a health care leader.”

The MGMA is no stranger to Samford. The Department of Healthcare Administration and Informatics’ advisory board president, Jason Biddy, is a member and leader in the Alabama and Birmingham MGMA chapters. In addition, department faculty and students hold membership and frequently attend MGMA professional development opportunities together.

“This facilitates the student’s ability to learn information specifically related to physician practice management and interface with professionals in the field,” Ratcliffe said.

The organization has awarded scholarships to students since 1987, including numerous names from Samford. However, the state and local chapters decided to take it a step further.

“The Alabama and Birmingham chapters collaboratively decided that there was a need to support students in a broader sense by establishing endowed scholarships at the program level,” Ratcliffe said, noting that the first scholarship will be awarded in 2024.

To learn more about MGMA, visit For more on Samford’s Department of Healthcare Administration and Informatics, visit here.

Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.