Published on November 16, 2023  
Troy Nelson

Samford University Master of Healthcare Administration alumnus Troy Nelson, MHA ’23, was recently selected as an administrative fellow at Whitfield Regional Hospital in Demopolis, Alabama, making him the first healthcare administration graduate from Samford selected for an administrative fellowship.

The fellowship is sponsored by the Alabama Rural Health Collaborative, an organization that helps nonprofit and public hospitals across Alabama by increasing access to high-quality care for rural communities and improve the health of Alabamians.

Nelson said, “I was interested in getting experience across many different hospital departments and that is exactly what I'm getting to do here. Being only a week and a few days into this administrative fellowship, I know it will be a great experience and I'm hopeful that it will shape me into a hospital CEO that patients and hospital employees will know cares.”

While at Samford, Nelson was a student member of the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE) and served as a graduate liaison to the Alabama ACHE chapter’s Board of Directors. He was also a member of This is Samford H.E.A.L.T.H., a student organization in Samford’s School of Public Health and was inducted into Upsilon Phi Delta Honor Society during the spring 2023 awards ceremony. He has continued service with Alabama ACHE and is also a member of the Alabama Regent's Advisory Council and Samford’s Department of Healthcare Administration and Informatics Advisory Board.

Commenting on his Samford experience, Nelson said, “I chose Samford University’s Master of Healthcare Administration Program after having a phone call with the department chair, Dr. Ratcliffe, for about an hour and a half in the spring before I had even applied. Dr. Ratcliffe and I discussed my professional goals and how Samford’s program could help me get there. The program appealed to me due to its personalized approach, being local to me, and faith based. I appreciated being able to go to a program where I could openly acknowledge God's role in my journey. My time at Samford University was filled with professors passionate about helping me learn.”


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.