Health Management and Policy Faculty Spotlight: Mark Bonica

Mark Bonica and group

Helping others find meaning in their work is a personal mission for Mark Bonica. 

It drove him forward during his time working in health administration at multiple Army hospitals, and it continues to do so in his current role as Department Chair and associate professor of the health management and policy at the UNH College of Health and Human Services.  

“I try to help students discover what kind of opportunities and organizations they might thrive in, and it might not always be what they think,” he says.  

For example, as a board member and educational chair of the American College of Healthcare Executives Northern New England Chapter, Bonica regularly includes students in significant industry meetings. Similarly, through the Healthcare Financial Management Association, he ensures that students can attend key events at no cost.    

Recently, Bonica invited three recent graduates who have advanced their careers at long-term care and assisted living facilities to speak to undergrads. The alumni shared stories about starting their careers and quickly rising through the ranks thanks to the many opportunities for advancement.   

“Up until that point, many of those students had expressed zero interest in those jobs, and then suddenly I had 5-6 students saying, ‘I think I want to consider that for my internship,’” Bonica says.  

Ensuring High-Quality Internship Experiences  

Bonica says about internships, “My goal is to not only get all of my students placed in high-quality experiences but to find organizations that are willing to pay them. I'm proud of how far we’ve come--  from 50 percent paid internships to 100 percent over the last three years.”  

He attributes his strong success in this area to building excellent partnerships with both large and small health organizations, including critical access hospitals and rural hospitals across the state, including Androscoggin Valley Hospital in Berlin, Speare Memorial Hospital in Plymouth, and Memorial Hospital in North Conway.   

Engagement Outside the Classroom  

Bonica loves discussing health and management outside the classroom. He uses a weekly newsletter, RWL (Read, Watch, Listen), and a podcast, Health Leader Forge to keep the conversation going.  

The newsletter was initially organized as a weekly email to students over the summer to keep them engaged in their studies and has since expanded to a larger audience.  

With Health Leader Forge, Bonica interviews healthcare leaders to learn more about their career journeys. He recently also started Flourishing in the World, a newsletter and podcast that explores themes of human flourishing and self-actualization.  

“I see my writing and podcasts as an extension of my teaching mission,” he says.