The Journal of Health Care Finance paid tribute to Louis Gapenski, Ph.D., by dedicating an entire issue to his legacy. An internationally recognized health care finance expert, Gapenski served on the faculty of the PHHP department of health services research, management and policy for nearly 30 years before passing away on April 20.
The fall 2016 issue of the Journal of Health Care Finance features more than a dozen research articles that are motivated by or related to Gapenski’s work. These include articles on organizational and environmental factors associated with hospital profitability; organizational characteristics associated with hospital financial performance; accounting strategies for hospitals; and public health finance.
“Dr. Gapenski was an acknowledged leader in the field and many who are in health care finance learned from his books,” said Arch G. Mainous III, Ph.D., chair of the department of health services research, management and policy and the Florida Blue endowed chair of health administration.
Gapenski wrote the definitive textbook on health care finance, along with several best-selling textbooks, and is the author of a popular American College of Healthcare Executives self-study program in health care finance. His books are used nationally and internationally, having been translated into nine languages, and he taught courses and gave seminars at institutions around the world.
“Lou’s textbooks and casebook in health care finance were novel and innovative in that they offered the rigorous finance training commonly found in business schools, but using language and context that would speak to those whose passion was health care,” write Kristin L. Reiter, Ph.D., and George H. Pink, Ph.D., both of the department of health policy and management at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Gillings School of Global Public Health, in the article, “Remembering Louis C. Gapenski.”
In “A Stairway to Health Finance Built with Books by Louis Gapenski,” Thomas E. Getzen, Ph.D., a professor emeritus of the department of risk, insurance and healthcare management at Temple University’s Fox School of Business, states that Gapenski’s books represented the first compelling guides to finance for health care managers.
“Rarely is an important area of educational practice so dominated by a single author,” Getzen writes. “All of us who did research and teaching in the field owed a debt to him, a debt on which we did not have to pay interest since Lou generously gave his expertise freely to students and colleagues.”