Health care administrator to receive master's in legal studies

After working for nearly three decades in health care administration, Blaine Bandi wanted to better comprehend how legislation, regulation and policy shapes health care delivery. He knew that a broad legal foundation would be immensely valuable, and so he enrolled in the Master of Legal Studies program, designed for non-lawyers, who want to understand, but not practice, law at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law.

Bandi, who started taking classes in fall of 2009, is graduating May 3 with the inaugural Outstanding Master of Legal Studies Graduate Award. The award, given to a student who shows commitment to legal education for non-lawyers, contributes to the advancement of the program, demonstrates academic achievement and professional leadership, earns the respect of the law school community, and enhances the reputation of the law school beyond the legal community.

“Blaine has not only brought his impressive professional acumen to enhance the learning experience of all law students, but also engaged in the important task of contributing to the evolution of the MLS academic program for future students in this relatively new degree offering,” said Sandra Erickson, director of graduate law programs.

Bandi, the executive director of the Arizona Health Facilities Authority, praised the program, saying, “It was consistently challenging, immensely informative, occasionally humorous, often frustrating and despite its cost an invaluable investment.

“More than anything else, I will remember my progressive exhilaration of developing an understanding of the processes that shape our laws, legislation and regulations,” said the 53-year-old Peoria man. “I am not always happy with the outcomes of these processes. However, unlike three years ago, I now appreciate the complexity of the relationships between the ‘real world’ practitioners, the policymakers and the interpreters.

Bandi said his favorite memories are of attending the U.S. Supreme Court arguments on challenges to President Obama’s health care in April.

“For someone in my career, interested in health care, at this particular point in time in our history, it was an amazing experience.”

He said he also will never forget the feeling, at some point in the three years of the program, during his courses on administrative law and legislation, that the subject matter was “all coming together.”

“The light went on for me,” Bandi said. “I started to see how it all fits together”

Written by Judy Nichols