University of Southern Indiana
Creating a New Conversation

MHA Today

USI MHA partners with the Evansville Rescue Mission
June 19, 2018

On June 13, the Evansville Rescue Mission met with the MHA 625 students to enlighten them about the mission and services of their organization. 

The background information is instrumental because the class will be partnering with the Evansville Rescue Mission this summer to assist them with two important projects. 

The class will be making recommendations to the Evansville Rescue Mission on two key areas.  Group 1 comprised on Jacob Delk, Isabel Hyer, and Hannah Sander will be developing a “Volunteer Management Plan” for the organization. 

The Evansville Rescue Mission is in need of a strategic plan that addresses the recruitment and retention of agency volunteers. 

Group 2 comprised on Elizabeth Barnes, Steeve Jean, Jeffrey Norrick, and Mariah Wright will be designing a “Volunteer Events Plan”. 

This plan will address the processes, timelines, and planning needed for volunteer events held by the organization.  This plan will also address the marketing and strategic opportunities associated with offering special events.  The MHA 625 class focuses on marketing and strategic planning. 

The two projects provide an excellent way to utilize the concepts learned in class while at the same time helping a community services organization.   USI has had a long-term relationship with the Evansville Rescue Mission.  Two previous MHA 625 classes successfully completed projects for the Evansville Rescue Mission. 

The Evansville Rescue Mission and the current MHA 625 class are both excited about this unique opportunity to help one another.

Tinker toys can be fun and educational!

The MHA 625 class also participated in a fun exercise on June 13.  The class was divided into two groups for the exercise.  The purpose of the exercise was to build the tallest, free standing structure out of tinker toys.  The two groups had to construct an action plan detailing how they would accomplish the task. 

At the completion of the action plan, both groups had 15 minutes to build the tallest structure.  The completed structure could not be propped against the wall or against another stationary structure.  The class learned a great deal about working together, listening to instructions, and adapting to change. 

The class had fun with the exercise and enjoyed the lessons learned.  Check out some of the photos below!

MHA program holds May intensive
May 16, 2018

Making up for lost time after snow cancelled the January 2018 meeting, students and faculty of the USI Master of Health Administration program gathered May 11th and 12th for the first intensive meeting of 2018.

The two-day special was kicked off Friday with a quick introduction which led right into dueling class sessions where Lavonne McMillen and Dr. Jennifer Williams each led 2 hour, 15 minute course meetings.

A quick 15-minute break allowed students to mingle before lunch commenced and more socializing followed.

Following lunch, Dr. Williams was back in action teaching her MHA 625 Marketing & Strategy course while Dr. Gabriela Mustata-Wilson led the MHA 624 Health Informatics session.  All classroom activity was held in HP 2024 and 2025.

Finally, the students had made it through the tough part of the day when 2:30 p.m. rolled around and they were able to enjoy a special MHA Alumni Round Robin session. 

Former MHA students Sean Bagbey (Class of 2006), Casey Barrett (Class of 2015) and Andi Oeding (Class of 2014) were invited back to campus to offer their expertise and experiences in the healthcare industry.

The sessions were informative and engaging, with interaction from not only the speakers and the students, but instructors also offering insight and dialogue that created a very powerful and motivating environment.

To conclude Friday’s festivities, the MHA program hosted a reception with finger foods and lemonade in the Health Profession Building’s “Link,” where students, faculty and staff were able to mingle and learn more about each other.

After a full day of action there was still one more day to go, and Saturday provided more course instruction courtesy of McMillen, Dr. Kevin Valdares, Dr. Williams and Dr. Mustata-Wilson. 

This time, lunch was accompanied by MHA capstone presentations where MHA students presented their findings from dedicated field work sessions.

Following the afternoon course sessions, an evaluation and discussion on the capstone presentations “capped” the two-day gathering before attendees were dismissed for the summer.

The next MHA intensive will be August 10 & 11, 2018.  Check out some photos from the event below!

MHA Students Present Capstone Projects
April 20, 2018

On Friday, April 20, four USI Master of Health Administration students presented their capstone projects.  It was the culmination of many months of work, networking, note taking and exploring.  Students Carly Andrews, Carlos Caballero-Ramirez, Ru Jia and Kirsten Martin each spoke during a morning where all MHA 4+1 students were on hand to see the wonderful things they had done.

The Master of Health Administration program is fortunate to have had these students as 4+1 participants and we are so happy that they chose USI.  We would like to extend our thanks for all of their hard work on these capstone projects and for the rest of their school curriculum that continued while they worked diligently on these side projects.

Check out some photos from the morning below!

MHA Students Continue In-Class Presentations
April 20, 2018

Master of Health Administration 4+1 program students presented for the final time on Friday for Dr. Jennifer Williams' class as the semester drew to a close.  Four students in total presented on this day, including Steeve Jean, Jeffery Norrick, Rokas Cesnulevicius and Hope Peckenpaugh.

While we are sad to see you go for the summer, we can't wait to have you all back on campus in the fall!  Thank you for your contributions to the USI MHA program.

Kirsten Martin and Stephanie Sickbert present to ECHO board
April 19, 2018

This morning, Kirsten Martin and Stephanie Sickbert presented their findings of Kirsten's MHA Capstone project which was centered around surveying patient and provider opinions of the current operation and the impacts that ECHO has on the Evansville community across its four locations.  The USI Master of Health Administration program thanks both Kirsten and Stephanie for their hard work and for making the program proud.

Partnering with the USI HR Department
April 16, 2018

MHA graduate students had the unique opportunity to work on two actual projects for the USI Human Resources Department.  As part of MHA 633 (4 + 1) course, students work on an actual issue or topic in the human resources field.  This semester the students worked with Douglas Goeppner, ADA Coordinator and Ronda Stone, Manager of Disability Resources on two distinct areas of disability compliance. 

Group 1 developed new case studies that will be used as resources for the delivery of education on the American’s With Disability Act (ADA).  This study  involved researching actual cases and using the results of those cases to illustrate the importance of complying with ADA regulations.  The study looked at actual case studies and court decisions that were current and had been settled within the last five years. 

The result of the study was to provide a lively but informative presentation to the public and to the USI community.   Below are the Group 1 students that created the ADA education presentation.  These students were Carly Andrews, Carlos Caballero-Ramirez, Rebecca Lucas, and Kody Russelburg.

Group 2 worked on creating an awareness campaign for service and emotional support animals within the USI community.  The group developed an educational program and a modular training program for faculty and staff.  The modular training program will be used to train faculty and staff on the basics of knowing what to ask about service versus emotional support animals. 

The group developed an informative presentation that delineates the differences between service and emotional support animals.  The presentation included tips on what can be legally asked regarding having a service or emotional support animal in the classroom or within the USI community of buildings and living quarters.  Group 2 was comprised of Mohammed Alanazi, Erika Hart, Ru Jia, Kirsten Martin, and Katie Robinson.  Group 2 is pictured below.

The two projects provided a unique learning experience for the students.  It was an excellent opportunity for the students to learn about actual HR compliance in the workplace.  The class appreciated the HR Department’s willingness to share their expertise and make this a meaningful educational experience.

Falls: Not Only a Nursing Home Concern
April 9, 2018

Three of our wonderful Master of Health Administration students took a trip out west to the Aging in America Conference in San Francisco, California last week, discussing aging with peers from across the country on the topic of aging and gerontology.  Carly Andrews, Ru Jia and Rebecca Lucas were on hand to represent USI as was Dr. Phoneshia Wells, and here is an excerpt from their presentation:

Through a review of the literature examining the rate of falls within group homes against the rate in skilled nursing facilities will help shed light on a gap in the documentation and prevention of falls. Examining current and past research pertaining to falls in group homes will help determine if there are accurate data collection tools in place for group homes in comparison to skilled nursing facilities. With the discretion of the state, mandated reporting varies for falls in group homes, establishing continuity for fall prevention and intervention can be difficult to achieve. By identifying the various regulations and interventions utilized by group homes and residential care skilled facilities best practices can be integrated across the industry.

Celebrating the Spirit of Leadership
March 23, 2018

The semester may be drawing to a close, but the spirit of leadership has not died yet!  Today we would like to spotlight Rafat Alhindi, a wonderful student in the Master of Health Administration program that chose to make USI his home for graduate study.  The program would like to take this opportunity to thank Rafat for joining us here at USI and wish him good luck in all of his future endeavors.

Celebrating the Spirit of Leadership
March 16, 2018

Taking the stage in our latest "Spirit of Leadership" feature series is Isabel Hyer!  Isabel is an MHA student here at USI and presented this morning on health insurance and the current market environment characteristics from the course's seventh chapter.  Everyone at the USI Master of Health Administration program would like to thank Isabel for her hard work and representation of the program!

Celebrating the Spirit of Leadership
March 9, 2018

MHA Today is back with another "Spirit of Leadership" entry!  This week we would like to recognize Mariah Wright, an MHA student that led her own presentation on "Population Health," and the USI Master of Health Administration program would like to say thank you for all you contribute to the program, Mariah!

Mock Interviews for MHA 633 Students
March 2, 2018

The MHA 633 class of 4 +1 students that will graduate in April of 2018 had the unique experience of participating in mock interviews on March 2, 2018.  The mock interviewers were former graduates of the MHA program.  The mock interviews focused on assisting the 4 + 1 students to prepare for a real job interview. 

Each participant interviewed for a specific position with the mock interviewers.  The interviews lasted twenty to thirty minutes in length.  The mock interviews allowed students to engage in a structured interview similar to what they will encounter in the workplace.  The mock interviewers provided helpful tips on what the student should be doing when interviewing. 

This experience allowed students to meet former MHA graduates who have successful and viable healthcare careers.  This approach to real world interviewing should help students in their search for a career opportunity in the future. 

USI would like to thank the following four individuals who helped with the interview process:

  • Brent Bridges, Director of Pharmacy at Methodist Hospital
  • Justin Gruebel, Pharmacy Operations Coordinator at Deaconess Hospital
  • Bobbi Roberts, Practice Administrator at St. Vincent Medical Group
  • Kelly Schneider, Executive Director of the Evansville Rehabilitation Center

From left to right, the following individuals participated in this unique interview process:
First Row: Ru Jia, Carly Andrews and Rebecca Lucas (MHA Students)
Second Row: Mike Barton (MHA Instructor), Erika Hart (MHA Student), Carlos Caballero-Ramirez (MHA Student), Kirsten Martin (MHA Student), Katie Robinson (MHA Student) and Bobbi Roberts (Mock Interviewer & MHA Class of 2015)
Third Row: Justin Gruebel (Mock Interviewer and MHA Class of 2015), Kody Russelburg (MHA Student), Kelly Schneider (Mock Interviewer and MHA Class of 2007) and Brent Bridges (Mock Interviewer and MHA Class of 2006).

Celebrating the Spirit of Leadership
February 9, 2018

As the semester continues to roll along, the USI Master of Health Administration program is happy to feature Megan Evans in our week three "Spirit of Leadership" series!  Megan led her own solo presentation during the morning session, and did a fantastic job representing the MHA program.  The program and University would like to thank her for her contributions to the MHA department!

Celebrating the Spirit of Leadership
February 2, 2018

Continuing with our "Celebrating the Spirit of Leadership" series, we would like to present our week two spotlight leaders!  In the morning section, Hannah Sander and Elizabeth Barnes spoke on their topic of "Cost Effectiveness Analysis and Cost Utility Analysis," and the MHA program would like to recognize them for their efforts.

Celebrating the Spirit of Leadership
January 26, 2018

As part of a new rolling series, we are happy to feature rising students in the USI Master of Health Administration program as to celebrate their leadership efforts in the classroom and community.  Today, we would like to recognize MHA students Carly Andrews (who celebrated a birthday this week) and Steeve Jean for their work  Carly and Steeve (pictured below) are part of a wonderful group of Economics students that Dr. Jennifer Williams is leading.  The University of Southern Indiana wishes them the best of success in all that they do in the future.  The class sections are pictured above (morning) and below (afternoon).

Student Spotlight - Julie Morgan
January 24, 2018

Today we are sharing a quick, self-written bio from one of our outstanding Master of Health Administration program students here at USI, Julie Morgan.  Read Julie's awesome story below!

“I was born and raised in Evansville, IN and attended the University of Southern Indiana (USI) for both undergraduate degrees (Respiratory Therapy and Health Services). I’ve been a Respiratory Therapist for 18 years and have worked in a variety of clinical settings. Currently, I’m an instructor for the Respiratory Therapy program at USI and intend to graduate from the MHA program in December 2018. I’ve always had a passion for healthcare but pursued the MHA program to be prepared for any direction my journey in healthcare takes me.”

Student Leadership Forum
Hosted by MHA 637 Students - November 17, 2017

Students of the USI Master of Health Administration program conducted a leadership forum on November 17, 2017 in room 2025 of the Health Professions Building.  Students were members of MHA 637 "Leadership in Health Care," and they hosted a forum with open discussion on leadership in health care.  The class utilized information from the following sources to develop the forum:

  • Individual interview conducted by the students with healthcare leaders,
  • Information received from community health care leaders,
  • In-class lectures conducted by the instructor, G. Michael Barton, who is a former health care leader,
  • Discussions, cases and exercises completed in the class, and
  • Independent research conducted by the class in preparation for the forum

The students addressed effective leadership approaches, ongoing leadership challenges, and the changing role of the health care leader.  The students answered questions from forum attendees following the completion of the program.  The forum was an opportunity for students to share what they have learned about leadership.

The participants are seen in the featured picture above.  Standing from left to right, their names are: Front row - Ru Jia, Rebecca Lucas, Carlos Caballero-Ramirez; Back row - G. Michael Barton, Mohammed Alanaz, Carly Andrews, Erica Hart, Katie Robinson, Kirsten Martin, and Olivia Shirley.

Creating a New Conversation
Roundtable and Leadership Series - September 18, 2017

Shaping the future through learning and innovation.

The objective of this series is to support an ongoing agenda of future innovation and leadership in healthcare through a series of roundtable events, webinars, and other activities.  By harnessing the collective knowledge of healthcare leaders and industry experts, the aim is to create a new dialectic that challenges traditional and status quo approaches to healthcare delivery, and ultimately, amalgamate disparate perspectives into a singular innovative methodology.  In sum, this goal is to stimulate thought leadership and change through communication, creativity, innovative thinking, strategic planning, and sound financial management.

The latter is especially important in the current healthcare landscape.  The aforementioned, can also be identified as current gaps of focus areas: Effective leadership understanding and engagement will be imperative to bridge the gaps and to effectively and successfully lead healthcare into the future.  This is a local, regional, and national requirement as there has never been such a time of expanding pressure on the health care system.  As costs continue to soar, the need for vitality in transformation becomes most apparent.  In order to improve the present, and to ensure a healthy future, every sector of the healthcare industry must come together to engage in meaningful, well-informed dialogues and bring about actionable recommendations and outcomes.  It is in this way that multi-dimensional, cooperative learning may take place (Williams, 2017).

Leadership Spotlight Series
Marsha L Shepherd, RHIA, CHC, CHPC
"Improving on Performance"

What I can do to improve performance and efficiency to positively impact MHHCC is to always set goals.  I have been fortunate to be able to participate in the Administration Staff 360 review that has been completed by all members.  This tool has allowed each of us to evaluate the leadership performance of each member as well as get feedback from the team through the evaluation process.  I feel this tool helped learn from the evaluation by others in order to set personal and professional goals.  The 360 evaluation includes the following areas: interactions (trust, confidentiality, communication), job performance (responsive, productive, effective), relationships (respected, actively involved), professional development (open to improvement, change, supports Mission), management strengths (integrity, transparency), and areas of concern/need work. 

After a review of my 360 results and conducting the self-assessment, I want to positively impact MHHCC by setting goals to show leadership performance improvements.  My first goal is to improve my ability to see the big picture regarding strategy by being able to step back from my day-to-day responsibilities and incorporate what I do as it relates to the overall strategy.  The second way to positively impact MHHCC is to continue to learn how to understand, interpret, and use “the numbers” to actively participate in evaluations and discussions related to our financial position.  Along with a greater financial understanding and participation, I will be able to improve my understanding of the healthcare industry and our competitors.

Additionally, I want to continue to improve relationships with my peers. I want to be a better colleague, understand their goals and needs, and learn to work together to help achieve our organizational goals.  I have a leadership presence related to my role in compliance but feel I can improve my ability to communicate in an authentic way that inspires others.

As I complete my Master of Health Administration, I desire to use my greater knowledge to be an even better role model.  My goals will be set to recognize success more often.  Every day at MHHCC, a lot of great things happen.  I want to continue to inspire others to follow my lead and do the same thing. 

Contact Dr. Kevin Valadares


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