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MHA students impacting American Red Cross through service learning

March 15, 2018

Graduate students in the Masters of Health Administration program are partnering with the Indiana Region Southern Chapter of the American Red Cross for a service-learning project to increase marketing and competitive strategies within the organization. The goal is to give guidance in furthering the mission and vision of the American Red Cross through the donation of service learning time.

The students involved with the project are working on three potential areas tied to the Red Cross's strategic plan. This includes working on finding a creative way to increase the Net Promoters Score, which is the industry standard for measuring the willingness of individuals to recommend an organization as a place to volunteer. The Red Cross uses this score to measure individual's overall satisfaction with the organization and how they would recommend it.

The graduate students will also be constructing a way to increase the visibility of recruitment efforts in Gibson and Knox Counties, and inspire a "call to action" for individual groups to volunteer with the American Red Cross. The Red Cross has an immense amount of work to do, but not enough people to help.

Lastly, students will be helping construct a plan to motivate volunteers to load their volunteer hours. The Red Cross is analyzed by the number of volunteer hours it acquires, and those statistics are used to share with donors and to determine the effect the organization is having in the community.

MHA Red Cross

Dr. Jennifer Williams, USI assistant professor in health administration, has taken a special interest in this service-learning project, as well as her students. During her two decades of vast experience working in health care, market access and hiring prospective employees, she felt that there was a key aspect missing in the portfolios of applicants. Her goal is to have each student leave her class with a well-rounded portfolio filled with substance and experience.

Service learning is an opportunity for students to learn through direct experience and find a connection between their academic studies and the world at large. Williams has gone above and beyond to further her student's education and continues to show them support through the online "Celebrating the Spirit of Leadership" feature on MHA Today.

By the end of the project, students will have compiled a complete dossier for the Red Cross that includes marketing and competitive strategies, analysis of the competitive environment using market research, advertising, and public relations data.

Story written by Alex Tenbarge, University Communications intern

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