Students from the business and physical therapy departments have come together to form the Health Care Management Association [HCMA].
Ryan Hackett, president of the Business Professional Association, said the idea to form the group was first raised by last year’s president and Hackett then gave the proposal a second look at the end of the fall semester.
“The idea was tossed around but never was established. When I was appointed president, I revisited the idea towards the end of 2013. I initiated the creation of the association and now here we are,” said Hackett.
The association is monitored by business department faculty, including Dr. Allen Minor and Dr. Ronald Petrilla.
Hackett said creating the association was a four step process, which included finding faculty, publicizing the association and finding qualified students who wanted to take part.
“The first step was to get advi- sors. Dr. Petrillo and Dr. Minor volunteered to be a part of this Association. The second step was to get HCMA publicized. I mentioned it in the first BPA meeting of the spring semester and many students signed up. I also asked the advisors to mention it in their Healthcare Management classes. The third step was to appoint a president.”
After many qualified candidates applied, Richard Clark was selected to be MU’s first HCMA president. The final and ongoing step will be to continue spreading the word about HCMA, said Hackett.
“Health Care Management Association is a rising association under the umbrella of the BPA. Our mission is to establish new contacts and network with companies in the health care industry. Our goal is to educate students about the business side of healthcare,” said Hackett.
Clark said the association is a way to tie the two departments together and get students actively involved in different career paths.
“Basically we just plan to get all of the [physical therapy] majors and health care management majors together and talk to them about health care management. We are going to visit hospitals. We will have health care management administrators come talk to us, fundraisers – just to widen health care management so everyone knows about it,” said Clark.
Clark said the association will be a good way to integrate the two majors and prepare students for situations they will encounter when they enter the professional world.
“We want to bring all the HCM majors and PT majors together and teach them about the real world, real life situations. We will bring in professionals to teach about the real world,” said Clark.
“We have five officers and in the actual club, I would say around 20 people are in it, but more are at- tending the meetings each month so it’s growing,” said Clark.
Hackett said the reason he felt so strongly about creating the association was there are many other options for students in the business department, and health care management should be included because it is becoming a more popular major/minor.
“Misericordia has an accounting association, sport management association, so why not a health- care management association? It is important to have this association because MU is known for its healthcare majors. This association was created in order to make the field of healthcare management better known,” he said.
Upcoming events include a trip to Washington D.C. to visit a health care facility so students can be socialized in the professional environment.
“We are actually planning on maybe going to Washington D.C. because Dr. Minor said something about a health care facility that we could visit in the future. I think that’s going to be really interesting for all of us,” said Clark.
HCMA also has seminars planned, which will include professionals to speak to students about their jobs and professional responsibilities.
“[There will be] fundraisers, trips, speakers, etc. A lot of this stuff will be occurring during the 2014 fall semester,” said Hackett.
Hackett said the association is important to him because he is a health care management minor.
“I am an IT major, [with a] minor in Health Care Informatics. My minor will aid me in working in a health care facility. Working in the health care field will be one of my goals with my minor,” said Hackett.
Clark said it is easy for students to join. They simply need to attend one of the monthly meetings and sign up via the sign-in sheet posted in every meeting.
“I would say contact me or Ryan Hackett. When you attend the meeting, we have a sign-in list. So put your name and email down so you’ll be in the organization association. Meetings are held once a month in the McGowan room in the library,” said Clark.
Hackett also advised students to keep an eye out for meeting times next fall.
Officers said anyone interested in health care, business, health care management or health care informatics are welcome to participate as are any other majors who have a love for health care.