December will mark the graduation of the Health Services Management (HSM) program’s first four graduates. Since enrollment for the HSM major kicked off in the fall of 2015, the program has seen tremendous growth and is already congratulating the first students on completing their degrees.

“Our first four graduates seized available opportunities to begin and complete this new HSM major in a short amount of time,” says Jane Delehanty*, HSM Academic Advisor. “They’re leaving the University prepared to improve health and well-being in our community. I’m excited to see the variety of ways they’ll apply what they’ve learned. They’re ready!”

HSM graduates

“I am so proud of the first HSM graduates,” says Sue McClernon**, Faculty Director of the HSM program. “They have exhibited excellent leadership and management skills while balancing busy schedules. We will be celebrating with them at graduation, welcoming them as our first official HSM alumni!”

We took time to speak with each of the four graduates—Jane Danielle Bro, Blake McManus, Molly Moomaw, and Abby Skoyen—about their interest in health services management and their plans for the future. Read about why these graduates of the HSM program are thrilled to have this degree in hand.

Jane Danielle Bro

CCAPS: What attracted you to the HSM major?

Jane Danielle Bro

JDB: It’s a very unique major, to say the least. I loved the flexibility within the program, and the real-life experience and professional connections students get to make as well. It’s a growing major with brand new courses. There were no under-utilized technologies or outdated information that we were learning. The professors were exciting, and they knew their material inside and out because they themselves deal with the health care industry every day at their full-time jobs.

CCAPS:  Did you have a favorite course?

JDB:  I really enjoyed Caroline Carlin’s Health Economics course. Although it was a challenging class, it was very interesting to see how a “basic” class like freshman year economics can be so relevant in any industry, especially health care.

CCAPS: What is it about the health care management field that excites you?

JDB: This degree offered something that was important to me—comprehension of health care. For some odd reason, throughout all my years of schooling, nobody has ever helped me to understand what it means to have health insurance, how health care works, the complexity of it all, the politics involved, the moral struggles... the list goes on. I have the answers to those questions now, and I’m excited to take that education out into the world as a health services management professional.

Jane Danielle Bro is a recipient of the Rosslyn S. Kleeman Scholarship.

Blake McManus

Blake McManis

CCAPS: Tell us about what drew you to the HMS major.

BM: I pursued this degree because health care is an industry that continues to grow and is always changing. I also joined the HSM program because I wanted to be a part of something that benefits others, as I have a strong passion for health care.

Specifically within the HSM program, I appreciated the real-world applications that were available through the adjunct instructors who taught the courses. Getting examples from our instructors that were rooted in reality was helpful in visualizing what the future might hold for us. I got a lot of hands-on education, too, especially through my internship with RespirTech, a company that deals with high frequency chest compression devices for patients with cystic fibrosis. There, I was in charge of a contract administration data management project.

CCAPS: What advice can you offer to future HSM students?

BM: This major is great for getting into the health care field because not only do you receive a great education, but you are also able to network and make great connections with so many people involved in the health care industry.

CCAPS: What’s next for you?

BM: I’d like to pursue a graduate program as well as work in a hospital setting.

Molly Moomaw

Molly Moomaw

CCAPS: How did you find out about the HSM major and what made you want to enroll?

MM: The administration of health care is so fast-paced and dynamic. I see importance in this type of career. Having efficient health care organizations is a need and crucial component of the health care delivery system.

I found the HSM program at the end of my sophomore year when I was close to the deadline for needing to declare a major! It was exactly what I had been looking for. There are so many different avenues to follow from here, now that I’ve graduated. Health care is constantly evolving, so it’s an exciting field to be going into. I also appreciate all the real-world perspectives that the courses offered. The information is all applicable in the industry.

CCAPS: The HSM program requires an internship in order to graduate. Tell us a bit about your internship experience.

MM: My internship was in the pharmacy benefits management realm. The experience was very eye-opening to the insurance industry, and I learned skills that will be transferrable to any health care sector.

CCAPS: Any additional comments about the HSM program?

MM: I love this major, and I’m happy that I stumbled upon it at the right time. I think this program will be so valuable to the University as well as health care organizations in general.

Abby Skoyen

CCAPS: What excites you about the HSM program and what drew you to this degree?

Abby Skoyen

AS: I’m pursuing a career in Health Services Management because I am attracted to the health care industry, but I’m not interested in providing direct care. I enjoy working with others and want to leave work each day feeling like I made a difference in someone’s life. It’s rewarding to help others in a health care capacity, as health and wellness is an area I am passionate about.

My experience in the HSM program has been sensational. By my sophomore year, I had bounced from major to major and did not feel like I had a firm grasp on what career path I wanted to pursue. Just as I was about to transfer schools, I heard about the HSM major coming to the U in the fall of 2015. I was ecstatic!

The HSM program is exciting because health care is an ever-changing field, and this program prepares you to respond to change and enter the workforce as a confident leader. What I appreciated most about the courses was their focus on real-world applications. Many of the courses took general topics like finance and put a health care spin on them so students are able to understand how they will apply what they learn. The major course requirements expose students to the interdisciplinary nature of health care management, and the required internship helps to solidify which direction students want to take their career.

CCAPS: What advice would you offer to anyone considering the HSM program?

AS: Take the time to get to know your classmates and professors within the major because they are great resources for advice and helpful connections to have in your future professional career. Also, get involved in the health care industry as soon as you can to determine which area you would like to focus your career on and gain experience. Whether it’s volunteering at the University hospital, a local nursing home, or in various other capacities, it will benefit your future career in the health care industry.

2023 Update:
*The academic advisor for HSM is Alissa Bigelow.
**Frances Fernandez is the faculty director for the HSM program.