Student Healthcare Management Association toured the Mayo Clinic and talked to professionals working there on Oct. 16.

The purpose of SHMA is to bring together a group of students who have an interest in leadership in healthcare said Shelly Gompf, advisor of SHMA and assistant professor and director of healthcare administration.

“Our mission is to increase our knowledge and participation in the healthcare administration program and industry,” said Ellie Butler, co-treasurer of SHMA.

SHMA allows students to come together and share experiences they have had in the healthcare administrative field. They also bring in speakers and make connections with alumni who are now in the field.

“We bond over our love for healthcare administration,” Butler said.

Two members of SHMA interact with a Mayo Clinic’s technology. Photo by Maddie Malat.

Two members of SHMA interact with a Mayo Clinic’s technology.
Photo by Maddie Malat.

SHMA goes on two trips per year. For one of the trips, the organization switches between the Mayo Clinic and the University of Minnesota Master of Healthcare Administration program every other year. For the second trip, they go to a conference or a different event.

Last year, the group visited the University of Minnesota Twin Cities and met with alumni and directors of the Master of Healthcare Administration program. The group also went to Offutt School Presents, an event in the Twin Cities where they met George Halvorson, former CEO of Kaiser Permanente,a healthcare management business.

“It was a really personal experience to be in a room with just him,” Butler said “That was an experience I’ll probably never get to have again.”

This year, they travelled to Mayo Clinic. According to Dr. Daniel Anderson, advisor of SHMA and associate professor of healthcare management, this is the fourth or fifth time SHMA has had this opportunity over the years.

Chris Rustad, a 1987 Concordia graduate who works as a senior administrator at Mayo, helps set up Concordia’s SHMA tours at Mayo Clinic.

The tour started with introductions to Rustad and Jim Akaason, 1980 graduate and administrator at Mayo Clinic.

“It’s a great opportunity for networking,” Butler said.

During the tour, the group learned about the history of Mayo Clinic, patient satisfaction at the Mayo Clinic and Mayo Clinic as a Destination Medical Center.

“We get to see how one of the best [hospitals] runs,” sophomore member Shane Seifert said. “We get to see a lot of things not too many people get to see.”

The group’s time at the Mayo Clinic ended with lunch and a Q-and-A session with students who were completing their fellowship at Mayo Clinic.

Seifert wanted to learn the behind-the-scenes operations of the clinic.

“I want to learn more about how an organization with such prestige, and truly a Destination Medical Center, operates and how it is as successful as it is,” Butler said before the trip.

In the future, SHMA plans to take a trip to the LeadingAge Annual Meeting.

“Our intention is to supplement the classroom experience with access to professionals in the field of healthcare organizations,” Anderson said.

Students get a behind-the-scenes tour of the hospital’s facilities. Photo by Maddie Malat.

Students get a behind-the-scenes tour of the hospital’s facilities.
Photo by Maddie Malat.

Along with talking to professionals and going on field trips, SHMA holds monthly meetings where they either bring in speakers or talk with one another.

“Its cool to get everyone together in one room,” Seifert said. “We can collaborate, talk and share our experiences.”

Making connections with other students and faculty in the healthcare administration field brings an opportunity for students to connect. Alumni also play a large role in SHMA. During homecoming week, the students met up with alumni within their career track.

“It’s a lot of alumni relations,” Seifert said. “That’s one thing our program is prideful of — those connections.”

Other than trips, SHMA will be hosting Concordia’s first Health Career Expo Nov. 17 from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Offutt Concourse. They will be bringing in a diverse group of people, from different areas of the medical field, to talk with students about shadowing opportunities, internships, jobs and more.

“We would recommend any student that is interested in anything involving healthcare to come [to the Health Career Expo],” Gompf said.

Healthcare makes up 17.1 percent of the GDP in this world, according to Gompf. She said everyone should come to it because any major is likely to touch some sort of healthcare.

“The healthcare opportunities in future employment are going to blow up,” Gompf said.

Anna Erickson

Anna Erickson is a Multimedia Journalism major and an Art and Writing minor. She is from Alexandria, Minnesota and is a part of Concordia’s class of 2017. She is also a lifeguard, swimming lessons teacher and member of CEC. She loves photography, writing, and being on the lake.

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