Students Attend 2013 ACHE Congress

March 18, 2013 - Georgetown students attending the American College of Healthcare Executives’ recent Congress on Healthcare Leadership say the opportunities for professional development were plentiful.

“The ACHE congress was an invaluable opportunity to network with health care professionals ranging from executives to current fellows,” says Joseph Baddoura (G’14), a first-year student in the master’s program in health systems administration at the School of Nursing & Health Studies. “I was also able to attend a networking event hosted by health care leaders from New York City, a city where I am interested in beginning my career.”

This year, the Department of Health Systems Administration sent nine students to the major event in Chicago, held March 11-14, and again hosted an alumni dinner for program graduates in attendance.

M.J. Mastorovich, MS, assistant professor of health systems administration, and Bernard Horak, PhD, FACHE, professor of health systems administration and program director, accompanied the students.

Health Care Sector

“Our program offers students important opportunities like attending the congress so that they can engage with industry leaders, connect what they are learning in the classroom with trends in the health care sector, and meet young alumni from the program who often have valuable career advice to share,” says Patricia Cloonan, PhD, the department’s chair.

Students had the opportunity to attend executive-level sessions on topics such as patient-centered care and best practices for community needs assessments, as well as attend sessions to help them learn the leadership and professional skills needed to be successful in the field.

“The session that appealed to me the most was the panel discussion with hospital CEOs,” says Arielle Alvaro (G’14). “In the panel discussion, the CEOs spoke about the importance of executive mentors, maintaining a work-life balance, and always staying true to yourself and to the organization.”

‘Overall Great Experience’

Participants note that the ACHE Congress provided significant opportunity to investigate career opportunities – ranging from finding the right administrative residency and discussing career goals, to career counseling with an executive.

Jason Ormsby PhD, MBA, MHSA, assistant professor of health systems administration, hosted a session prior to the congress to educate MHSA students on best practices for meeting and networking with professionals.

“ACHE provided me the opportunity to meet many health care executives,” says Mike Southworth (G’14), RN. “The highlight for me was talking to fellow nurses who are now high-level administrators. After talking with them, I’m confident that I made the right choice in my future. ACHE was an overall great experience.”

Alumni and Attendee Engagement

Again this year, the department hosted an alumni dinner for program graduates attending the congress.

“The alumni spoke to us about their success stories as well as how they have moved up the various ladders in their organization,” says Kelly Burgess (G’14). “They also spoke to us about how well the Georgetown curriculum prepared them for the jobs they are in today. Additionally, the alumni were able to talk to us individually and offer great advice on selecting residencies, fellowships, and the best job based on our skill sets and experience.”

During the congress, student participants staffed a Georgetown booth to showcase the educational programs offered at the School of Nursing & Health Studies. Baddoura and Aaron Polacek (G’14) also served as student program assistants for the congress.

“I enjoyed most the instances when I saw a student or an executive multiple times during congress, and it always stemmed from me being a congress program assistant and either working with them or welcoming them to one of the events and having a conversation with them,” says Polacek.

By Clarke Erickson (G'14)