Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Where are they now? Tracking recent graduates as they embark on their professional careers.

Kathleen Chelminiak
IRHITEN Apprentice Coordinator

Kathleen Chelminiak graduated in 2013 with a Bachelor of Science in Public Health majoring in Community Health. She joined the HealthLINC team in January of 2014 as an Apprenticeship Coordinator for the Indiana Rural Health Information Technology Education Network, or IRHITEN. HealthLINC is a local, not-for-profit Corporation, which supports health information technology (HIT) adoption, health information exchange (HIE), and innovative use of information for improved health care outcomes. HealthLINC governs a regional HIE that provides secure, clinical messaging system that delivers greater than 110,000 medical results per month between the hospital, private practices, and care clinics.

Having completed an internship with the organization during her undergraduate years, Kathleen was well versed in the needs met by her new company. “..the internship was very relevant, as my supervisor and I discussed my interests so we could tailor the internship to relate to an area I was passionate for. As a result, I worked with an electronic medical record (EMR) at a pediatric office in town.”

In her new role Kathleen oversees the development of IRHITEN, a workforce development program formed between Indiana Rural Health Association, Ivy Tech, & HealthLINC in response to an increased need of skilled IT workers in rural areas in Indiana. The program includes an online course provided by Ivy Tech, an apprenticeship portion in rural hospitals or practices provided by HealthLINC, and, finally, sitting for a certification exam

“The School of Public Health prepared me for my new position because it taught me to think outside the box. For me, SPH promoted free thinking and empowered students with the knowledge, skills, and abilities to make a change. The professors guided us; they would seldom give an easy way out, or give the answer. Although it was frustrating at the time, it really taught me to look at a given situation and see the areas that could be improved or changed,” she said.

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