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advisory council and offer insight into current challenges
and expectations of students so they come better prepared
to enter the job market. “We are constantly looking at
creative, innovative ways of partnering together with
USD services and programs,” said Gail Blocker, director
of Administrator Services and Education at The Good
Samaritan Society in Sioux Falls, S.D.
Tim Tracy, CEO of Sanford
Health in Vermillion, added
that collaborating with USD on
educational programming and
exposure in South Dakota has
been beneficial for both parties.
Matching students with execu-
tives from the state-wide associa-
tion is proving to be a win-win
for everyone. Sanford Vermillion
has worked with multiple interns
over the past years, assigning
special projects that provide a
positive learning experience for
the student while assisting in the
accomplishment of key initiatives.”
Graduates of the HSAD program go on to work in
staff and leadership roles in a broad assortment of areas in
the health care spectrum, including finance, marketing,
human resources, pharmaceutical, insurance, health care
management, public policy, health policy and more. They
are in clinics large and small and in organizations of every
type. Many graduates start out in management-in-training
positions and are groomed to eventually land management
positions or enter graduate programs.
Judy Blauwet, senior vice president of Hospital
Operations and CNO of Avera McKennan Hospital &
University Health Center, said, “We have USD graduates
working in staff and leadership roles in a variety of health
care settings from LTC, hospitals and clinics, both in
Sioux Falls as well as in our network.”
That’s part of the appeal, said Hensel. “Students know
it’s a growing field and recognize the breadth of it,” he
stated. “The field is accelerating and ever-changing. It
draws people that want to help people who are going
through difficult times.”
USD’s program stands out from other programs in that
student opportunities and exposure are very strong. The
program requires a practicum, which includes six weeks of
hands-on preceptor training, led at the sites. “This is an
unusually strong practice,” explained Hensel.
Students are also encouraged to participate in
Healthcare Executives Advancing in Leadership
HEAL), a student organization on campus aimed to
further increase knowledge of the health care industry in
order to build a competitive advantage. Participation in
this group offers students the opportunities to network
with other students and health care executives through
guest speakers, facility tours, on-
campus health promotion and bi-
monthly meetings.
The HSAD program is fully
certified through the Association
of University Programs in Health
Administration (AUPHA) and is
one of only 46 certified programs
in the U.S. and one of only 10 that
are located in a business school.
An innovative program goes
hand in hand with the climate
of the state, Hensel said. “South
Dakota is a leader; it is innova-
tive and progressive in health care
delivery. Our state is ahead of the curve in that we have
systems in place that are very progressive.”
Blocker said that USD prepares its students well for this
type of environment. “We have many wonderful applicants
for us to consider when hiring for our skilled rehab admin-
istrator internship program,” she said. “Our organization as
a whole has hired many degreed students from USD.”
These students are our future workforce,” Blauwet
added. “The better experiences we give them, the better
prepared they are to enter our workforce and the students
have the opportunity for an exciting educational experience.
They also get a chance to see what health care is all about
and to validate if this is truly the profession for them.”
The B School’s HSAD faculty bring to the classroom a wealth of teaching
expertise and knowledge in the field based on professional experience. L-R:
Brian Hensel, Ph.D., Kathy Haberling, D.H.A. and Jen Porter, M.B.A.
The health services
administration program is fully
certified through the Association
of University Programs
in Health Administration
AUPHA) and is one of only 46
certified programs in the U.S.
and one of only 10 that are
located in a business school.