MHA Class of 2017
Alex Simonton joined the Indiana Hospital Association in August 2015 as a patient safety intern. While working to improve patient safety and quality throughout the state, she knew she wanted to broaden her experience in a clinical setting.
As luck would have it, a new managerial role was created at the IU Student Outreach Clinic. As the new Co-Clinic manager, Simonton provides oversight to student volunteers during the clinic’s operating hours. Though this role is a significant time commitment, Simonton says that she enjoys her contribution to the community.
“We serve a vulnerable patient population and it is fulfilling to see students working together to provide comprehensive care to people who, prior to the clinic, sought primary care in the emergency departments of local hospitals,” she said.
Simonton’s responsibilities don’t end with serving the patient population. She has developed marketing strategies to increase patient awareness of clinic resources. She is also working to standardize clinic practices, including new volunteer orientation, and streamlining check-out processes for patients and volunteers. “We are working on a volunteer portal to centralize information and better track volunteer demographics,” she said.
Interprofessional collaboration among the clinic’s volunteers is another priority Simonton has set for herself. “The opportunity for students to be involved in a free clinic that features several disciplines is a great learning experience; students are able to practice their craft and work in a care team,” she said.
“Our aim as part of the management team is to prepare students to recognize and value the strengths and responsibilities of other professions so that patient-centered care can be delivered in a collaborative manner. My experience at the IU Student Outreach Clinic has been fantastic and full of lessons that I can apply in the pursuit of my ultimate career goal, to lead a hospital system as an executive. I truly enjoy working with all of the dedicated volunteers and strive to enhance their clinic experience so that they can provide excellent care to patients.”
Simonton is a second-year MHA student and will graduate in May 2017.