BSHSM Alumni Respond to COVID-19

Payton Shea, BSHSM 2019

The COVID-19 pandemic has certainly caused large amounts of stress for front-line staff of hospitals around the world. That’s why during this time, I am making it my mission to assist our front-line staff at Eskenazi Health as best I can. Working as an educator for the Patient Access Services Department, I am training staff coming from other areas of the hospital to work in critical areas like the Emergency Department. Additionally, I am making sure current staff have adequate training in areas like insurance, registration, etc., so that they can be as confident as possible when completing their daily job functions. My team (Quality and Education) is running the registration portion of the new COVID-19 Assessment Center as well, which entails dressing in full PPE and completing the patient’s registration before testing. It is all hands on deck right now in our hospital and I believe supporting each other is what is going to get us through this pandemic.

Hannah Hochgesang, BSHSM 2018

Description of the video:

Hi. My name is Hannah Hochgesang and I am a 2018 graduate with a degree in health services management. I am currently an HR generalist for Kimbal Electronics Indianapolis. As a government appointed, central employer, it is our responsibility to continue producing projects for our customers that make life safer and even save lives. On top of the impact we are making by producing life-saving medical devices, we are donating boxed lunches and N95 masks to local health care facilities here in Indianapolis.

Joshua Burger, MHA – BSHSM 2010

I work on the health insurance side as IU Health offers our own Commercial and Medicare Advantage health plan options for our own employees and other businesses around the state. Our main focus since the COVID-19 pandemic has been focusing on our members first. We have built and communicated a benefit structure to ensure that should any of our members need tested or contract the virus, they will not have out of pocket expenses. We have also enhanced our telemedicine benefits to allow our members to utilize virtual health care instead of physically going to a provider office so they can continue to receive needed services but do not put themselves or others at risk. Our second focus, from my team's perspective, has been working with our contracted provider network. Our network includes much more than just the IU Health affiliated providers. As we make changes and updates to our member's benefits, we also need to communicate these to our providers as it impacts them as well, specifically helping them navigate and understand the world of telemedicine since many of them did not do it prior or did it at a very limited capacity.

Elena Smith, BSHSM 2017

Description of the video:

Hi, my name is Elena Smith and I graduate with my HSM degree in May of 17. I currently work at Mount Carmel Health System in the clinical quality management department. I am going to share with you two coronavirus-related tasks that I have been charged with. First, from a health systems level, this includes four hospitals and two joint ventures. I was the person who managed all of the poster signs. These were placed at the front entrances of all of our sites letting patients and family members know that if they were having the cough or the fever symptoms, they needed a mask. As the coronavirus changed very rapidly, more and more patients began having these symptoms, we had to then place the masks behind the front desks, therefore needing to change the directions of that sign. I have been working with communications on trying to do that and get them delivered to our sites as fast as possible. From a department level, I worked with my VP on the work-from-home guidelines for our data team, regulatory nurses and quality nurses who were able to transition into that work-from-home lifestyle. In specifics, I worked with making job aids, and how to make it more efficient for those nurses who are working from home. This has been a major change as we do all work at the corporate office and run to our hospitals to work on a daily basis. As nonclinical colleagues, a lot of our work is behind the scenes, however it makes the operations of those at the frontline run more smoothly and more efficient.

Viola Long, BSHSM 2016

I am thankful that my organization has provided us the opportunity to work from home as we continue to serve our patients during this time. As healthcare gravitates towards more technology-based platforms, this has been a rewarding experience for my department. In addition, being able to provide virtual care, something we have not done before, has allowed us to keep ourselves, our families, patients, and communities safer. With things changing rapidly, my resilience is at an all time high and these trials have only made us stronger. Together, we can fight this! 

Kathleen Hacker, BSHSM 2018

Description of the video:

Hi, everyone. I am Katy Hacker, I graduated from IUPUI in May of 2018 with my Bachelor’s in Health Services Management. I now work in long-term care at Hamilton Trace in Fischer’s Indiana. I am an admissions coordinator here. I normally bring new admissions for our short-term rehab or even our long-term care memory unit. With the pandemic that is going on, I am now doing things a little bit differently in my day to day tasks, so I am now the main communication pieces for all of our residents and their family members. I set up Facetimes with families, I help our residents write messages and take pictures and send videos so they can still feel as connected as possible with their loved ones during this difficult time. On top of that, I am helping to build up the staff morale by keeping the building as positive as possible. By doing that, I am showing our clinical staff how appreciated they are with all the hard work they are doing. I am buying lunches; I am passing around snacks and some gifts that our corporate office is giving to us. A little bit different than what I am used to, but I still feel like I am making an impact just by showing our clinical staff just how appreciated they are and letting the family members stay connected with our residents.

Kristian Scolnik, BSHSM 2018

My name is Kristian and I am a 2018 BSHSM graduate. I am currently working as the Talent & Culture Manager for a diagnostic lab who launched drive-thru testing for Covid-19 a little over a week ago. I am on my third week of working from home, so I have been helping coordinate the new testing away from the office, which has been challenging. I have been fielding a lot of calls and making sure people at risk are taken care of accordingly. This is not something I ever expected to deal with in my career in health services management, but am so grateful for my education that has helped guide me through this! 

Jessica Sparks, BSHSM 2016

I work for Adaptive Nursing, which is a home health care company. We work with the elderly and disabled and are currently doing everything we can to ensure that our clients are getting all the assistance they need to in order to stay in their homes and in a safe environment. We are currently providing caregivers with masks, gloves, hand sanitizer and are asking caregivers to take temperatures before going to work and relaying if they are experiencing any symptoms in order to ensure we are taking safe precautions while they are in the home. We also had a hand washing training and are asking caregivers to go to the grocery store for their clients to ensure that clients are not putting themselves at risk and staying home as much as possible. Our clients are the most susceptible during this pandemic and are relying on our care and precautions to stay healthy and at home during this time.

Mackenzie Davidson, MHA – BSHSM 2018

During the time of the COVID-19 pandemic, patient experience has never been more important. I am playing an important role by analyzing, summarizing and sharing with system leaders what our patients are telling us through their post discharge surveys. By monitoring and identifying common themes, whether good or bad, our system can continue to provide the best patient-centered care while fighting COVID-19.