The first year MHA and MPH in Policy students recently visited the city of Chicago on April 17-19. The trip included visits to a wide variety of health care providers as well the opportunity to meet and network with alumni currently working in the Chicago area. Students were first treated to a visit with both the American Hospital Association and the American Medical Association where each of the organizations gave presentations regarding how they are influencing the future of health care delivery. During the time in Chicago we also visited several different health care organizations including The Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, Vanguard corporate offices, and John H. Stroger, Jr. Hospital of Cook County.
Ever since entering the MHA program at Iowa, my classmates and I have heard about how exciting and enriching the Chicago trip had been for past first year classes. Other than getting a few days away from class to enjoy the city life, we were excited to visit several very unique health care settings. Our first stop was the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, which turned out to be a truly amazing experience for our class. Being a specialty hospital, RIC gave us an in depth look at the types of services a rehabilitation hospital provides and also treated us to a presentation regarding the ethical component of treating patients with disabilities.
We were given the opportunity to tour RIC and see the amazing type of care they are providing for patients every day. As we toured their new AbilityLab, where clinicians and researchers work side by side, we got to watch part of daily therapy sessions, in which some patients were learning to walk again. In addition to patient care, we were also introduced to the breakthroughs in research currently happening at RIC. Our experience we had at RIC was truly unique and reminded some of us the real reason why we desire a career in health care, to help others.
After our time at RIC, we took a quick walk over to Lurie Children’s Hospital. Our time at Lurie included a presentation that described how their organization is preparing for the many changes that are being brought about by the Affordable Care Act. We were also treated to a tour of the new hospital, complete with a look at inpatient rooms, the emergency department, and the many interactive additions to the hospital, like a fire truck complete with working lights. Lurie was an enriching experience and gave our class much insight into how a fun and healing environment can enhance the patient experience.
Our last stop for on our first day in Chicago was at the corporate offices of Vanguard Health. Our trip at Vanguard began with a presentation by the CEO of Vanguard Health’s Chicago region, William Foley. Mr. Foley gave us an in depth look at Vanguard’s mission, vision, and values, as well as how the company plans to expand and improve within the Chicago area. We were also granted a unique opportunity to participate in a brainstorming exercise facilitated by the Vanguard administrators and fellows. The exercise gave the MHA and MPH classes a chance to apply our knowledge of population health by taking real life situations and generating unique ways that a health care organization could mitigate those problems and better serve the patients of a community. Overall, our experience at Vanguard gave us a better understanding of the corporate healthcare environment and the role that administrators at the corporate level play in
developing strategies to better serve their patients.
|Nick Waggoner, '12, and Scott Hurtgen at the alumni reception|