Title – Hearing Instrument Specialist
Employment – Audibel Hearing Aid Services
Avona Greene completed her Bachelor of Science degree in Health Care Management along with a minor in Psychology at Southern Illinois University Carbondale (SIUC) in 2017. While attending SIUC, Avona was involved with the Student Healthcare Management Association (SHMA), Student Health Advisory Board, Project Management Group, Delta Epsilon Iota Academic Honor Society, and the SIU cheerleading team. She also is the founder of the Central Illinois Community Action Coalition. This is an organization that helps junior high school students resist negative peer pressure.
Throughout her younger years, Avona dreamed of becoming a medical doctor but during her high school career, she decided that she wanted to concentrate her efforts more on healthcare management to leverage her advanced leadership and communication skills. Avona has a deep passion to positively affect more patients by implementing new and improved policies that offer a higher quality of care. When she was offered her next job, she was excited because it would integrate all of her passions: leadership, technology, and patient care.
After graduation, Avona took courses for the International Hearing Society in order to gain her license as a certified hearing specialist. Currently, Avona is working as a Hearing Instrument Specialist at Audibel Hearing Aid Services in Champaign, Illinois. She does various tasks, but her week normally consists of completing diagnostic tests, program hearing devices based on the patient’s hearing needs, and helping to counsel patients and family members with communication tips. In December of 2018, Avona received the Rising Star Award at Audibel Hearing Aid Services.
Avona believes that one way in which the Health Care Management program has helped her is by giving her an in depth knowledge of financial skills and resources. Through the courses she has learned how to utilize spreadsheets to help her budget, track investments, and set financial goals which has helped her in her professional career and personal life. In the future, Avona hopes to utilize the knowledge and skills she gained from the Health Care Management program to become an owner of a hearing health practice or franchise.
Some advice for the current or incoming Health Care Management students from Avona:
“My advice to HCM students would be to maintain a positive attitude and do the right thing even when you don't want to. Showing that you have good morals and being positive is powerful. If you are honest and show that you have integrity people will know that they can depend on you and your input will hold more value. People are attracted to positive personalities because they are a joy to work with. Positive people tend to be afforded better opportunities by way of their connections to others.”
Aside from her work life, Avona enjoys choreographing dances, going to the gym, and taking road trips across the country.
Elizabeth Hoogerwerf, BS Health Care Management
Title- Business Operations Analyst
Employment- Kaiser Permanente Information Technology
In 2017, Elizabeth Hoogerwerf earned her Bachelor of Science in Health Care Management at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. As a proud Saluki, Elizabeth says that SIUC “holds a very special place in her heart.” She has continued to remain a part of the Saluki community by enrolling in the online Master of Health Administration program that SIUC offers its students. Elizabeth hopes to also earn her Master of Health Informatics in the future.
Being a part of the HCM department at SIUC, Elizabeth learned how to be a diligent student that seeks solutions to problems. One of the most valuable aspects of her experience with the department was the encouragement of group work with her peers. Participating in group projects prepared her with the skills that she needed to be an excellent team member in the professional world.
With learned skills from the HCM department, Elizabeth was able to start a career as a Business Operations Analyst at Kaiser Permanente Information Technology. Kaiser’s has locations that are spread across six regions in the United States. Specifically, Elizabeth works in the Care Delivery Technology Services department, which consists of a few thousand technical and administrative employees that support the applications and technologies utilized in hospitals and clinics. Elizabeth states that “Kaiser is extremely innovative in terms of applying technology to healthcare; so it has been very interesting, especially coming from rural Illinois!”
This position has given Elizabeth with the opportunity to be the coordinator of her own program called CDTS Career Exploration Program. It has been extremely rewarding because it involves collaboration with senior leaders and interviewing them in front of an audience to obtain insights into their departments, career advice, job opportunities, and more. Additionally, Kaiser has pushed Elizabeth beyond her comfort zone. She is a facilitator for one of the corporate trainings that Kaiser provides to their employees. Although, the experience has been intimidating and challenging, it has also vastly improved her communication skills as well as her confidence.
Aside from her personal life, Elizabeth goes to the mountains of Denver, at least once a week to hike or snowboard. She also loves to cook and explore the food/music scene of the area. She is blessed to have parents that instilled in her a great work ethic. Elizabeth also says that her dog, Gravy, has been a great companion during her professional life.
Elizabeth advises all future and current students of the department to “get comfortable with being uncomfortable, don’t be a stereotypical millennial, and network.”
April 2rd, 2018 - 2018 Health Care Management Featured Alumni: Sam Smith
Sam Smith, BS Health Care Management
Title – Senior Clinical Research Associate
Employment – Syneos Health
Samantha Smith completed her Bachelor of Science in Health Care Management at Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, in 2009. She has continued her education through specialized programs administered by the Food & Drug Administration, the University of Chicago, Johns Hopkins School of Nursing, and Barnett International.
Samantha began her collegiate studies in Fine Arts at Northern Illinois University. After a few semesters, she started volunteering as an art teacher at an Assisted Living Facility with her mom. The facility hired her to administer all activities for the residents, and she decided to pursue her CNA licensure in order to work in direct patient care. Her passion for the healthcare industry was truly derived from her beginnings working in Assisted Living. Eventually, she decided to pursue a bachelor’s degree at Southern Illinois University to attain the education that would allow her to make a bigger impact in the field. She completed her Bachelors in 2009. While attending SIU, she worked for the Humane Society of Southern Illinois, and Dr. Sandy Collins was her favorite professor.
She landed her first role in the research industry in 2010, as a Clinical Data Operator for a small data management firm in the Chicago area. When the company expanded to full-scale clinical operations, serving many pharmaceutical and biotech clients, she transitioned into the field role of Clinical Research Associate (CRA). She quickly discovered how fascinating the clinical research industry is, and enjoys the environment of continuous improvement and opportunities to learn.
Currently, she is a Senior CRA responsible for managing clinical research sites and monitoring patient outcomes, in accordance with federal and local regulatory guidelines. She specializes in Women’s Health, and assures the protection of the rights, safety and well-being of human study subjects. Through her positions, she has had the opportunity to travel all over the United States and Europe. She has had great fortune to work alongside globally renowned physicians and scientists in both drug and diagnostic development. In the future, she would like to pursue a Master of Science in Regulatory Compliance.
Aside from her professional life, Samantha will be getting married this June to her fiancé, Riley, who also works in the field of Health Care! The two of them met while she was working in Detroit, and they currently live in Chicago with their two cats, Gary and Mitchell. In her spare time, she enjoys hiking, camping, and still volunteers when she can; over the winter she and Riley volunteered to build shelters for feral cats. She also still makes time to draw because of its therapeutic effects.
Jenna Alka, MHA
Title – Director of Ancillary Services
Employment - St. Vincent Warrick Hospital
Jenna Alka completed her Bachelor of Science in Health Care Management at Southern Illinois University, Carbondale in 2008, and then went on to earn her Master of Health Administration from the University of Phoenix in 2013.
Her inspiration to join the healthcare field stemmed from her grandmother’s employment in nursing in combination with her own business mindset, and she was President of the Student Healthcare Management Association during her time at SIU
After completing her Bachelors in 2008, Jenna began her career in Healthcare as the Practice Manager for the Alka Family Chiropractic Center and then for Graham Family Medicine in 2009. She began working as the SIMS Practice Administrator for Southern Illinois Healthcare 2011, concurrently completing her Masters, where she provided oversight of operations for multiple surgeon specialties, worked with budgets and revenue/expenses for all clinics, as well as supervised direct reports from patients, clinical staff, and provider staff. In 2014, she began working as the Clinic Manager of Employer Based Services for St. Vincent Evansville- Ambulatory where one of her primary duties consisted of managing operations of the daily clinic with approximately 1200 active client accounts.
Currently, she is the Director of Ancillary Services at St. Vincent Warrick Hospital where she oversees daily operations for all Ancillary services including radiology, respiratory, rehab, lab, facilities, food and nutrition, environmental services and emergency and disaster preparedness, community outreach and marketing. She also oversees budgets and overall finances for ancillary services and manages capital purchases for hospital, and leads all ancillary departments within the hospital from an Administrative role. Her dedication, exceptional business skills, and thorough experience has made her an incredible asset to the Healthcare field.
She is currently a member of the American College of Healthcare Executives, a member of the Southern Illinois University Healthcare Management Advisory Board, and a guest lecturer for the Southern Illinois University Healthcare Management Program. She has also received the Excellence in Business award from Wabash General Hospital in Mt. Carmel, Illinois. In the future, she hopes to continue consulting on Lean Daily Management in Healthcare and the need for efficiency in Healthcare. She hopes to grow within the St. Vincent family, and help them continue the journey of high reliability.
REGINALD BROWN, CFAAMA, MS.Ed, MS.Ad, MMS
Diplomat in Healthcare Administration
“SIU set into motion the career I continue to experience today!”
Title – Division Business Manager
Employment – U.S. Department of Homeland Security
Reginald Brown completed his B.S. degree in Health Care Management at Southern Illinois University Carbondale in 1992. In 1995, he went on to earn his Master of Science in Administration (MSA) with a concentration in Health Sciences from Central Michigan University; a Master of Science in Education from Old Dominion University; and a Master of Military Studies from the Marine Corps University. While attending the Marine Corps University, Reginald completed a paper titled “Harriet Tubman: A Servant Leader?” He also completed 51 hours of Doctoral course work at Northcentral University. Reginald is currently the Business Manager for theWorkforce Health and Medical Support Division, Office of Health Affairs, U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Reginald has over 20 years of experience in health care administration. His duties include serving as an expert advisor to management on a wide range of complex activities requiring qualitative and/or qualitative methods for assessment of management process, systems and mission support programs.
Reginald began his health care management career with the U.S. Navy in 1996 after 13 years as a Hospital Corpsman and after selection to the Navy’s Medical Service Corps (Health Care Administration) as a Lieutenant Junior Grade. In 1999, he worked as a Generalist Health Care Administrator for 2nd Medical Battalion in Camp Lejeune, North Carolina and was Chief Operating Officer for a team that provided humanitarian medical services to a population of over 25,000 in an overseas environment. After completing full-time Navy sponsored graduate studies in 2000, Reginald served as the Department Head for Managed Care and Public Affairs Officer in Cherry Point, North Carolina where he received the Meritorious Service Medal for contributions that significantly to optimize the provision of health care services for over 30,000 beneficiaries. During his final tour of duty, Reginald was recognized for contributing significantly to the success of the 57th Presidential Inauguration. After a distinguished 31 year military career, Reginald retired as a Commander (O-5) in 2014 and joined the U.S. Homeland Security team.
Reginald is board certified fellow and a diplomat in medical administration and previously held leadership positions in the American Academy of Medical Administrators (AAMA). He has also served on the health care management program advisory committee with Globe University-Minnesota School of Business-Broadview University.
Reginald is married with two adult children, both engaged in university studies.
Title – Director of Professional Practice/Chief Operating Officer
Employment – Massac Memorial Hospital, Metropolis, IL
Richard Goins completed his B.S. degree in Health Care Management at Southern Illinois University Carbondale in 2001. In 2003, he went on to earn his Masters of Health Administration (MHA) from Ohio State University. Mr. Goins is currently the Chief Operating Officer at Massac Memorial Hospital in Metropolis, Illinois, and has over 12 years of experience in healthcare administration. His duties include providing insight and dynamic leadership, managerial supervision, and resource support for the hospital departments of Cardiopulmonary, Radiology, Laboratory, Physical Therapy/Rehab, Patient Access, Wound Care and the Massac Medical Clinics.
Rick began his career in healthcare at SIU and has since provided administrative leadership for Cogent Healthcare, Middletown Regional Hospital, and the University of Illinois Medical Center at Chicago. In 2005, he worked as Operations Manager and led the opening of a new occupational health clinic for Middletown Regional Hospital in Ohio. Starting in 2007, he worked as Business Director for Pain Management and Psychiatry, and later, General and Community Pediatrics, at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. As Business Director at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, he rose to the challenge of successfully developing a business plan and executing the opening of a new primary care clinic over a period of 39 calendar days. He gives his gratitude to the education experiences that have provided him the foundation to succeed in the areas of healthcare operations management, finance, strategic planning, quality improvement, and business development.
Mr. Goins has supported a Mason, Ohio based not-for-profit Building Blocks for Kids for nearly a decade. The organization has helped provide products and services to more than 500 children since 2003, including: therapy, therapy equipment, hearing aids, communication devices, home modifications, vans with wheelchair lifts, special beds, displacement costs when needing to see a specialist in another city, adaptive bikes and strollers, and seizure dogs.
As an active member of the SIU Health Care Management External Advisory Board, he advises the Health Care Management program and also teaches Information Systems courses on campus when needed. He is completing his Doctorate in Health Administration from the Medical University of South Carolina. When he is not working or researching, Richard enjoys spending time with his two sons Ryan and Brady. He and his wife, Kim like to take the family to museums and ball games. His whole family enjoys outdoor activities such as swimming, hiking and boating.
Title- Corporate Director of Materials Management
Employment- Southern Illinois Healthcare (SIH) Finance Department
Orrie Rouse, an SIU alumnus and a graduate of the Health Care Management program. He started his career as a healthcare professional as a control supply technician in 1983. Within 5 years, Mr. Rouse displayed a strong desire to learn and moved to the Materials Department specifically into shipping and receiving. Mr. Rouse continued to show his leadership qualities and within another 5 years was promoted to Store Room Supervisor at Carbondale Memorial Hospital. In 2008, Mr. Rouse was promoted once more to Corporate Director of Materials Management for the Southern Illinois Healthcare System.
Mr. Rouse oversees 50 employees throughout the SIH hospital system and has provided multiple cost saving techniques to the distribution of SIH materials. Mr. Rouse has partnered with Mid-America Service Solutions across the Midwest and aggregated with other prestigious hospital systems to decrease costs of healthcare expenditures. As the Corporate Director of Materials Management, Mr. Rouse has helped provide outdated or expired supplies to mission groups throughout the world so patients are able to get better healthcare services in 2nd and 3rd world countries.
Mr. Rouse holds a B.S. degree in Health Care Management from Southern Illinois University. Mr. Rouse serves the Health Care Management program as a valued External Advisory Board Member, Preceptor/Internship Supervisor, and a favored Guest Speaker. Mr. Rouse is married with a step-daughter and continues to be an avid turkey hunter who has enjoyed the outdoors his whole life.
RICH GREENHILL, FACHE
Title- Assistant Vice President, Consulting
Employment- COPE Health Solutions, Los Angeles, CA
Rich Greenhill, a SIU alumnus and a graduate of the Health Care Management off campus military-based program, is currently an Assistant Vice President, Consulting, at COPE Health Solutions in Los Angeles, CA. Mr. Greenhill has over 21 years of experience in healthcare. He is a published co-author, an experienced Project Manager, and Operations Manager with a number of successful projects completed. Mr. Greenhill is Board Certified in Healthcare Management and a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives (FACHE). Mr. Greenhill leads major complex client engagements for COPE Health Solutions’ Consulting division, including deployment of innovative care models and development/deployment of integrated delivery systems.
Mr. Greenhill began his career in the U.S. Navy. In the ambulatory setting he successfully led 5 departments including Clinical & Anatomic Pathology Laboratory, Outpatient Pharmacy, Radiology, Physical therapy in a large military clinic with a staff of more than 150 personnel. He served as Senior Project Manager on the Congressional Demonstration project to create the first Federal Health Care Center in North Chicago October 2010. Additionally, he led redesign efforts for Scripps Medical Laboratory, San Diego, CA which resulted in dramatic financial and operational improvements and was awarded the Scripps Health Bronze Quality Award 2013.
Rich maintains an active presence in the American College of Healthcare Executives, having served on local chapter Boards for Chicago Health Executives Forum (CHEF) and San Diego Organization of Healthcare Leaders (SOHL). Mr. Greenhill holds a B.S. degree in Health Care Management from Southern Illinois University, a M.S. Health Administration and MBA from University of Maryland University College, Certified Associate Project Management (CAPM) and is a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt (LSSBB).