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Southern Illinois University



College of Applied Sciences and Arts

Featured Alumni

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

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


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.

Photograph of Richard Goins, executive male, brown hair and suit


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. 

Picture of Orrie Rouse

Orrie Rouse 

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.

Picture of Mr. Greenhill


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).