James Madison University

A Year of Successes: A Recap of Top Honors for the HSA Program in 2015-16

JMU Health Services Administration Program Students Stand Out Amongst MHA Graduate Competitors at Virginia HIMSS Meeting

PHOTO: JMU students

In October, 2015, the Virginia Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) made a call for student posters for their Fall Conference addressing the topic of interconnectivity in health services delivery. Health Services Administration seniors -- Garrett Bond, Alexis Cavallo, Scott Goldschmidt, and Justin L’Ecuyer -- developed an approach centered around health care organizations’  use of geographical trend analysis to understand people’s thoughts, feelings, and needs before they come into a health services organization so the organizations can be prepared to give those that do walk through the doors the best care possible. The JMU students were the only undergraduate poster presentation team in attendance at the November meeting, and their poster won second place! Their concept was well received by HIMSS members, and the students also received some great feedback about how HIMSS members view the value of the JMU team’s approach in their own organizations. Some reflections on the experience by the JMU team:

“Being able to compete in a healthcare related competition was a very rewarding experience. What started out as a simple idea evolved into a complex solution that could help eliminate the disconnect between priority populations and their healthcare providers.” – Garrett Bond

“This was the first healthcare conference I have been to and it definitely an incredible and memorable experience. Not only was it a huge accomplishment to place 2nd as the only undergraduate team, but I also received some incredible career advice.” – Alexis Cavallo

 “Placing 2nd in the HIMSS competition definitely falls within the top three best things to happen to me as an HSA student at JMU. If I were to give advice to new HSA students, it would be to attend these conferences! As a student, you’ll learn a lot of lessons regarding healthcare in the classroom, but the most valuable lessons are gained by your experiences. Networking with healthcare leaders and innovators and listening to top executives speak about relevant healthcare topics at conferences like HIMSS provide experiences that will help you grow and give you a competitive edge in the job market.” –Scott Goldschmidt

“The competition was a great opportunity to work with close friends in a daunting competition, in an innovative field that has drastically increased in importance and is the future of healthcare. Easily one of the best experiences I have ever had.” – Justin L’Ecuyer

JMU Hosts Fall Meeting of Central Virginia Healthcare Executives Group

PHOTO: JMU Students

On November 11, 2015, our Health Administration Student Association (HASA) hosted a meeting of the Central Virginia Health Executives Group (CVHEG), the local chapter of the American College of Healthcare Executives.  This was the first time JMU has hosted a CVHEG meeting, and it was a tremendous success. HASA leaders worked with HSA program faculty to identify speakers that could address professional development in different stages of their careers. A panel of three speakers made brief presentations regarding professional development, followed by an interactive question and answer session. The session was moderated by Wes Blankenship, PharmD, FACHE, President of CVHEG. Jenifer Murphy, Patient Safety Director at VCU Health, Akash Jassal, Administrative Resident at Bon Secours St. Mary’s Hospital and MHA student at VCU, and Jim Krauss, FACHE, President of Sentara RMH Medical Center were the featured panelists, and represented views of the early careerist (Jassal), mid-careerist (Murphy) and senior executive (Krauss).  The panelists gave excellent advice on steps to take for career advancement, and suggested competency areas for professional development to the sixty JMU Health Services Administration students and ACHE members in attendance. The meeting was also approved for 1.5 face-to-face ACHE continuing education credits through ACHE.

HASA and the Health Services Administration Program are grateful to the panelists for sharing their expertise and advice at the meeting, and to CVHEG for working with us to host the meeting. Thanks to Wes Blankenship for serving as moderator for the panel discussion. Thanks to JMU HSA alums Jenifer Murphy and Akash Jassal for presenting at the meeting, as well as a special thank you to Jim Krauss for his comments. Jim has been a longstanding and consistent supporter of our HSA Program by speaking to many classes, mentoring our students and facilitating internships and other experiences for our students. Thanks to all for a highly successful and informative meeting.

Scott Goldschmidt Places Second in ACHE Management Essay Competition

PHOTO:Scott Goldschmidt

Congratulations to Scott Goldschmidt! Continuing a winning tradition of essay writing at JMU, Scott placed second in the undergraduate competition of the 2016 Richard J. Stull Essay Competition in Healthcare Management sponsored by the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE). Scott presented his paper, “Case Management of Heart Failure Patients: A Strategic Framework for Reducing Readmissions and Improving Patient Outcomes,” at a session of the 2016 ACHE Congress on Healthcare Leadership, held in Chicago, Illinois, in March 2016. Scott received $2,000 for placing second in the essay competition as well as paid expenses for his trip to Chicago.

The Richard J. Stull Essay Competition in Healthcare Management is open to all undergraduate programs in the U.S., and each program is entitled to submit only one essay entry to the competition. Essays are blind reviewed by a panel of judges comprised of academics and practitioners.

Scott continues the winning tradition for the JMU HSA Program in the essay competition. Since 1994, JMU has had sixteen essays place in the competition: ten first place winners, two second place winners, and four third place winners.  Congratulations to Scott and all the prior winners for an outstanding accomplishment! View a complete list of JMU essay winners and topics

HSA Program Wins 2016 Higher Education Network Award from ACHE

PHOTO: award ceremony

The JMU HSA Program was recently selected by the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE) to receive the 2016 Higher Education Network Award. This award, given to the undergraduate program that demonstrates the highest level of engagement with ACHE, was presented at the Leon I. Gintzig Commemorative Lecture and Luncheon at the ACHE Annual Congress on Healthcare Leadership in Chicago, Illinois, on March 16, 2016. Dr. Thompson, Professor and Program Director, accepted the award on behalf of the Program.

ACHE is a professional society for healthcare executives dedicated to improving healthcare delivery. Its mission is to promote management excellence in healthcare management and ACHE has over 44,000 members. ACHE created the Higher Education Network, which is open to colleges and universities that offer an accredited, degree program in healthcare management, in an effort to provide resources and recognition to such programs at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Through the Higher Education Network, ACHE shows its commitment to supporting healthcare management programs, who prepare future healthcare leaders. JMU’s HSA Program has had a longstanding relationship with ACHE, and is a member of the Higher Education Network.

The Higher Education Network Award recognizes the highest level of engagement with ACHE using several criteria:

  • progression of recent graduates in ACHE membership
  • engagement with ACHE, the Virginia ACHE Regent and the ACHE local Chapter
  • scope of student-organized activities that advance healthcare management as a
    profession (e.g., activities conducted through our Health Administration Student Association)
  • other student-organized activities in support of community and social benefit

This award is a significant honor given to the JMU HSA Program. It recognizes the work of faculty and students in the Program, and reflects the Program’s strong commitment to advancing the profession of healthcare management and engaging HSA students in multiple ways.   In addition to receiving a plaque acknowledging the award that is placed in the Department of Health Sciences Office, the HSA Program received $1,000 which has been placed in our HSA Foundation account and will be used for student scholarships. This is the second time that JMU’s HSA Program has won this award.


  • Application deadlines for admission to the Health Services Administration major:

    Spring Admission: September 15th

    Fall Admission: February 15th
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