Darla Hayden and Urmila Tokekar, both seeking a Master of Health Administration (MHA) in Public Health at WKU, were the only students in attendance at the recent American College of Health Care Administrators (ACHCA) Kentucky Chapter meeting.
Excited to see interest in their group and profession by today’s emerging healthcare leaders, the long-term care professionals in attendance extended a warm welcome to Hayden and Tokekar.
“Attending the ACHCA meeting allowed me to learn about current issues that long-term care facilities are facing, specifically the importance of tracking hospital readmission rates,” Hayden said. “This experience also allowed me to network with experienced long-term care professionals.”
The ACHCA group consisted of Chief Executive Officers, Regional Managers, Executive Directors and Administrators specializing in services across the long-term care continuum. While most of those present had experience specific to older adults, there were also representatives of long-term care services and communities for the developmentally disabled, pediatrics and rehabilitation.
ACHCA is a non-profit professional membership association that provides education, professional certification and development opportunities for long-term care leaders and student members. The students attended the Kentucky Chapter meeting in Louisville with two members of ACHCA, WKU MHA graduate Heather O’Banion and WKU graduate and Public Health Instructor Melanie Eaton.
Inspired by the students at their meeting, members of ACHCA are planning a special education track for current students, recent graduates and new leaders within the long-term care field at their regional meeting in 2014. Scheduled for March 5-6 in Rising Sun, Ind., the conference will be attended by professionals from Kentucky, Ohio, West Virginia, Indiana and Michigan.
Hayden and Tokekar, along with Advisors Eaton and Dr. Dana Burr Bradley with WKU’s Center for Gerontology, are planning to form a student group in the near future for those interested in careers in long-term care.
Contact: Melanie Eaton, (270) 745-5854.