Ten students and three faculty of WKU’s Health Care Administration Program (HCA) recently attended the District 3 American College of Health Care Administrators (ACHCA) conference in Rising Sun, Ind.
The district conference represented long term care professionals from the states of Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana, Michigan and West Virginia.
Of the five awards presented by the state of Kentucky, three were awarded to WKU faculty and students. HCA faculty Melanie Eaton and Heather O’Banion received awards for their individual contributions to the long term care profession. Darla Hayden of Henderson, a Master of Health Administration (MHA) student, was recognized for being one of only two recipients of a competitive ACHCA scholarship.
“I was both surprised and humbled to be recognized by my peers,” Eaton said. “I have a passion for this profession so my involvement is a natural progression of my career. I am hopeful that our students found the conference to be both educational and beneficial to their future career aspirations in long term care, whatever that may be.”
O’Banion, an MHA graduate and part-time instructor of Nursing Facility Administration (HCA 355), received an award for her innovations and dedication as a new Licensed Nursing Home Administrator in Kentucky. Eaton, a WKU graduate and full-time instructor for the Health Care Administration Program, received an award for professional activities and contributions on a local, regional and national level. Hayden was unable to attend the conference; her advisor and MHA Program Director Dr. William Mkanta accepted the award on her behalf.
Students attending the March 5-6 conference have an interest in future leadership positions in long term care and represented a wide variety of programs to include MHA, HCA, Social Work, Psychology and Health Sciences. All undergraduate students in attendance are pursuing the Long Term Care Administration Certificate Program as part of their degree.
Students who attended the conference included Sriharshini Azzarapu of Hyderabad, India, Meagan Bridges of Bowling Green, Jenn Case of Florence, Maggie Clark of Union, Trevor Davis of Louisville, Olivia Key of Tompkinsville, Emily McMurtrey of Summer Shade, Samir Music of Bowling Green, Saad Sheikh of Knoxville, Tenn., and Amanda Waid of Hickman.
Educational sessions covered topics about quality, mentoring, emerging trends in the long term care continuum and leadership development for current and new leaders in the profession. There were also multiple opportunities for students to network with professionals in the field; two students secured summer internships with professionals they met during this conference.
For information about the Department of Public Health’s programs, including the Long Term Care Certificate Program, visit www.wku.edu/publichealth
Contact: Melanie Eaton, (270) 745-5854.