ASC health care administration recognizes SLV RMC and Valley-wide

(11-21-2008)

Russ Johnson, chief executive officer of San Luis Valley Regional Medical Center (left) and Konnie Martin, vice president and chief operations officer of Valley-wide Health Systems, accept awards of appreciation from Armando Valdez (second from left) and Richard Vallone, faculty in Adams State College's health care administration program.

Russ Johnson, chief executive officer of San Luis Valley Regional Medical Center (left) and Konnie Martin, vice president and chief operations officer of Valley-wide Health Systems, accept awards of appreciation from Armando Valdez (second from left) and Richard Vallone, faculty in Adams State College's health care administration program.

Adams State College's School of Business recognized the San Luis Valley Regional Medical Center and Valley-wide Health Systems for their collaboration with its health care administration program at a luncheon Nov. 19.

Richard Vallone, director of the health care administration program, presented plaques to SLV RMC's Chief Executive Officer, Russ Johnson, and VWHS' Vice President and Chief Operations Officer, Konnie Martin. Both organizations provide internships to students in the program, begun two years ago.

"Students were assigned meaningful projects that help the institution. These were not merely paper-shuffling or shadowing exercises," Vallone said.

Martin said Valley-wide had a "tremendous experience" with both of its Adams State interns. "It's been easy to embrace this program. It makes perfect sense. Health care administration is a valuable profession that serves communities."

Valley-wide interns worked on marketing, billing contracts, and new ways to communicate with younger employees.

Henry Garvin, vice president and chief operating officer at SLVRMC, said the hospital's interns brought fresh ideas to marketing studies and projects to improve efficiency in maintenance in housekeeping. "These internships are important both to our facility and to ASC," he said.

SLVRMC also helped the program become involved in the Colorado Rural Health Association, which will hold its regional and annual conventions at Adams State College in 2009 and 2010.

The Health Care Administration Advisory Board worked with the college to develop the program to assure students acquire "the skills and competencies future employers need," Vallone said. "Without you, we would have not have succeeded."

In addition to Valley-wide and SLVRMC, other advisory board participants include the San Luis Valley Comprehensive Mental Health Center, Hospice, and Alamosa County Nursing Services.

The program graduated its first three students last spring, and 12 are expected to complete the program next May. In two years, the program grew from 20 to about 50 students, Vallone noted. Students also participate in a student chapter of Medical Group Management Association and the Upsilon Phi Delta Honor Society.

For more information on Adams State College's Health Care Administration program, please call the School of Business at 719-587-7161.

By Julie Waechter