As many of us are doing in our personal and professional lives, I wanted to pause and appreciate where we are as an Alumni Society at the start of 2021. I began my tenure as HSMP Alumni Society president at our 50th celebration on October 4, 2019. Not long after, stay at home orders were issued and our lives changed. For many of us, this pandemic has meant countless hours working to meet the unprecedented needs of healthcare organizations as our understanding of the pandemic grew and changed. Some of us were on the front line, taking care of patients and supporting operations. And some of us figured out how to set up functional home offices, boost our Wi-Fi, change our backgrounds and carry on while working remotely. We welcomed college students home, set timers for our childrens’ zoom classes and called into meetings with babies or pets on our lap.
Our Society plans changed as well! We watched as ACHE and our annual Chicago happy hour were cancelled in March. We paused in dismay, and then took matters into our own hands.
• Challenges with students securing summer residencies? Solved, when so many of you responded instantly (!) to a note from our program director to provide project opportunities.
• How is our program adapting in the pandemic? How are we building racial equality? Tune in and find out! We had 60 alumni join us for a virtual program update, The Ohio State MHA Community, How we are Moving Forward – coordinated by Esther Olsen ’18, facilitated by Vish Bhatt ’14 and included Lisa Sloan’07 as a panelist.
• And when it became clear that an in-person event was out of the question, how in the world do you take our long-standing Management Institute and make it virtual?! Enter Zeb Purdin ’15 and a talented MI Committee who pulled off a top tier program, complete with quality speakers, networking and a rousing (if a tad off-key) Carmen Ohio all on Zoom!
• Anton Johnson ’16 completed 3 years as lead for our Administrative Fellowship Coaching group, turning this responsibility over to Bandon Buchanan ’14, and we grew our Alumni Job Search Network under the leadership of Ali (Ristas) Albertson ’13 to support second-year MHA students who are interested in stepping into a job following graduation.
• And, embracing this time when ‘being involved in the HSMP Alumni Society’ doesn’t mean you need to live in Central Ohio, Libbey Hoang ‘99 helped second-year student Lauren Hennefarth initiate a new virtual Lunch and Learn series. Read more about this series below.
In short, we have taken this challenge as an opportunity to double down on our support for students who are learning, graduating and job searching in a challenging world.
With so many ways to get involved, I hope to see many more of you. Warm wishes for 2021, and Go Buckeyes!
Karen Sharp ‘93
P.S. “I chose to participate to give back to the program that has had such a lasting impact on my life. And what fun it’s been to work with an Executive Committee of dedicated, kind, hard-working individuals who are fellow alums and now, friends! I’ve asked each to share why they chose to be involved with the HSMP Alumni Society. View Executive Committee responses by visiting https://hsmp.alumni.osu.edu/about-the-society/committees/executive-committee/