MHA Students gain experience at Leahy Community Center


The Leahy Health and Family Center is in the process of offering Masters in Health Administration (MHA) students a series of clinical projects in which they can participate. The president of the Center’s Advisory Board, David Linhares, collaborated with the director of the Leahy Center, Andrea Mantione, to establish a system where the needs of the clinic could be met by the implementation of these MHA projects, while at the same time benefiting all students involved. The idea for this all stemmed from Mantione through continued collaboration with The American College of Healthcare Professionals (ACHE).
Linhares, who is also a graduate student, commented on the development of the project.
“We wanted to look for committed students who would work as a team to accomplish goals that both they as students need, but that could at the same time help the clinic out,” Linhares said. “I met with Dr. [Steven] Szydlowski to go over our initial planning and to seek out instructors to oversee group projects. When we got names and reached out to the faculty, we saw that they were more than happy to help.”
One specific project that is going to be taking place is the Quality Assurance Quality Improvement (QAQI) program, which Sharon Falzone, Ph.D., is leading. Six students are participating in the project, including graduate student Matt Campo.
“There is nothing more beneficial to the education process and [the professional development of MHA students] then utilizing what we learn in the classroom to make a difference in the community. Through the collaboration of the clinical staff, professors and first and second-year students, we have began to design, develop, and implement a quality assurance program to continually monitor, analyze and improve upon both financial and clinical aspects of the Center,” Campo said. “Once fully implemented, we will incorporate management, problem-solving and statistical techniques to continually improve the overall experience that visitors to the Leahy Clinic will see.”
The students participating in all these projects are getting experience, but the Center is getting multiple projects underway and is able to begin the development of a continuing strategy so that future students can get involved in projects. Students now are creating models as to how future MHA students could approach this task, and in doing so they are creating a space that future students can fill when they have the opportunity.
The QAQI program is not the only one that is going on. There is also an Electronic medical record implentation project, and a Healthcare Information project.
Linhares said he sees the projects “going on for as long as the Center is there.”

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