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Student health care organization recognized with national excellence award

RELEASED: April 6, 2010

Members of the UW-Eau Claire ACHCA organization

Members of the UW-Eau Claire ACHCA student chapter include (back row, left to right) Heather Ceasar, director at large; Alex Price, treasurer; Tyler Gudex, vice president; Katie Sjoberg, secretary; (front row, left to right) Kelsey Callahan, president; and Caitlin Casey, director at large.

EAU CLAIRE — The University of Wisconsin Eau Claire student chapter of the American College of Health Care Administrators has been selected to receive the ACHCA Chapter Excellence Award. The award recognizes outstanding achievement overall and the successful implementation of the nationwide project "Cultivating Growth by Aligning Student Chapter with State Chapter Activities."

According to Dean Eide, the health care administration practicum coordinator and faculty adviser to the ACHCA student chapter, UW-Eau Claire has the largest active chapter in the nation, with 42 members. He cites the chapter's four fellowship programs, a new mentoring program and ongoing networking activities with other ACHCA student organizations as initiatives worthy of recognition.

The new mentoring program, a pilot project led by Dr. Douglas Olson, associate professor of health care administration, and senior Nikole Barcz, Madison, connects students with mentors in the field at state and national levels. A second program matches experienced students in the health care administration program with new students, to help them with class scheduling and staying on track.

"With the success of the pilot we hope to expand the networking program nationwide to promote excellence in our future long term care leaders," said Eide.

The chapter also was recognized for its successful Center for Health Administration and Aging Services Excellence banquets for preceptors, practicum students and undergraduates. The banquets offer keynote speakers and networking opportunities, introduce students to the features of each preceptor's facilities and connect them with students working in the field.

Student chapters of ACHCA enhance career development and job placement opportunities and put undergraduates in a position to communicate with established professionals.

Members of the UW-Eau Claire chapter will travel to Philadelphia, Pa., to receive the excellence award during the ACHCA national conference May 17.

For more information about the UW-Eau Claire student chapter of ACHCA, contact Dean Eide at 715-533-3926 or eidedb@uwec.edu.

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RD/DW

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