A Healthy New Endeavor

Rollins is now offering three new degrees, with a fourth on the way, for students pursuing careers in the healthcare industry.

Holly Tanyhill ’14 ’17MHSA is proud to be making history at Rollins College. As one of 11 students enrolled in the master of health services administration program, she personifies a new era at the College.

“When I enrolled, I was so excited,” says Tanyhill, whose full-time job is coordinating the college’s senior-focused VOICE (Volunteers Organized in Community Engagement) outreach program. “After graduation, I want to continue helping large groups of people—like those in nursing homes or even small cities—transform how they approach health-related topics.”

Designed to promote healthcare issues and practices within the Central Florida community, Rollins Center for Health Innovation (CHI) focuses on the development of new undergraduate and graduate degrees, which are offered through the Department of Health Professions. It also sponsors free, innovative programs via workshops, lunch lectures, health fairs, and the highly popular Rollins Health Forum series, thanks in part to the generous support of the Winter Park Health Foundation and many others.

In 2015, the Center, which is housed in the Hamilton Holt School, developed three new programs that are currently being offered, with a fourth launching next year:

The undergraduate program started in January, and the master’s courses began in August.

“These new programs are part of the Holt School’s strategic plan to provide a strong liberal education complemented by health-oriented programming,” says Chet Evans, CHI’s executive director. “By providing students an undergraduate degree in healthcare management and offering multiple health-oriented graduate programs, we are giving adult students a compelling reason for pursuing their entire education at Rollins.”

Tanyhill’s class consists primarily of recent graduates and nontraditional students who have careers in the medical arena. There’s a hospice chaplain, a retired military serviceman with aspirations to work for veterans affairs, a physical therapist, a head nurse, and a hospital researcher. “And they’re all focused on helping others through healthcare,” Tanyhill says.

“A lot of our master’s students are physicians, nurses, and healthcare professionals who may be working in a hospital every day, then going to school on the weekend,” Evans adds. “We’re also serving everyone from C-suite executives to high-level administrators and people who run large group practices.”

Evans, a physician and board- certified podiatric surgeon whose background includes extensive work in medical education, also teaches an undergrad course titled The Healthcare System. Hired in May 2014, he spent several months developing programs, getting external accreditation, and attracting potential students—the latter of which wasn’t extremely difficult.

“I’ve never seen such receptivity toward health management courses,” Evans says, noting that 22 students are pursuing the undergraduate major. “The interest was just mind-boggling, and the ability to put it all together in the Center for Health Innovation was a great opportunity. The students, alumni, community partners, and our Winter Park neighbors were all really excited to see this. And it’s already proving to be a great resource for the entire region.”

By The Numbers

148,013 The number of people age 65 and older in Orange County by 2040—nearly twice the size of the current senior population

30,000 Number of medical professionals and administrators expected to be working in Lake Nona Medical City by 2030

200 Rollins students, faculty, staff, and area residents who attended CHI’s inaugural Health Forum Series event last fall

22 Students majoring in healthcare management

22 Students enrolled in the two new master’s-level health programs

3 Community partners offering internships required for the programs: Florida Hospital, Orlando Health, and Nemours

Health Forum Series

In September 2014, CHI launched a quarterly Health Forum Series that brings distinguished members of the healthcare community to campus for interactive speeches and panel presentations. All events are free and open to the public.

Speakers have included: Sheri Fink, a physician and Pulitzer Prize-winning author who investigated patient deaths at a New Orleans hospital ravaged by Hurricane Katrina; Adewale Troutman, immediate past president of the American Public Health Association; and scientist Bill Gallo ’84, an Ebola expert with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Panel discussions have touched on Diabetes and Obesity: America’s Epidemic, Living a Brain-Healthy Lifestyle, Heart Healthy Across the Ages, and Transforming Health Through Technology.

For more information, including upcoming events, visit rollins.edu/rchi or call 407-646-2130.