Austin Althoff ’14 – Four days, seven alumni speakers, and eight presentations later the inaugural Healthcare Immersion Program has come to an end. I believe this program was a great experience that examined the many different aspects of the ever-changing healthcare industry. It was very interesting to hear the different aspects of the healthcare industry from people who practice medicine, work in management, and work on the business development side of the industry. These discussions provided important information on how the future of the healthcare industry and the Affordable Care Act will affect patient, physician, and those involved on the business aspect of the industry.
On the first day of the program we heard presentations from Barney Niezer ’78 and Dr. Frank Kolisek ’82. This was very interesting as Mr. Niezer has been involved in hospital management and development in Fort Wayne, while Dr. Kolisek is an orthopedic surgeon for Ortho Indy. Mr. Niezer gave an in depth analysis of how hospital development has affected the Fort Wayne healthcare system, and how this will affect the future of the healthcare industry for Fort Wayne. Dr Kolisek gave a very good perspective of how the changes in healthcare from the early 1990s and the Affordable Care Act are affecting physicians and private practice. This was very interesting information that showed how the way physicians provide healthcare has been changing and will experience even more changes in the immediate future.
For day two we were able to tour St. Vincent Hospital and the Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital with Dr. Bernie Emkes ’70. This was an awesome experience as we got to see the aspects of how a big hospital organization operates. We even got to meet another Wally, Dr. Little ’92 who is one of the two main doctors in the E.R. of the Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital. After our visit to St. Vincent, we visited Scott Benedict ’98 at Tx:Team. Here we got to learn about how companies are providing on-site healthcare to its employees. Additionally, this showed how companies are working to provide healthcare to its employees.
For our final day in Indianapolis we were able to hear from Dr. John Miller ’76, Mike Haugh ’86, Jim Miller ’80. Like the previous days we were able to hear about the healthcare industry from a physician’s viewpoint and the viewpoint of those on the business side. This entire program provided different information and viewpoints of the healthcare industry as whole. It was very useful information that has made me a much more informed individual about the current state and future of healthcare in the U.S.
Our trip came to end on Thursday with presentations to the Wabash Community over what we had learned from our three days of immersion learning. I believe my peers and myself helped to provide important insights on what we had learned about the ever-changing healthcare industry. I would like to thank Dr. Frank Howland and Ms. Betsy Knott for organizing this program. Additionally, I would like to thank all of our alumni speakers for contributing to the program and the Lilly Endowment Fund for making this trip possible.