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HCAD Chair Report

It is definitely Spring in San Antonio. Shortly before the semester concluded, the On Campus class furiously completed their final projects. They presented their business plans to the combined Finance/Strategy class. The following week they made their TigerTank pitch at Geekdom in downtown San Antonio. The most important Spring event (at least in our students’ minds) was the Preceptors’ Conference. This year, we had a large number of organizations offering our students an incredible array of residency opportunities. Of course, the class was nervous but also very excited and thankful they are afforded such great opportunities to apply concepts they are learning in the classroom to real life settings. The faculty was eager to be a part of this and to see where the students land.

This was a very dynamic semester at Trinity. We continued our recent successes in case studies. This year, we decided once again to send a group of First Year students to the UAB Case Competition in February. This is a competition typically attended by Second Year students who are about to graduate from their programs.  Given our Second Year students are in their residencies in February, it has not been the ideal time for them to compete. Although our First Year students would be potentially at a disadvantage, we thought they would still learn a great deal in the process. As it turned out, they were not at a disadvantage. Of about 40 teams in the competition, our team advanced to the semi-finals (top 12) this year. Not too shabby for a team of students who are only in their second semester of study!

We also competed in the Cleveland Clinic’s Case Competition again this year. This competition is set up so that any team from an MHA/MBA program can register.  The Cleveland Clinic sends out the case via email on a Thursday afternoon, teams work on the case over the weekend and send their proposal on Monday morning. The judges then select the top 16 teams and invite them to Cleveland to present to their leadership. Out of more than 50 submissions, one of our teams was invited to Cleveland. Thanks to a generous contribution from an alumnus, the students were able to be fully funded to attend. Last year, we had three times invited but none of them advanced to the second round. Although only one team was invited this year, they made it not only to the semi-finals (top 8) but also to the finals (top 4) and ended up placing 2nd overall. We are extremely proud of this team. This was an experience they will never forget. They were able to present and defend their strategic recommendations to the top leaders of the Cleveland Clinic.

Our Executive students completed their semester strong. Our Second Year students are scheduled to visit San Antonio in May for their final session where they will compete in an internal case competition. Amer Kaissi and Ms. Sharon Hubenak have been working diligently to market the program and let people know what a great opportunity our Executive Program affords someone looking to advance in health care leadership. Did you know that more than 70% of our Executive students receive a promotion within two years of their graduation – most of them by the time they graduate? If you know of someone in your organization who has leadership potential and is looking for a graduate program, please send them our way.

Part of what makes teaching in this program so rewarding is the culture that we have been able to create. We are a very collaborative faculty who are student focused. Everything we do is focused on making our students the best leaders possible. This is unusual for an academic department where often the faculty operate in silos not unlike many physicians. What keeps us centered is our connection to you - our alumni. The faculty has the great privilege of seeing the direct impact of what we teach on campus by interacting with you through your careers. By observing the difference you make in your organizations and in the communities you serve, we are inspired to make sure we keep our focus on our students. So thank you for all that you do and please keep us updated as to what you are doing.

Edward J. Schumacher
HCAD Professor and Chair


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