Convenience is a big part of educational success for adult learners. At The Valley Hospital in Ridgewood, N.J., students only have to go downstairs after work one day a week to attend classes toward their Master of Science in Health Care Management from College of Saint Elizabeth.
“You couldn’t make it much easier,” said Maureen DiTore, a 25-year employee at Valley responsible for telecommunications. “We order our books online, have class on site and our team members are right here.” DiTore, along with 16 other members of her educational group, or cohort, are on target to complete their degree requirements in December 2011 and walk at Commencement in May 2012. “Going to school with people you work with is the best part of the experience,” she added. “Learning in this cohort model affords us the opportunity to develop incredible networking and support, both in our academic experience as well as in our professional lives at Valley.” The experience brings employees together from various departments in the hospital – administration, finance, laboratory, telecommunications, etc.
For Brad Haspel, associate vice president for ancillary services at Valley, the experience is culminating with the Capstone Seminar, or final project. His group, which includes DiTore, is presenting, “Navigating Health Care Services at The Valley Hospital,” an initiative to improve patient and physician access to information and services. “It’s all about doing what’s right for the patient,” he said. “That makes it simple.” He added that Valley prides itself in customer service from the moment you pull up to the front doors to when you leave. “We want you to come back, and most of our patients do,” said Haspel, who is in charge of radiology, laboratory and endoscopy services at Valley.
Haspel, with 30 years experience in health care, likes the philosophy of Servant Leadership which is embedded in CSE classes. “It really aligns with the philosophy of The Valley Hospital…putting the patient first, making the patient experience so important.”