Alumni and Friends
As the rate of change in the healthcare services marketplace continues to accelerate, the field of healthcare administration is slowly catching up with patient and provider demands for value, quality, and information. Healthcare Administration education has been evolving as well. It is no longer the case that all graduates will become hospital CEOs. I want to thank Eric Young, Alumni Advisory Council (AAC) Past President for his service. Also, I would like to thank the current AAC members and officers for their continued service. I want to acknowledge the leadership of the rest of the AAC presidents for their hard work and accomplishments. Lastly, I want to thank Dr. Carolyn (Cindy) Watts, Chairman, and Beth Ayers, Director of Alumni Relations, and Megan McDermott, Executive Assistant, for their help and support.
The VCU Health Administration Department now aptly prepares graduates to serve and assume responsibilities in a full range of roles. It offers a spectrum of degrees (MHA, MHA/MD, MHA/JD, MHA/MSIS, MSHA, and PhD), and continues to distinguish itself with about 2,531 alumni throughout the country and the world. And, as you know, its national ranking increased from 5th to 3rd last year.
As alumni, we each share with the VCU Health Administration faculty and leadership this rich background and accomplishment. To enhance the strength of our program and success of our graduates, we should work together to increase our efforts to help Alumni connect with each other and engage with the Department directly through the AAC. The potential benefits for all of us are tremendous.
As I assume the privilege and responsibility of President of the AAC, I view this year as the Year of Engagement. Looking at the responsibilities with a strategic frame of reference, I look forward to vitalizing the AAC’s efforts to identify where alumni are practicing, initiate and build stronger communications channels and links among the alumni and with the Department, and solidify an AAC framework that will serve our collective interests for years to come. My vision and goals for this year require everyone’s involvement as the AAC focuses on the following:
- Strength. Strengthen the AAC as a resource for the alumni and the Department to accomplish their respective goals and benefits, guided by our Constitution and Bylaws
- Infrastructure. Establish an AAC infrastructure and succession plan that is responsive, nimble and self-regenerating for years to come, regardless of the individuals serving.
- Database. Refresh and validate the alumni database and keep it up to date so that electronic communication is delivered with confidence.
- Communication. Establish fluid and ongoing channels of communications among the alumni, and between the alumni and the Department.
- Expectations. Improve the input from the alumni to the AAC, including conducting electronic surveys to better set, understand, and clarify expectations, preferences, priorities, thoughts and interests.
- Engagement. Focus on improving the current levels and nature of alumni engagement as defined by the alumni input and the Department's needs and initiatives.
- Participation. Encourage and solicit the participation of alumni in the AAC and its subcommittees.
- Recognition. Continue to promote the recognition of alumni and Department accomplishments.
- Excellence. Continue to promote excellence in teaching and connections with the current students, preceptors, and practicing alumni.
- Preceptorship. Continue to cultivate opportunities for residency and fellowship sites for the students.
- ACHE. Enhance and encourage the connections with the American College of Healthcare Executives.
- VCU Alumni. Increase coordination and collaboration with the VCU Alumni Association and VCU Development Office.
- Enjoy. Have a fun year of engagement and rewards.
I kindly encourage each one of you to log on to the alumni link and make sure that your contact information is up to date, including your preferred phone and e-mail addresses. This would help tremendously in expediting the communications in a timely and cost effective manner.
Working very closely with the Department's leadership, faculty and students, I trust that the AAC will be successful in accomplishing these goals. If we can have your participation, we will.
Let us work together to make this year a Year of Engagement.
Bassam A. Kawwass, FACHE, MHA ‘80
President, Alumni Advisory Council