Thursday, September 30, 2010

Business Career Day set for Thursday, Oct.14

More than 100 businesses and organizations will be on the campus of Western Michigan University for Business Career Day, Thursday, October 14. The event runs from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the East Ballroom of the Bernhard Center and is open to all students, alumni and the public.

Hosted by Alpha Kappa Psi and the Career Center, Haworth College of Business, Business Career Day is designed for students to network with employer representatives and to discuss internship and professional career opportunities.

Many employers will arrive on Wednesday, October 13 for the Food Marketing and ISM Career Nights, to deliver informative presentations and network with students at the Fetzer Center. In addition, some employers will conduct on-campus interviews on Friday, October 15 as well as in the weeks following Career Day.

"We are thankful for the commitment employers make to WMU by recruiting our talented students,” says Linda Ickes, director of the Career Center, Haworth College of Business. “In addition to attending Career Day, we want to recognize the premier partners of the Career Center for sponsoring the event.” The 2010-11 premier partners are Coyote Logistics, Daymon Worldwide, Enterprise Rent-a-Car, Meijer, Target and Walmart.

Candidates are asked to dress professionally and bring copies of their resumes. Details including a list of participating employers, is available from WMU's Career Network website at
Students are invited to pick up a “Business Career Day Booklet” from the Career Center in Schneider Hall, home of the Haworth College of Business.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

New center integrates information technology with health care

A new Center for Health Information Technology Advancement (CHITA) has been created through collaboration between the Bronson School of Nursing (BSON) in the College of Health and Human Services and the Department of Business Information Systems at the Haworth College of Business.

From left, Dr. Bernie Han, director of the new Center for Health Information Technology Advancement, and Dr. Sharie Falan, associate director.

“The overall focus of the Center is to facilitate better health care,” says Dr. Bernie Han, director of CHITA. “We want to provide solutions to today’s health care information technology needs. Through joint course projects under a collaborative learning environment, both BSON and Computer Information Systems (CIS) students will gain a better understanding of health care and use of information technology to improve business practices. As a result, they can offer ways to more effectively and efficiently organize and deploy information technology for better health care.”

“Health care is one of the leading challenges that we face as a nation,” says Dr. Kay Palan, dean of the Haworth College of Business. “New and emerging technologies continue to advance the nursing profession resulting in higher quality health care.”

One of the Center’s first initiatives will be to provide WMU students with real world hands-on experiences. “This fall, selected CIS undergraduates are working with BSON graduate students to study health care business workflow at Bronson Methodist Hospital,” says Dr. Sharie Falan, associate director of CHITA. “The students will examine various business processes and after thorough analyses they will develop recommendations for improvements. This project will allow us to build partnerships with Bronson, and we anticipate that projects such as this will be sponsored in the near future.”

“Other projects may involve researching software packages or identifying vendor products to successfully meet hospital needs,” says Falan. “We want to improve processes to bring out better outcomes, while providing real learning experiences for our students.”

The Center, currently operated out of designated offices in the Haworth College of Business and the College of Health and Human Services, will address state and federal priorities aimed at using technology to reform health care delivery. Faculty members will pursue external resources to support research initiatives that will support area hospitals, health care companies and communities.

“The concept for establishing the Center came about during last year’s WMU-IT forum,” said Han. “It was during this forum when student teams presented IT solutions, called e-Firm Project, to meet the needs of selected businesses. Following these presentations, one of the health care participants suggested that we use e-Firm projects in the health care industries for our students.”

“The more we investigated the idea, the more we realized the opportunity and potential for wide collaboration,” says Han. “This is an important initiative and we soon realized that the need was great enough to promote the establishment of a center.” A proposal was presented to the provost in the fall 2009, and CHITA was approved by the WMU Board of Trustees in April, 2010.

Drs. Han and Falan are currently working with CHITA’s Advisory Board in strategic planning, exploring sources of funding and developing a website. This coming year’s WMU-IT Forum, scheduled for November 12, will represent the kick-off of CHITA. The forum theme is Health Care Quality and Transformation. Details are available at

CHITA’s long-range plans involve developing strong relationships with business entities, achieving financial sustainability within five years and designing an interdisciplinary curriculum that involves the use of health information technology in the management of health care.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Physicians weigh in at WMU conference on business of health care

KALAMAZOO--Physicians will be in the spotlight of an all-day conference on Saturday, Sept. 25, at Western Michigan University that will promote awareness of the importance of health care and overall well-being of Americans while exploring health care's business side.

The Sustaining the Business of Health in America conference, begins at 8:30 a.m. in Schneider Hall's Brown Auditorium and will include remarks by WMU President John M. Dunn. The conference is being offered free of charge and will let doctors and other providers have the floor in discussions about why health care is so expensive in the United States, why its cost is rising so fast and what new legislation passed by Congress will do, legislation that was crafted not by doctors, but by lawyers.

"For the first time, I'm trying to bring to this conference physicians as speakers, to hear the physicians' opinions," says Dr. Andrew Targowski, WMU professor of business information systems, director of the Center for Sustainable Business Practices and conference co-chair. "The public may not know that those bills are designed mostly by lawyers, and physicians are rarely consulted about health care."
Physicians will join others in a rare presentation mix that also includes business leaders, educators and information technology professionals.

Keynote speakers include Dr. Tom George, state senator for the 20th District and a former gubernatorial candidate, who will speak on "Examining the Health Care Reform Bill, 2010," and local family practice physician Dr. Gary Ruoff, who will address "What Is Happening to Caring Physicians?" Dunn will speak on "The Medical School and Revival of Kalamazoo," while Targowski's talk is titled "Well Being, Wisdom and Health Care." Local heart surgeon Dr. Michael Khaghany will be among those serving on a panel of experts.

"Without the input from primary care physicians, any health care program cannot be successful," says Ruoff, a conference co-chair.

Health care is a huge business, Targowski says. At $2.4 trillion each year--three times the budget for the U.S. Department of Defense--it is the largest business in America. But monumental problems with the system remain.

Health care's high cost is exacerbated by large and disproportionate administrative costs, the soaring price of malpractice insurance and unnecessary procedures triggered by the threat of often-groundless lawsuits, Targowski says. Also contributing to the problem are expensive, end-of-life procedures that don't so much save lives as extend the process of dying.

Still another problem involves the inadequate compensation paid by insurers, particularly for primary care physicians, which has resulted in a persistent dwindling of the pool of family doctors, Targowski adds. That trend is sure to become a much larger problem in the years ahead.

"The family physician is disappearing right now," Targowski says. "Only 2 to 3 percent of medical students sign up for family practice specialization because their services are very poorly paid by any kind of insurance company."

The conference also will feature exhibits of medications, products and systems as well as a Best Papers Competition open to business professionals, faculty and students. The event is sponsored by WMU's Haworth College of Business Center for Sustainable Business Practices and the WMU Center of Health IT Advancement.
More information is available online at

Monday, September 6, 2010

Major Info Night and Business Bash events scheduled for Sept. 21 - 22

The Haworth College of Business invites new and returning students to attend Major Info Night and Business Bash.

Major Info Night will be held on Tuesday, Sept. 21, from 5 to 7 p.m. A brief presentation from each academic department will acquaint students with all five departments and 15 business majors and will be held in Schneider Hall, room 1120. Immediately following the presentations, students, faculty and staff are invited for pizza and refreshments in the Schneider Hall lobby.

Business Bash will be held on Wednesday, Sept. 22 in the Schneider Hall Courtyard from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Students may drop by anytime to meet representatives from business student organizations affiliated with the Haworth College of Business, study abroad and the Career Center, Haworth College of Business. Representatives from event sponsors – Charter One Bank and the Society of Financial Service Professionals will also attend.

According to Student Leadership Advisory Board co-advisors Jan Gabel-Goes and Linda Ickes, “This is an excellent opportunity for new students to become acquainted with business majors and meet faculty and student organization leaders. The goal is to help inform and involve students in a fun venue. Being informed is key for success in making decisions whether it be in choosing a major, signing up for a study abroad trip and/or participating in career center programs.”

Questions about Major Info Night or Business Bash may be directed to the Career Center, Haworth College of Business, (269) 387-2711, or by visiting Schneider Hall, room 3020.