Isaiah Johnson ’22, Rugby, N.D.
Major: Healthcare Leadership with a Healthcare Financial Management concentration
Why did you choose Concordia?
I chose to attend Concordia because I liked the Offutt School of Business and the small class sizes with a low professor to student ratio. Also, my great grandma, grandma, mom, and dad all came here too.
What activities have you been involved in at Concordia?
I have been a part of the Cobber baseball team for two years and was on the leadership team for CobberThon.
How did you decide on your major?
I came into Concordia as a finance major and, after my first finance class, I decided that it wasn’t what I wanted to do. I knew Dr. Dan Anderson was a professor for healthcare leadership, so I decided to change it after having a good talk with him.
What drew you to the healthcare leadership program?
I think the main thing that drew me to the healthcare leadership program was the prestige. Concordia is known throughout Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Montana as having one of the top undergrad healthcare leadership programs. Another thing that drew me to it was the ability to help people that need it, even though I won’t be a primary caregiver like a doctor or nurse.
What are the strengths of Concordia’s healthcare program?
I think one of the main strengths of the program is the hands-on work that you get to do. Both Dr. Anderson and Dr. Shelly Gompf understand the importance of projects, presentations, and other in-class work as a way that helps students understand the complexities of the healthcare industry. Another strength of the program is the requirement of two internships that we need to graduate. The ability of students to get that in-person, real-world experience at such a young age is priceless in the long run. The emphasis on volunteering is another strength the program has. Every semester, students that are in healthcare classes are required to volunteer for 10 hours at various healthcare organizations around the Fargo-Moorhead area.
What has been your favorite course so far and why?
My favorite course that I have taken so far is Healthcare Administration. The main assignment that we had in that class was a semester-long project where my partner and I were given a fictional healthcare organization with real-world problems and our task was to figure out how to take care of the issues and how everything in that organization would be affected. We had to do a SWOT analysis, conduct financial projections, and address the issues that were at hand. I really enjoyed that class because it was the first time I was able to apply the knowledge that I had been getting to a “real-world” organization. That was fun.
Have you had a PEAK (Pivotal Experience in Applied Knowledge) opportunity and, if so, what did you learn during that experience?
Yes, my internship counted as my PEAK. The main thing that I learned during that PEAK was how interconnected so many different organizations are. There are a lot of organizations that partner together to bring a more well-rounded form of healthcare to the consumer.
Please tell us about your internship.
I interned at Revo Health, a management service organization. Revo partners with independent physician practices and ambulatory surgery centers in the Twin Cities metro and other places across the country. When partnering with these organizations, Reno provides administrative work such as finance, payer contracts, quality, and marketing.
Did you have many interactions with Concordia alumnus Troy Simonson ’95, CEO of Revo Health?
Yes, every week we would have a one-on-one meeting where I was able to ask questions and discuss things that I had seen the previous week. I also was able to accompany Troy to a lot of important meetings that he would have throughout the week. We had a great relationship by the end of the summer and I knew that I could ask him anything that I wanted to.
What has been your role at Revo Health as you’ve transitioned into the academic year?
My role at Revo Health was to do market research on places that they could potentially partner with. For my main project of the summer, I was given a list of about 150 orthopedic practices and I was tasked with researching where they were located. Once I determined that, I then did some market research that included per capita income, commercial insurance coverage, average age of the population, and population growth.
I also helped create and determine a new employee engagement survey tool. I created a survey to send to the managers on what information they are looking for from the employees. I then put together a list of the top potential survey vendors based on the information that the managers wanted.
In what ways did Concordia prepare you for your internship?
Concordia prepared me for the internship by showing me how the business world works through classes and preparing me for having those conversations with co-workers and bosses. Another way that Concordia helped me to prepare was that I learned how to think critically about issues that I was presented with at the workplace and how to properly work through those issues to create the best possible solution to the problem.
What are your career goals?
The top career goal that I have is to become the CEO of a large independent physician practice facility. The reason for wanting independent physician practice is because as an administrator, you have more freedom to run the business as you see fit rather than having to answer to large governing bodies. They still have a board of directors, but those directors have a direct stake in the business because most of the time they are the doctors that have invested and work inside the organization. The other thing that I would really like to do is work for a nonprofit such as Family Healthcare because I really like how the organization helps underprivileged people in the community get the healthcare that they need.
How do you balance academics, co-curriculars, and your work with Revo Health?
The strategy that I use to get everything done is to use a ranking system. I determine what needs to get done, then the less urgent, and finally the not so urgent.
What do you enjoy the most about Concordia?
The thing that I enjoy most is the comradery that everyone has on campus. Especially in classes, you tend to know mostly everyone. I think that is what makes Concordia stand out from other schools in the area.
How has Concordia helped you grow?
Concordia has helped me look at the world differently. It has helped me to develop and strengthen that critical thinking ability and to bring that to every situation. I have also developed more confidence to apply myself to the things that I have learned in the healthcare administration program.
What advice would you give to a student considering Concordia?
I think that the biggest thing that I would tell a freshman would be to relax and enjoy the college experience. For any freshman that is currently undecided, I would tell them to not worry too much about that decision and that changing their major is very normal (healthcare leadership is a great major!).
Published January 2022