Claire Holland ’21, Moorhead
Major: Business with concentrations in Healthcare Financial Management and Healthcare Leadership
Please tell us about yourself.
I am originally from Moorhead and attended Concordia from 2018 until 2021. I majored in business with concentrations in healthcare financial management and healthcare leadership. I have a particular passion for disparities within healthcare equity – from rural populations to minority individuals. In my free time, I enjoy going to the lake with friends and family, trying new restaurants, and reading.
Why did you choose Concordia?
I transferred to Concordia after one semester at North Dakota State University my freshman year. I chose Concordia for its small class sizes, well-rounded academic curriculum, and notoriety in the community. I am proud that all of the reasons I decided to transfer to Concordia proved to be eminent in my experiences as a Cobber and beyond.
What drew you to the healthcare leadership program?
I was drawn to the healthcare leadership program for the mentors within the program, specifically Dr. Anderson and Dr. Gompf. I was also drawn to the well-thought-out curriculum, the outcomes of the program, and how it has proven to be successful.
What are the strengths of Concordia’s program?
The strengths of Concordia’s program definitely revolve around the people. From the fantastic professors, Dr. Gompf and Dr. Anderson, to the alumni that return as guest speakers in the classes, a unique passion for healthcare is embedded throughout. Volunteering and required internships are also a strength of the program, as students gain real-world experience before graduation.
What surprised you about the program?
As I began my internship at Family HealthCare, I was surprised by how influential Concordia’s course content was in preparing me for experiences and situations I encountered in the workplace. Classes such as public health, healthcare administration, and healthcare finance have proven to be extremely beneficial so far. In addition, the faculty of the healthcare leadership program do an outstanding job of keeping courses up to date with current industry trends and content.
What cocurricular activities were you involved in at Concordia?
At Concordia, I served as the president of the Student Healthcare Management Association; external director for CobberTHON, a student-run philanthropic organization benefiting Sanford Children’s Hospital in Fargo; member of the Offutt Student Leadership Organization; and mentee in the Rachel Hollstadt Women in Leadership Program; among other leadership and volunteer experiences.
Tell us about the kinds of experiences you are gaining in your internship.
In my internship, I have been able to participate in administrative and senior leadership meetings, connect with individuals across numerous departments, work on meaningful projects, and learn from an outstanding team. Projects I have been working on include federal grant funding, supply chain, and financial budgeting.
Describe Family HealthCare and the role it plays in the community.
Family HealthCare is a Federally Qualified Health Center that provides medical, dental, behavioral, and vision services to all patients regardless of their ability to pay. Family HealthCare is a safety net in the Fargo-Moorhead community for individuals who may not otherwise receive care, such as uninsured and minority populations. Family HealthCare also provides homeless health services for those struggling with housing security. Without Family HealthCare, members of the Fargo-Moorhead community would be left behind in their ability to receive affordable, quality healthcare services, leading to increased health inequity and disparities.
Who were your mentors while at Concordia?
Dr. Shelly Gompf was an extraordinary mentor during my time at Concordia and has remained an influential part of my life post-graduation. Dr. Gompf supported me from my first day at Concordia and pushed me to achieve goals I didn’t think were possible the next four years. She has a unique ability to connect with students and identify their strengths to help them succeed. I can confidently say I would not be where I am today without Dr. Gompf’s guidance and outstanding leadership.
What are your short- and long-term career goals?
My short-term career goal is to complete graduate school. I will be attending the University of Minnesota School of Public Health starting in fall 2021 to obtain my master’s degree in healthcare administration. As the second-ranked healthcare administration program in the nation, I am looking forward to gaining industry knowledge from notable faculty and alumni. Long term, I hope to serve in an administrative or leadership role within a healthcare organization. I am particularly interested in organizations such as health centers and rural hospitals that serve vulnerable populations.
Tell us about receiving the Ted Heimarck Award.
I was honored to receive the Ted Heimarck Award, as he is the founder of the healthcare leadership program at Concordia. I am grateful for the educational and leadership opportunities Concordia provided me to be the recipient of this award.
How do you see this award helping you in your career path?
I see the Ted Heimarck Award helping me in my career path by giving me the validity and confidence to pursue my career goals. Receiving this award set me on a path to accomplish my dreams and desires for impacting the U.S. healthcare system.
What has been the best part of your Concordia experience?
The best part of my Concordia experience would be the people I met. Relationships with professors, classmates, and other mentors have been monumental in setting me up for success beyond the classroom. Everyone I met at Concordia had something valuable to offer and I learned a great deal of information simply by listening to others.
What advice would you give a prospective student?
If I were to advise prospective students, I would tell them to be present. Concordia offers countless academic, extracurricular, and scholarship opportunities. By taking full advantage of each of these experiences, one will succeed not only at Concordia but beyond. Your time at Concordia will be short and it is vital to make the most of every moment you are given.
Hear Claire talk about her future in this episode of Cobbersations: