Jake Myers came into the Master’s in Health Care Administration program at UAFS with no medical experience, but a passion for making a difference through leadership. After earning his MHCA, Myers has found a job and a calling right in his hometown.
A class of 2019 graduate, Myers currently serves as a fulltime Supervisor of the Centralized Scanning and Call Center teams at Mercy hospital. After struggling to find meaningful employment following a move to Florida in 2016, Myers took a leap of faith, returning to Arkansas to pursue graduate school.
Throughout the brief two-year program, Myers interned under the Executive Director of Cardiology at Mercy in Fort Smith. The reputation of the health sciences programs at UAFS, paired with the excellent instruction and one-on-one interaction with senior-level administrators at the university, enabled him to cultivate respect and meaningful relationships while interning, he said. "It was incredibly influential to know the dean and the executive director of the MHCA program were so close and available to talk any time I had a concern," said Myers. "That interaction helped me to know I had the ability to hold a conversation with anyone in the C-suite and gave me so much confidence."
"During my internship, I was able to attend meetings and speak, whenever I felt compelled, with doctors and executives. It was incredibly humbling to receive praise for ideas I had, or presentations I made by upper-level management," Myers added.
"Jake has been valuable to Mercy from the first day he stepped in the door as an intern," said Dr. Martha Pendleton, Executive Director of Cardiovascular Services at Mercy. "He has a solid knowledge of healthcare operations and has always been willing to participate and provide feedback. We are thrilled to have Jake as a full-time member of the Mercy Fort Smith team and know that he will positively impact how we deliver care in the years to come."
Thanks to his internship and training, Myers accepted his full-time position with Mercy before even graduating from the MHCA program. "I work with some of the best folks and have the best team who are ready to do whatever is necessary to get their work completed," said Myers.
"Jake has been a great addition to the central services team and has caught on very quickly. The knowledge from the MHCA program has already helped us develop as a team. He has a bright future with Mercy," added Michael Nolewajka, Myers' supervisor and Executive Director of Logistics for Mercy Fort Smith.
Though healthcare wasn't his childhood dream before entering the Master's program, Myers said he feels like it's exactly where he was meant to be. "I am set on a rewarding path with a great future ahead of me." Not only did he find his place through the program, Myers said, but he did so without the sometimes-staggering debt a Master's candidate can incur. "I have a Master's Degree, and I am not burdened by a large amount of student debt," he said. "My class schedule worked around my job, and I had the flexibility I needed."
To learn more about the Master's in Health Care Administration program, visit: https://health.uafs.edu/programs/master-of-science-in-health-administration