Pilot program partners Madonna with health services business

June 01, 2016

LIVONIA, Mich. – A new partnership between Madonna University and a local health care business will give students hands-on, real-world experience.

As part of their senior year degree requirements, six students in Madonna’s new health sciences major will be doing internships with MedNetOne Health Solutions (http://www3.mednetone.net/), which offers infrastructure, technology and clinical services to health care providers, as part of their requirements for their senior year.

MedNetOne works with providers to transition to fully-integrated, population-based, patient-centered practices that meet health reform mandates. Its CEO, Ewa M. Matuszewski, was an early supporter of Madonna’s health sciences major.

“As interns, Madonna students will work with mentors to provide holistic approaches to health care across populations,” said Mary Mitsch, PhD, RN Professor of Nursing and Director of the Health Sciences Program. She explained that their duties would include: learning how to manage quality improvement programs and use decision-making strategies while collaborating with patients and staff to improve outcomes. “We want to make sure our students are prepared for employment,” she said.

Given the recent growth in the health care industry, Mitsch said it is really gratifying to see Madonna students get internship placements right off the bat. “Plus, it will provide MedNetOne a link to academic partners and potential future employees, and keeps everyone up-to-date on the latest research. Their expertise and our expertise are a win-win situation,” Mitsch said.

Denise Brothers, assistant professor of Aging Studies, said demand for interns is higher than what Madonna can currently provide. “It speaks to the quality of the program and the importance of the major,” Brothers said.

Madonna University began offering its Health Sciences major last academic year as a result of aging baby boomers and evolution of the health care industry. Students can pursue a degree in one of two tracks: population health care management or health care informatics and quality systems management. Both tracks are delivered through Madonna’s College of Nursing and Health, with the informatics track offered in partnership with the School of Business.

Students studying population health care management will likely help patients manage their care, coordinate care transitions, promote good health habits, and educate patients in self-care. In the health care informatics and quality systems management track, students will learn to analyze data to improve quality and safety in health care, including reporting errors and looking for trends that could identify patients who need extra care or follow-up. Each track requires two, semester-long internships, during which students work with health care professionals.