Jennifer Bendfeldt, MHA '11, Serves on HCMA Board

10/28/2010

Co-liaison to ACHE/HCMA plays leadership role

Jenni Bendfeldt is serving as Suffolk Healthcare Programs' Student Co-Liaison to the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE) and its Massachusetts chapter, the Healthcare Management Association of Massachusetts (HCMA), two of the most valuable organizations that healthcare students can participate in. She also sits on HCMA’s board of directors.

Jennifer Bendfeldt

Jenni Bendfeldt, MHA '11

Both ACHE and HCMA offer networking opportunities, educational resources, and career development services. Jaclene Coit is the other Suffolk Student Co-Liaison.

Rick Gregg, Suffolk's Operating Director of Healthcare Programs, who appointed both liaisons, says, "Jaclene sets the bar high, and Jenni is fully equal to the challenge. She brings tremendous enthusiasm and imagination to this role. I’m delighted she’s willing to serve.”

In March 2010 Jenni attended the 2010 ACHE Congress on Healthcare Leadership in Chicago with Rick, Jaclene, and Suffolk MHA student Jeff Blackwell. She terms the Congress “a fantastic experience” that helped her gain confidence in her career path. In the summer of 2010 she attended a HCMA board retreat. “It was a great opportunity to meet fellow board members,” she recalls. She also attended HCMA’s Fall Conference on October 25 (an event that was sold out).

Through ACHE/HCMA Jenni met Andrea Paciello, FACHE, ACHE Regent for Massachusetts, and Senior Administrative Director in the Department of Radiation Oncology at Massachusetts General Hospital. Andrea volunteers at Kids in the Kitchen. Jenni – who holds a BS in Nutritional Science and Dietetics from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln – proceeded to develop a training program for Kids in the Kitchen, to teach volunteers how to teach children about nutritious snacks, food safety, and related subjects.

Jenni Bendfeldt, Jeff Blackwell, Andrea Paciello, Jaclene Coit

Jenni Bendfeldt with MHA student Jeff Blackwell, Andrea Paciello, ACHE Regent for MA, and MHA student Jaclene Coit

Jenni will graduate with her MHA degree from Suffolk in May 2011. Her summer 2010 internship at Tufts Medical Center has turned into a part-time paid position: Program Coordinator in Ambulatory Operations. Among her duties: training trainers on how to further improve staff communication with patients. She also works part time as administrative manager for Suffolk University’s Center for Women’s Health and Human Rights and part time as a nutrition consultant for Metro Catering, where she’s helped manage an employee wellness program and run health fairs.

As Jenni observes, “In Boston, there so many opportunities, so many doors waiting to be opened. You have to take advantage of them. You never know . . .” She hopes more students will benefit from what ACHE and HCMA offer. As co-liaison her focus is on providing the student viewpoint to those organizations and recruiting new student members. At a recent ACHE/HCMA information session, she and Jaclene presented a talk and slideshow (.ppt), and several students joined. More recruitment efforts are ahead. Jenni would also like to organize events at which students can meet healthcare leaders and obtain career guidance.

Jenni welcomes inquiries about ACHE and HCMA. She can be contacted at Jbendfeldt@suffolk.edu.

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