Health Informatics Program Joins Collaboration to Reach Veterans | School of Information | Kent State University

Health Informatics Program Joins Collaboration to Reach Veterans

The School of Library and Information Science (SLIS) at Kent State University has entered a collaboration with the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) to support their initiative in helping veterans connect to education and career opportunities in health care informatics and information management.

HIMSS has established a Veterans Career Services Initiative to assist veterans in finding lasting careers, particularly in the Health Information Technology (IT) field. The organization is collaborating with colleges and universities that offer Health IT programs that could help to aid transitioning veterans.

Kent State supports veterans in a variety of ways, and has been listed as one of the top Military Friendly Schools on the G.I. Jobs list. The School of Library and Information Science continues that support through its Master of Science degree with a concentration in Health Informatics (HI).

“Kent State University has an excellent tradition of supporting veterans as we traverse the educational landscape,” veteran and Kent State HI alumnus Jason Shawbell, M.S. '13, said. “As a veteran, I feel I need to constantly challenge myself to expand both personally and professionally. The HI program at Kent State University did just that.”

Shawbell served in the Ohio Army National Guard from January 2000 to December 2006 as a Sergeant in the Police Corps, as well as the United States Army Reserve from December 2006 to July 2010, as a First Lieutenant in the Nurse Corps.

HIMSS and Kent State SLIS both advance the fact that the Health IT field needs new, specialized workers with strong backgrounds in leadership and technology, as found especially in our veterans.

“As military service members, many veterans gain a solid foundation in various computer systems and technology,” Shawbell said. “That is why veterans are strong problem solvers and work well in team environments, making them excellent candidates for this challenging, and equally rewarding, career path.”

Shawbell explained that the health care field is in the midst of a major transformation and in need of self-motivated and dependable workers. He said with the support of HIMSS, veterans have a place to network and share knowledge and ideas.

“Veterans will benefit through participation with HIMSS, gaining valuable insight into this fast growing sector of the health care industry, including opportunities for career placement,” said Shawbell.

In addition to the Master of Science from Kent State SLIS, Shawbell holds a BSN in Nursing from The University of Akron. He is currently systems administrator in Nursing Informatics at Akron General Medical Center, and was named the 2014 Information Architecture and Knowledge Management Alumnus of the Year by Kent State SLIS.

The new complementary relationship between HIMSS and SLIS will help to better connect veterans with the education and career opportunities for which they are well suited.