Alumni Spotlight: Amy Weinland
M.S. Health Informatics '13
LIMS Data Management Lead, Nationwide Children's Hospital
Amy is the Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS) Data Management Team Lead at the Steve and Cindy Rasmussen Institute for Genomic Medicine at Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, OH. Her team develops and supports a LIMS application which captures, organizes, and tracks data generated by the Institute’s genetic and genomic testing and informatics teams.
Her day-to-day tasks involve managing the activities of the hospital’s developers, business analysts, and systems analysts. She is responsible for keeping projects on track while assisting her fellow staff and application users. “On any day, I might be leading team meetings, giving presentations, working on system and solution design, troubleshooting and debugging, writing technical documentation, or all sorts of other random things to keep the application we support running smoothly,” Amy says.
"Reflecting on readings and assignments within the context of the real-world projects I was working on in my professional life made the content much less abstract."
Amy appreciated the domain-specific knowledge she gained from courses directly related to her career interests, such as those focusing on clinical analytics and implementation best practices. However, she also benefited from taking courses outside of the health informatics specialization, such as User Experience Design and Knowledge Management. “The UX course, which taught me how to gather effective and unbiased feedback, and the Knowledge Management course, which taught me how to organize the million files on my team's SharePoint site, have helped me stand out professionally in fun and unique ways,” Amy says.
ON-THE-JOB TRAINING & SKILLS
Amy pursued her degree while working full-time for a LIMS vendor as an Implementation Specialist, which helped her establish a successful career. “Reflecting on readings and assignments within the context of the real-world projects I was working on in my professional life made the content much less abstract,” she says. “It allowed me to use the tools I was learning about through my coursework to improve my performance and bring many fresh ideas to my team.”
While looking for new hires, Amy is more interested in an applicant’s soft skills than their technical skills. She seeks candidates who demonstrate communication and collaboration skills, as well as open-mindedness and flexibility. “I'm also always listening for a little bit of tenacity or fearlessness—someone I can trust will not shy away from a challenge and who isn't afraid to hunt down knowledge,” Amy says.
As a graduate student, Amy was invited to join the Golden Key International Honor Society. She also received the Thomas J. Froehlich Award for academic excellence and promise for leadership in information architecture and knowledge management.
While she was a graduate student, Amy joined the Northern Ohio Chapter of Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS). “HIMSS is an excellent organization to get involved with as a health informatics student,” she says. “They offer programming and learning opportunities on the latest challenges and opportunities in the space and a great networking pool for students.” She also notes that iSchool students not located in the northern Ohio area can join other regional HIMSS chapters across the country. As an active student member, Amy volunteered at various events. Shortly after graduating, Amy applied for and received an opportunity to join the Board of Directors as an at-large member and the communications chair.
ADVICE FOR CURRENT STUDENTS
Amy’s advice to current iSchool students is to recognize that imposter symptom is real and that you are certainly not alone if it begins affecting you. During her program, Amy periodically allowed negative thoughts to convince her that she didn't have any valuable contributions to make, or that her lack of prior healthcare experience set her behind her classmates. “Listening to these thoughts and recognizing them as a shared experience, rather than holding you back, can help you build the confidence to share your unique skills and passion, say "yes" to new opportunities, and learn and grow from the experience of others in your program,” Amy says.
Amy encourages current and prospective iSchool students to reach out to her via LinkedIn if they have any questions or need advice.
Learn about other successful iSchool graduates in our Alumni Spotlights.
POSTED: WEDNESDAY, JULY 28, 2021 - 1:49PM | WRITTEN BY: JULIA STONE