Faculty Member Named One of the Top Five Women in Health Informatics

A Story of HIT at Kent State University

One of the top five women in Health Informatics is Kent State University’s very own Christine A. Hudak, Ph.D., RN-BC, CPHIMS, FHIMSS, Program Coordinator and Professor of Health Informatics.

Dr. Hudak is well-connected to the organization she received the award from, HIMSS (Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society). HIMSS is a global advisor and thought leader supporting the transformation of health through the application of information and technology.

“The award was never on my radar, so when I was approached out the blue, that was pretty awesome just to be nominated,” says Dr. Hudak. “To be picked was even more awesome. It is a pretty big deal because they only recognize three to five women each year.”

Dr. Hudak was the only educator among the other winners of the award. 

She expressed her passion for educating, saying, “I know every professor says this, but I have the best students in the world.”

Dr. Hudak describes health informatics as the use of computer systems in hospitals, specifically the collecting, storing, managing and using of patient information. 

Health Informatics is a nation-wide need, especially in places like Northeast Ohio that are home to world-renowned healthcare providers like the Cleveland Clinic and University Hospitals System.

“Health Informatics is a growing opportunity across the country,” says Dr. Hudak. “Where there is a large concentration of medical facilities and providers, the need is greater since there is more information in those facilities that needs to be managed.”

Students of many different undergraduate majors can pursue Health Informatics as a master’s degree, even if they don’t have a background in healthcare. Dr. Hudak believes any major could fit into this program; some good fits include nursing, biology, business, computer science, digital sciences, public health, education and math. 

The field is growing, and the demand for professionals in Health Informatics is high, which means graduates have a lot of jobs to choose from. Dr. Hudak estimates a shortage of 15,000 to 25,000.

“The job growth will be exponential as we have more and more people go online with electronic health records,” says Hudak. “This is a growing field because of the explosion of healthcare-related information collected by healthcare organizations of all types.”

There are a few ways to get more information about the health informatics field and program at Kent State. The program, housed within the School of Information (iSchool), has monthly seminars on topics in health informatics from 12-1 p.m. on the third Wednesday of every month.

 “We would love to have undergraduates come talk to us. This is a natural progression for so many majors here at Kent,” says Dr. Hudak.

“Everything I do, I try and do so that we can get this program more available to people,” says Dr. Hudak. “We are the only program of our kind in Northeast Ohio.”

For more information on the Health Informatics Master’s Program go to https://www.kent.edu/iSchool/health-informatics-admissions

For more information about HIMSS go to https://www.himss.org

UPDATED: Saturday, March 02, 2024 05:17 PM
Audra Gormley