Health Systems Administration Program Celebrates 20 Years

William Walence Family.jpgHSAGuests

Alumni from the health systems administration program gathered together on May 7, 2016 on RIT’s campus to celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the program’s start.

For many of the attendees this was the first time they had met their former classmates, or had even stepped on RIT soil, as the HSA program is an online graduate degree. Now offered through the College of Health Sciences and Technology, the HSA program originated in the College of Continuing Education and was one of the first online degrees offered.

“I was so impressed with the growth of the campus over the years,” said Lou Ann Wyer ’07, an HSA alumna who returned for the celebration.  “I truly enjoyed the displayed works and innovation from the students.”

Over its 20 years, the program has graduated 425 alumni, from 21 states and 16 international locations. These alumni have gone on to become CEOs, vice presidents, directors of lab services, advancement professionals, and various other roles in the healthcare field.

The 20th anniversary celebration was chaired by Dr. Mary Dombovy ’00, vice president and chair of Rochester Regional Health’s Neurosciences Institute, as well as an HSA alumna and 2015 College of Health Sciences and Technology Distinguished Alumna. Alumni, as well as HSA faculty, staff, and friends, enjoyed Imagine RIT festivities, followed by a dinner at the Club Lounge in the Polisseni Center. Dr. Mary Pittman, CEO and president of the Public Health Institute, was the evening’s keynote speaker.

Honored during the dinner was Dr. William Walence, credited with founding the HSA program. With the help of Dr. Daniel Ornt, dean of the College of Health Sciences and Technology, Dr. Dombovy announced the creation of the William Walence Endowed Faculty Fund. The fund was established to provide the support and resources needed to attract and retain talented faculty who will establish and grow the HSA program within the College of Health Sciences and Technology.

“We find it only fitting to name this fund after the founding father of the program who has dedicated his career educating those in the health care industry and therefore not only making a difference in over 400 alumni careers but also the quality of care in the health care industry,” Dr. Dombovy remarked during the evening.

Sadly, Dr. Walence passed away shortly after the 20th anniversary celebration after a long battle with cancer.

If you would like to make a contribution to the William Walence Endowed Faculty Fund in Dr. Walence’s memory to the, you can make a gift here.