Meet UW Healthcare Administration’s Program Manager: Lyndsey Agler

Lyndsey Agler—program manager of the 100% online UW Master of Science in Healthcare Administration and Bachelor of Science in Health Information Management and Technology—was always interested in healthcare, but she didn’t want to become a nurse or doctor.

“I knew because of my general queasiness around needles and blood that clinical work probably wasn’t for me, but I loved the idea of working in an industry where I would be able to help people,” Lyndsey said.

Lyndsey found her fit in the business side of healthcare after completing her bachelor’s degree in business from Ohio State University in 2014. Through a mutual acquaintance, she was introduced to a local hospital’s director, who was looking to fill an opening for a credentialing specialist in one of the newer hospitals in the Columbus area. The credentialing office verifies an applicant’s educational background and ensures they have the required documentation to perform the job duties.

Although she didn’t have any healthcare experience or knowledge of credentialing, the director was impressed and offered Lyndsey the job. Lyndsey learned quickly and began working directly with the vice president of medical affairs—along with the director and other clinical department chairs—to not only credential applicants, but to also write and revise privilege sets for both the hospital and entire healthcare system. 

After two years in the credentialing specialist role, she had the opportunity to move into a management role for the department she started in. She stayed in this role for three years until she relocated to Madison, WI in March 2020, to begin as program manager with UW Extended Campus. 

What drew you to the UW Healthcare Administration program manager role?

I earned my master’s degree in healthcare administration in 2019 at a university based in Columbus. However, I felt that the program was lacking in some areas, including career preparedness. The UWEX program manager role allows me to have indirect involvement in healthcare, while also having a positive influence on those who want to grow in the healthcare field.

As program manager, I’m responsible for overseeing program functions and outcomes, monitoring success, and creating additional growth opportunities. I also develop and implement annual program goals to create the best possible student experience.

What motivates you in your role as program manager? What is your favorite part? 

I would say that the biggest motivator is being able to truly have an impact on student experience. I am able to truly help shape the future of the program in a way that will both prepare and excite our students about the future of healthcare. 

I’ve really enjoyed being able to get to know the academic directors from our partner campuses better. Because I am program manager for both UW Healthcare Administration and UW Health Information Management and Technology, I get to work with two wonderful groups of people with interesting and different backgrounds and perspectives. This has allowed me to expand my ways of thinking around both education and healthcare.

Why is healthcare administration important? What should someone pursue a career in this field?

I have always thought of healthcare administration as the business side of healthcare. The clinical side of healthcare is, of course, extremely important and the reason that most people choose to join the healthcare field. However, healthcare administration is what allows the clinical piece to work well. 

Pursuing a career in healthcare administration allows you to have the opportunity to tackle challenges and make real change, ultimately leading to improved patient experiences.

What makes UW Healthcare Administration different from other similar programs? What are the program’s strengths?

The biggest strength of the program is our collaborative model. While many programs are fortunate to have wonderful faculty members, we have a unique collaborative model that allows us to tap into instructors from all of the campus partners. This gives students a variety of perspectives and insights. The instructors are all so involved and genuinely dedicated to student experience.

What goals or plans do you have for UW Healthcare Administration in the future?

One of the plans I am most excited about in the near future is the introduction of the Senior Living and Services Leadership certificate scheduled to launch Fall 2021. This certificate will consist of only four courses—two existing and two new—to help students better understand the complexities of long term and senior care.

The Senior Living and Services Leadership certificate will provide an excellent opportunity for students who are interested in this specialized area of healthcare, while also allowing growth opportunities for anyone who may currently work in this area. I am very excited about this! 

Why should prospective students consider UW Healthcare Administration? How can they learn more?

Students should consider the UW Healthcare Administration program because in addition to our unique collaborative model, they have the opportunity to join a program that is only in its second full year. We are able to tailor the program to our students’ feedback and experiences to ensure that we are offering the best program to our students and giving them what they need and want. We also tap into our amazing group of academic directors, faculty, and advisory board for industry knowledge and insight. 

Prospective students can learn more about the program on our website, which has lots of great information. I would also highly recommend our info sessions, which are held twice per year. These allow prospective students the opportunity to hear more about the program, as well as ask questions to myself and potentially an academic director.

Have questions about the UW Healthcare Administration courses, tuition, or how to apply? Talk with an enrollment adviser by emailing learn@uwex.edu or calling 1-877-895-3276.

UW Healthcare Administration Degree Guide

Healthcare is a dynamic field that requires strong, compassionate leadership. You have the hands-on experience needed to improve hospital processes and patient care. With the online University of Wisconsin Master of Science in Healthcare Administration, you’ll enhance your skills with the knowledge required to become a healthcare leader.

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