Student Spotlight: TriHealth’s Heather Foster
Heather Foster found more than a job when she began working at TriHealth 5 years ago as a medical biller. She found her calling and wanted to advance within the company. For that to happen, she knew she needed to go back to school and earn her degree.
But earning her degree wasn’t going to be easy. College can be expensive and time is at a premium, especially since she and her husband are raising their 9-year-old daughter, Kaylee. Thanks to her employer’s partnership with Southern New Hampshire University, she was able to do it all.
By studying healthcare management through SNHU’s College for America program, Foster was able to complete a series of hands-on projects and earn her associate degree in a matter of months.
“I promised myself nothing, and no one was stopping me from achieving this goal, and if I did not succeed, it was only because I allowed myself to not achieve it,” Foster said.
She even did it in time to be able to travel to SNHU’s New Hampshire campus in May to attend graduation. Now she’s working on her bachelor’s degree and advancing her career at TriHealth.
“My career path began changing immediately once I began this degree program,” Foster said. “My role changed (and) I found myself doing more of what I love to do, all while using the knowledge and resources from the program.”
Foster now works as a revenue cycle liaison at TriHealth and trains employees through a series of workshops about the daily functions of various company departments. Some of the skills and knowledge she gained through her degree program has improved those training seminars.
“Several times while completing a project for my degree I have saved resources and used the information in one of our educational workshops,” she said. “I have found that much of what I am studying can be linked into topics we discuss and education.”
Foster said the College for America program worked for her because the competency-based projects could be completed online and on her own schedule – day or night and as quickly or slowly as her busy schedule dictated.
“I was able to find the time to do exactly what I needed to do when I wanted to do it,” she said. “I answered only to myself.”
Foster she had 3 mentors at TriHealth providing and encouragement during her program, in addition to an SNHU advisor cheering her on. She urged other employees to take advantage of the support they have available and advance their education.
“Be dedicated and make your education a priority,” she said. “You have support out there, and they are willing to help you achieve the goals you want to achieve. Set a schedule and stick to it.”
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