A mother of four, Kathleen Brush is pursuing a master's in what she is passionate about—healthcare informatics.
by Brett Spielberg“I find the curriculum challenging as well as great preparation for an active role in an evolving field.”—Kathleen Brush
After more than two decades of experience in an ever-changing industry, Kathleen Brush is currently in her third semester at Adelphi University, returning to school full-time in hot pursuit of an M.S in Healthcare Informatics.
After earning a B.S. in Computer and Information Science from Brooklyn College, she spent 21 years at H.W. Wilson Company, a major publisher of full-text references for researchers and librarians that is now part of EBSCO Publishing. Ms. Brush worked as a microcomputer operator, programmer, project leader and manager of technical support.
“When I started, Sony was just rolling out the first CD-ROMs,” Ms. Brush said. “It was back when people were retiring at the same company they had been working at for over 40 years.”
At H.W. Wilson she gained extensive hands-on experience in all phases of several search engine software lifecycles. She also managed to raise a family of four—three currently living in Virginia, Bayside and Manhattan and the youngest at college in Vermont.
Prior to Adelphi, Ms. Brush earned certification as an Internet web professional and in health informatics technology for IT professionals, consisting of accredited courses in medical terminology and the security and ethics of electronic health records. “I want to bring the IT experience to the healthcare environment,” Ms. Brush said. “Adelphi is the only school in this area that offers an M.S. in this particular field.”
While medicine has experienced miraculous advances in its technology and treatments, it lags behind in its systems of information access and security. “The medical field is filled with lifelong learners, doctors are the best of the best,” Ms. Brush said. “But the medical field is one of the last areas that haven’t shifted from paper to computer.”
While some doctors opt to use their manila folders filled with their patient’s records because they don’t grasp the new technology, others are wary of its potential security risks. Healthcare informatics focuses on bridging that technological gap and reorganizing an enormous amount of sensitive information: personal medical files, health insurance accounts and social security numbers, which, in the wrong hands, could cause considerable financial and emotional trauma for both doctors and patients.
Combining her decades of experience with the latest technological innovation, Ms. Brush now has the opportunity to reenter the workforce on the cutting edge of the industry, and enhance her career doing something that’s she’s passionate about.
“I began researching master’s degree programs in healthcare informatics just as Adelphi announced their new M.S. in Healthcare Informatics,” Ms. Brush said. “I find the curriculum challenging as well as great preparation for an active role in an evolving field.”
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