Healthcare Majors Flock to MEDITECH

June 11, 2012


How do you spell partnership?

For a growing number of Stonehill healthcare administration majors, it's M-E-D-I-T-E-C-H. Medical Information Technology, Inc. - MEDITECH for short - is a Canton (Mass.)-based healthcare software provider that's growing fast.

And over the last two decades, it's hired more than 100 Stonehill alumni. (See group photo below.)

What's more, Senior Recruiter Greg Clarkin '01, above left, who is responsible for MEDITECH's college recruiting, is doing his best to see that number grow and to strengthen the ties between the College and the company.

According to Christina Burney, the College's associate director of career services, Clarkin and his team are doing a stellar job of reaching Stonehill's students.

"MEDITECH is on campus constantly," she says. "They staff a booth at the career fair, do mock interviewing, and participate in career information nights. They do a lot to build a brand among seniors. And they do love our healthcare administration students."

In existence since the early 1980s, Stonehill's healthcare administration major is a secret weapon of sorts. "Stonehill has the only Association of University Programs in Healthcare Administration (AUPHA)-certified healthcare administration program in Massachusetts," reports Mitch Glavin, assistant professor of healthcare administration, "and is only one of 47 such undergraduate programs in the country."

The major is increasingly popular because "healthcare is more recession-resistant than most fields," Glavin explains. "The U.S. population is aging, which means more people living with chronic conditions," things like diabetes and high blood pressure, for example. "Good healthcare is all about helping people live better with those chronic conditions."

The statistics back Glavin up: in July 2011, Indeed Industry Employment Trends logged an all-time high in the number of open healthcare positions; and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects double-digit increases in every healthcare job category over the next five years.

MEDITECH, however, hires more than just Stonehill healthcare administration graduates. Clarkin notes they also employ those with degrees in computer information systems, biology, and English, to name a few.

"We want graduates with strong communication skills, both written and verbal, who can also get up and speak in front of people. Those are precisely the kinds of skills people get from a liberal arts education," says Clarkin. "We know we can train people on our software."

You don't need to tell Jaye Benson '94, currently a marketing manager. A psychology major, Benson started at MEDITECH just after graduation. She went through training to learn the software, and then spent three years traveling the country teaching hospital staff to use it - everyone from secretaries to CEOs.

"The whole Stonehill experience prepares you," she says. "You learn to interact with all different kinds of people and develop your leadership abilities. I think Stonehill grads do well at MEDITECH because they're well-prepared academically, socially, and they're community minded."

Community is something that's also important at MEDITECH, according to Marketing Consultant Justin Demers '05.

"This is a company with a great culture. It's full of energetic people. I like that there are activities like softball and flag football," Demers says.

"It's funny how things change. When I graduated, and my friends got jobs, the first question everyone asked was, ‘what's your starting salary?' Now, when I talk to people and they want to know more about MEDITECH, the first thing they ask is, ‘is there job security?'"

At MEDITECH, at least, there is. The company, which started in 1969 with a handful of employees, now employs nearly 4,000 people with offices in Canton, Westwood, Norwood, Framingham, and Fall River. Privately held, it has never had a lay off. And federal healthcare reform, with its emphasis on electronic medical records - MEDITECH's specialty - means the forecast ahead is bright.

"We have a modest plan for consistent growth," says Michael Malone '91, associate vice president of development and a 20-year employee. "And it's meaningful work. Everyone, at some point, interacts with a hospital. What we do gives healthcare providers more time for hands-on patient care, which everyone can appreciate."

Another long-time employee, Mike Vinson '90, sees similarities between Stonehill College and MEDITECH. "Both are very busy, energetic places, with lots of smart, ambitious people," he notes. "Both are relatively young, have grown tremendously, and are in a position of strength. Both are stable, consistent places."

Burney in the Office of Career Services predicts that the pipeline between the two organizations will stay strong.

"There are so many alumni advocates at MEDITECH. They reach out to young alumni when they start at the company to help them be successful. And when young alumni talk to current students, they spread that by word of mouth. That's why MEDITECH gets so many of our best students."

Success, of course, begets success. "I call it ‘underground recruiting,'" says Benson. "When I'm interviewing, I always look through the pile of resumes to see if there are any Stonehill grads because the Stonehill graduates I've hired have been successful."

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