Saint Alphonsus, in an ongoing partnership with Boise State University’s College of Health Sciences, recently hosted the second annual Student Engagement Night. The event was held on Monday, Jan. 29 in the McCleary Auditorium of the Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center. The event was open to all College of Health Sciences students, faculty, and staff and over 150 attended.
Events such as these are thanks to the ongoing partnership between Boise State and Saint Alphonsus. The health system continues to be a major contributor to students and programs within the College of Health Sciences. These contributions range from providing access of their clinical sites for all students, over thousands of dollars donated in scholarships, creating a persistent partnership in research, and donating millions of dollars in support of students and programs over several decades.
The night kicked off with an introduction from Carolyn Holly, vice president of marketing, communications, and public relations for Saint Alphonsus Health System. Bob Kustra, president of Boise State followed with rousing comments about the exciting future of both the university and the health system. Tim Dunnagan, dean of Boise State’s College of Health Sciences then reminded students of the importance of finding a job that is more than just a paycheck but rather a mission that feeds the soul.
Rodney Reider, president and CEO of Saint Alphonsus Health System, then greeted students with a presentation that featured an introduction to the Saint Alphonsus mission and team. Reider shared an overview of services offered in their medical centers, their community impact, and where they are headed as a health system. The presentation also enabled an illustration of a job in healthcare for the students. Reider provided insight to the career of changing lives and being a part of something greater within the health system community. Students were able to grasp the traditions, impacts, and overall driven mission that make up Saint Alphonsus.
“With the opportunity to learn more about Saint Alphonsus and their mission, I was able to further understand who they are as a health system and what they stand for,” said Brynn Peters, a Boise State nursing student. “Hearing the CEO’s speech allowed me to make connections with Saint Alphonsus’ initiative to help the entire population and made me appreciate their goals in helping each individual become the best medical professional they strive to be. I felt as if these values and goals went hand in hand with those of Boise State’s in the support of their students and helping them achieve their educational endeavors.”
Following Reider’s presentation, students were separated into networking sessions unique to their area of study. They had the remarkable opportunity to interact with medical professionals and leaders in nursing, radiology, respiratory care, social work, informatics, kinesiology, and more. These networking sessions gave students the opportunity to ask questions and familiarize themselves with the ways in which these professions operate within Saint Alphonsus.The sessions also proposed and outlined ways students can get involved with the health system after receiving their degree. The experience allowed students to make connections with these professionals and gain a better idea of what opportunities lie ahead after graduation to hopefully further define their career and what it would look like within Saint Alphonsus.
“It was exciting to get to speak with people who are a part of the Saint Alphonsus team,” said Peters. “It gave me an idea of what this health system expects from new graduates and what I can expect going into my career after graduation. This extremely rare opportunity to meet and speak with medical directors and professionals from our local health system really reminded me of why I want to be a nurse. It’s easy to lose sight of your end goal with an overwhelming course load. However, events like this make you even more excited to see where your education can take you.”
“We are grateful for our superb community partners such as Saint Alphonsus,” said Dunnagan. “Saint Alphonsus demonstrates their care and compassion for the community in events like the Student Engagement Night to converse and share with our students, furthering their understanding of health care systems and future careers.”