Healthcare Administration Grad Students Partner with Milford Hospital
Healthcare Administration Grad Students Partner with Milford Hospital

by Brandon T. Bisceglia '14
UNH Today Contributing Writer

As soon as Mary Laucks '16 M.S. finished presenting the latest version of an advertisement for Milford Hospital, hospital president Joe Pelaccia grilled her.

“The way I look at an ad is the same way I look at the hook in a song,” he said. “If someone isn't getting hooked on a couple words or phrases, you haven't done your job.”

Laucks, who hails from West Haven, was unfazed. “We may look at bringing in a voice-over to guide the viewer through. We listened the last time you talked to us about market testing this,” she said before moving on to present those results.

MSHA students partnering with Milford Hospital

The exchange was just one of many in a first-of-its-kind, two-semester-long partnership between graduate students in UNH's master’s degree program in healthcare administration and Milford Hospital.

The students have been working since the fall on a capstone project to develop a promotion strategy for the hospital's emergency room and urgent care center. They've conducted surveys, talked to various hospital employees, reviewed the hospital's previous ad campaigns and crafted several of their own.

MSHA program director Summer McGee said the idea is to give students a hands-on taste of the kinds of challenges they’ll encounter in healthcare management.

“Nothing replaces being there in the room with the CEO and having him ask tough questions,” she said.

For Daniel Remiszewski ’16 M.S., the project has been an eye-opener.

“I’ve learned just how complex marketing can be,” the Watertown, Conn., native said. “It’s a great capstone project.”

The partnership has already benefitted Milford Hospital. According to Director of Community Relations Karen Kipfer, the hospital has done little online advertising and has been looking for new ways to reach out to the community.

“This is a new venture for both of us, so we’re taking it as it goes,” she said. “It’s been good all around, and the students put in a lot of work.”

McGee said she hopes to continue the partnership with future classes and to possibly work with other area medical facilities.

“The students should be applauded for the work they’ve done,” she said.

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