Monday, December 18, 2006

Holiday Greetings

We would like to wish you and yours the very best at this joyous time of year. Whether you are celebrating Hanukkah, Christmas, or another holiday that is special to you, may it be the very best. We hope the coming year will bring you happiness and prosperity.

All of us here at the Division of Graduate and Professional Studies.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006


Janet Douglass is the other new full time faculty at a distance! Janet teaches courses in the Nursing Department, as well as in Health Care Administration. She also does many, many other projects for SJC! Here is my interview with her!

T: How long have you worked with SJC/GPS?
Janet: In the summer of 1985, my former colleague from Boston University, Dr. Patricia Sparks, who had assumed the position of Dean of what is now GPS, asked me to come and teach two courses. These were "Health Care for the Elderly" and "Leadership". I taught over three sessions of three weeks each, and was hooked on the campus, students and program. After doing this for about four years, I was asked to write a distance course that I named "Aging in America" (you'll note that I didn't adopt the horrible course title we used in the summer). I am still teaching that course and love doing so dearly. It was one of the first courses that went on line when we started using the Web-CT platform.

T: Where did you obtain your education?
Janet: My initial post-secondary program was at the Lawrence General Hospital School of Nursing, a Massachusetts Diploma program in Lawrence, Massachusetts. After six years of practice as a nurse I took an assistant instructor position at my alma mater and ran the science labs in the fall (chemistry, microbiology, and anatomy & physiology), and did clinical teaching in the hospital during the rest of the year. One condition of my employment was that I study toward my Baccalaureate in Nursing, which I started part-time at Boston University and five years later transferred to complete that degree full-time at St. Anselm College in Bedford, N.H.. I then earned a Masters Degree in Community Health/Community Mental Health Nursing at Boston College and a Doctorate in Nursing at Boston University. I also did post-graduate study at a National Institutes of Occupational Safety and Health sponsored program at Texas A&M University.

T: What is your experience in health care?
Janet: My first Nursing position was at Beth Israel Hospital in Boston, where I worked in a 24-hour admission floor. There were no intensive care units at that time, and this was the closest thing to such a unit; we admitted and stabilized critical patients and then transferred them to general floors the next day. I then married and moved back to my old neighborhood, where I took a staff position in the Emergency Department of Lawrence General Hospital, leaving that position to join the faculty (although I must admit that I was hooked on excitement badly enough to work weekends and holidays in the Emergency Department for quite awhile). After completing my Masters degree, I worked for the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health after it had been reorganized from large state regional mental hospitals to a focus on community-based services. My work involved setting up contracts with local providers to deliver adult mental health services in the Cape Ann (Massachusetts) area, and monitoring those contracts.

I have held nursing faculty positions at Northern Essex Community College, Boston College, Boston University, Harvard School of Public Health (lecturer), and the University of Massachusetts, Lowell. After retiring from UMass in 2000, I worked part time in Occupational Health Nursing for a brief time before moving to Maine.

T: What courses have you taught or developed?
Janet: I doubt that I can remember them all, but most were related to my preparation in Community/Community Health Nursing, Occupational Health, School Health, Leadership and Research Methods. I also taught some of the critical care content for senior students in UMass prior to developing an Occupational Health Nurse Practitioner program there. I developed Aging in America, and taught that course as well as HC350--Leadership, HC315--Occupational Health, and NU502 Research Methods in Nursing many summer sessions, and HA545, Research Methods to concurrent students for many semesters.. I taught Health Care Policy and Politics and The U.S. Health Care System in the Cayman Island campus to concurrent students last spring. I am currently in the process of participation in the revision of undergraduate courses for the RN-BSN program.

T: What courses are you currently teaching?
Janet: I currently teach LTC/SO310 --Aging in America (I must admit this is still my favorite after all these years), NU642, a teaching methods course, HA545, Research Methods, and HA655-- Gerontology, to concurrent students. I am also working with a small number of students completing capstone papers in the graduate Distance Nursing program.

T: What do you see as the three highest priority items in health care in the U.S.?
Janet: Access, quality and affordability. I believe strongly that we need to make basic health care a right for every resident of the U.S., improve the quality of our health care system (it is not as good as we like to think it is), and bring its cost into the land of reality so that we don't end up spending half of the nation's GDP for lousy health care in the near future. These three goals fit together. In fact, I don't believe that we can have any one of them without the other two. Bottom line, all three items reflect accountability of all involved (government, providers and the public) for the wellbeing of our country and its citizens.

T: What do you do for fun?
Janet: I delight in our three grandchildren (ages 6 months to 16 years), and spend as much time with them as the distance between us allows. At present, my old school chum from grammar and high school and I are writing a mystery novel about Blood Diamonds: we may never finish it but it's a great excuse for me to travel to Atlanta and her to come to Maine and visit. I enjoy gardening in the summer, although summer session responsibilities can put a crimp into that. My husband and I also like to travel and have been to lots of fun places. Great Britain is our favorite place and we try to go there every August. We've also spent some time in Costa Rica, Portugal, Canada, and Hungary and I've had opportunities to do consultations in Quatar, Japan and Korea, and to present a paper at a scientific exchange in the People's Republic of China. My husband and I look forward to lots more travel the next time I retire. Right now, my new full-time responsibilities are leading me to concentrate on one of my major sources of fun---teaching!

You may e-mail Janet directly at

Friday, December 08, 2006


John Lemire is one of our new full time faculty in the GPS program. I interviewed him recently so I could introduce him to you! He is a wonderful asset to the Health Administration Programs at St. Joseph’s College! Many of you may already know John because you have taken courses with him.

T: How long have you worked with SJC/GPS?

John: I'm not entirely sure but I think somewhere around 6 years.

T: Where did you obtain your education?
John: I earned a BS, Education from Worcester (MA) State College many (MANY) years ago. More recently (at least within this half century), I earned an MBA from Thomas College and completed All But Dissertation (ABD) for a PhD this past summer from Touro University International but have 'converted' that into a second MBA, Advanced Studies rather than invest another 2-3 years in Dissertation research.

T: What is your experience in health care?
John: Other than the fact I've negotiated health insurance programs with third-part providers for my last employer (beginning as a fully-insured indemnity program to a minimum-premium, partial self-funding to a full self-insured program AND helping resolve employee claims issues, my only familiarization with health care is a continuing list of chronic ailments which regularly bring me in contact with health care professionals. Actually, the courses I teach are 'administrative' and regardless of whether health care, manufacturing or whatever, core business concepts are the same.

T: What courses have you taught or developed?
John: I have developed and taught courses for Thomas College and Southern New Hampshire University in a traditional classroom setting and also online instruction. I have also taught for the University of Phoenix in their online programs.

For Saint Joseph’s College & St. Matthew’s University College of Medicine (in-class and distance education) I have developed and/or taught the following courses:
Organizational Effectiveness in Healthcare (graduate)
Organizational Theory & Behavior (graduate)
Human Resource Management (graduate Distance Ed tutorial)
U.S. Health Care Systems (graduate Distance Ed)
Developed/redeveloped and teaching a new course(s)
– Quality Improvement & Performance in Health Care (graduate – all modalities – including WebCT)
– Practice Management
– Special Topics in Risk Management
– Special Topics: Dealing with Quality, Cost & Consumerism in Health Care
– Strategic Management in Health Care
– Health Care Marketing

T: What courses are you currently teaching?
John: I am currently teaching courses in the traditional class for the SJC/St. Matthews program as well as teaching online courses for SJC in HA 500 – U.S. Health Care Systems and HA 512 – Quality Management & Performance Improvement.

T: What do you see as the three highest priority items in health care in the U.S.?
1. Educating patients to the fact they are 'consumers of health care'.
2. Educating doctors to understand that they are 'running a business' and their customers are not only patients but are also 'consumers of health care'.
3. Getting everyone to understand the importance of strategic management – i.e., optimizing long term plans for delivery of services at reasonable fees.

T: What do you do for fun?
John: Other than the fact that I truly enjoy facilitating learning and devote (quite literally) 7 days a week to teaching an average of 8 courses at any given time (between traditional and online classes),in my 'free time' I read, watch movies and have finally gotten back to making sailing ship models. Occasionally, I manage to take in a concert or play. I can 'say', without hesitation that in my professional career spanning four decades, I have never worked with a nicer bunch of people than the staff and faculty at SJC!

If you would like to contact John Lemire directly, you may e-mail him at

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

A message to all current HA students:

Over the years, word of mouth has consistently been our most successful method of marketing. Satisfied students and former students tell friends about the program, in effect acting as ambassadors for us.

The year-end promotion noted below is a great opportunity for someone you know to “Start the New Year with a Commitment to Your Education!”

How about telling one (or more) of your friends about the health administration programs at Saint Joseph’s College? You’ll be helping them and us. Refer them to this blog or to

As always, your ongoing support is greatly appreciated.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Year-End Promotion

The Division of Graduate and Professional Studies (GPS) is offering a year-end promotion to all new students. Students who enroll up to and including December 31, 2006 will receive a $50 credit toward the application fee and a $50 credit toward each course enrollment (maximum 2 courses). That means that a student can save up to $150 when enrolling now.

For more information, simply go to

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

ACHCA Presentations

I (John Pratt) will be making two presentations at the Winter Market Place of the American College of Health Care Administrators (ACHCA) next week in Las Vegas, NV and would love to talk with any of you who plan to be there.

The Winter Market Place will be held at the Flamingo Las Vegas Hotel from December 8th through December 10th. I'll be making two presentations as follows, both on Sunday, December 10th:
  1. "Manage Change or it will Manage You" 8:00-9:00 am
  2. "Models of Excellence - Online Learning" 9:10-10:10 am

If you will be attending the Winter Market Place, come by and say hello, even if you're not attending either of the presentations.

Monday, November 27, 2006

2007 Summer Programs

The Division of Graduate and Professional Studies (GPS) offers three two-week summer residency sessions for its students, including those in the HA programs. While students in degree programs must attend one such session sometime while pursuing their degrees, they can also speed up their degree completion time by attending more than one session.

The courses offered cover many of the same ones provided online, but also include several that are offered in the summer only.

The three sessions are as follows. Click on the Session links below to check Course Offerings:
Summer Session 1 June 4-15
Summer Session 2 July 9-20
Summer Session 3 July 23 - August 3

For more specific information about the summer programs, current students should contact their Academic Advisors. Others can go to the digital catalog at and click on "Summer Programs."

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

New Assignment Submission Form

The Division of Graduate and Professional Studies at Saint Joseph’s College of Maine is pleased to announce the creation of a web-based Assignment Submission Form. This new web-based form was developed to assist Distance Education Students with the email submission of assignments, ensuring accuracy in delivery – to both the faculty and the Assignment Processing Department (also known as “apd”). This is something students have long sought, and we are now able to provide it.

The new Assignment Submission Form can be accessed through a course’s WebCT Homepage, by clicking on "Submit An Assignment" or trough the Student Resources web page at, by clicking on: “• Submit an assignment for your course.” (The third bullet under the Get Going section of the web page.)

Any student with questions about the new form should contact his or her academic advisor.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Program Advisory Committee

The Health Administration Program is in process of creating a Program Advisory Committee, with details as follows:


The purpose of the Health Administration Program Advisory Committee is to provide input and advice to the Program Director to ensure the continued excellence and success of the health administration programs at Saint Joseph’s College of Maine, Division of Graduate and Professional Studies.

The duties of the Health Administration Program Advisory Committee will include assisting the Program Director with:
  1. Program review and planning, including development of goals and objectives,
  2. Assessment of program and course offerings as related to those goals and objectives,
  3. Assessment of the needs of the community, region, state or industry as related to the program offerings,
  4. Formulating recommendations for the improvement of instruction and course delivery,
  5. Keeping the program abreast of significant trends and developments in health administration and related fields, including federal and state legislative and regulatory activity,
  6. Achieving or maintaining applicable accreditation or other regulatory/professional approvals of the programs,
  7. Maintaining a positive image of the health administration programs including development, implementation and assessment of marketing efforts,
  8. Articulation of the program offerings with employment opportunities, and
  9. Other duties as determined.


Appointments to the Health Administration Program Advisory Committee will be made by the Dean of the Division of Graduate and Professional Studies from recommendations by the Program Director. The size of the advisory committee will vary, but will include at least the following:

  1. The Program Director (ex officio)
  2. The Assistant Program Director (ex officio)
  3. The Chair of the Continuing Care Council (ex officio)
  4. One or more students currently enrolled in one of the health administration programs
  5. One or more graduates of one of the health administration programs
  6. One or more faculty members currently teaching in one of the programs
  7. Experts in professions relevant to program offerings (e.g., health administration, long-term care administration, radiologic science).

Members will be appointed in a manner to assure that all of the health administration programs (including undergraduate and graduate) are adequately represented. While an individual member may represent multiple categories (e.g., graduate, faculty, professional expert), efforts will be made to guarantee that there is at least one member representing each category of membership, and at no time will the committee membership be less than seven, including ex officio members.


The committee will meet as needed but no less than once per fiscal year. Meetings may be held on the Saint Joseph’s College campus, at other convenient locations, or may occur via telephone and/or online conference calls. Given the nature of the distance programs, it is anticipated that much of the committee’s activities will take place by means of online communications. All formal meetings whether on site or through electronic media, will have minutes recorded.

Committee Support

The Program Director and Assistant Program Director will provide administrative support for the committee, ensuring that records of attendance, agendas, minutes and other documents are maintained and that the committee has the resources needed to accomplish its duties.

HA Program Marketing

The Division of Graduate and Professional Studies - including Health Administration - has embarked on a new plan to better market our programs. The marketing plan includes several elements:

  1. Development of new descriptive brochures,
  2. Improvement of the GPS web site,
  3. Mailing of letters to the CEOs and Human Resource Directors of 6,000+ hospitals across the U.S. and 15,000 nursing home administrators,
  4. A follow-up mailing of brochures to the same list of hospitals and nursing homes,
  5. Exhibiting at professional conventions and meetings,
  6. Space advertising in professional and trade association journals.

We have already exhibited at two national meetings and plan several more.
The mailings are underway, and some space advertising has been purchased.
We will report on progress of these marketing efforts from time to time.

GPS Catalog Now Online

The catalog of the Division of Graduate and Professional Studies (GPS) at Saint Joseph's College has gone digital!

It is now available online at It can also be accessed from the GPS home page

Having the catalog online not only makes it easier to access, but allows us to keep it current with frequent updates.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

HA Programs to Exhibit at Conventions/Conferences

Members of the Health Administration (HA) program will be attending several national conventions & conferences and manning an exhibit booth at them.

Those conventions/conferenceswill include:

  • American Health Care Assn./National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL), Annual Convention, San Antonio, TX, 10/6 – 10/11
  • American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA), Annual conference, Denver, CO, 10/7 – 10/12
  • American Association of Homes and Services for the Aging (AAHSA), Annual Conference, San Francisco, CA, 11/5 - 11/8

An Admissions Counselor and either the Program Director or Assistant Program Director will be attending the conventions/conferences.

Friday, September 01, 2006

New Full-Time HA Staff

As part of the reorganization of the Health Administration programs, new full-time positions have been added as follows:

Assistant Program Director - Because the program combined two previously separate programs, each with its own Program Director, the College agreed to add an Assistant Program Director. We are fortunate to have appointed Twila Weiszbrod, MPA to that positon. Twila is a graduate of SJC (BSHCA, 2000) and holds a Master of Public Administration from California State University at Fresno (2004). Her most recent position was as Division Manager, Clinical Services, Tulare (CA)County Health & Human Services Agency. Twila has been teaching in the HA programs for the past several years, teaching American Health Care Systems and Health Care Informatics.

Twila will continue to work from her California home, visiting campus as needed. Her initial reaponsibilities involve working on marketing of the program, course development, retention, and faculty mentoring.

Full-Time Faculty at a Distance - The Division (GPS) has also recently created a new position title of "full-time faculty-at-a-distance" to recognize the extensive teaching and administrative commitments of some of our adjunct faculty. The first two appointments to this position are John Lemire and Janet Douglass. Both have taught for GPS for several years. John will work completely within the HA programs while Janet will split her time between the HA and Nursing departments. Their primary responsibilities will be teaching, but will also undertake some administrative projects.

These new positions - and the outstanding people in them - recognize the growth and development of the Health Administration programs and of the Division of Graduate and Professional Studies (GPS).

Thursday, August 31, 2006

HA Program Reorganization

Following extensive Program Review this past year, the Health Admnistration programs have been reorganized. The undergraduate programs (Health Care Administration, Long-Term Care Administration, and Radiologic Science) and the graduate program (Health Services Administration), had previously been under the direction of multiple Program Directors. Having them combined increases both the efficiency of the programs and the academic and organizational effectiveness of them.

In keeping with that reorganization, both the undergraduate Health Care Administration and graduate Health Services Administration programs have been renamed Health Administration.

We believe that this will improve the quality of the programs and our ability to service our students.