In December 2016, LSU Industrial Engineering Associate Professors Isabelina Nahmens and Laura Ikuma, along with Professor Craig Harvey, were awarded a $250,000 grant by the W.M. Keck Foundation for their project titled, “Partnership to Prepare Industrial Engineering Undergraduates for Healthcare Careers.”
The aim of the initiative is to create a certificate program for LSU IE undergraduate students that develops them into healthcare management professionals through partnerships with local healthcare institutions. In addition, it seeks to expand the students’ knowledge and career options through a curriculum that includes one seminar course, one healthcare course, two capstone courses with a healthcare project, and an internship in healthcare business.
Recently, the program presented its first certificates to IE students, Bailey Fife, who interned with the local Emergency Medical Services; William Douglass, who interned with Our Lady of the Lake Hospital; and Camille Giarrusso, who interned with Baton Rouge General Hospital.
Giarrusso worked as a performance improvement intern in BR General’s Work Excellence Department. There, she was asked to consult on two projects centered on workflow and the patient-experience.
One involved redesigning the original proposed layout of the hospital’s express care clinics to ensure optimization. In the process, Giarrusso said they were able to reduce operational and construction costs; provide an innovative digital patient-experience through flat screens in all rooms for education, results, sign-ins, etc.; and design a central workstation location to improve workflow.
“My biggest takeaway [from the internship] was the importance of patient experience and how I, as an industrial engineer, can make difference in improving our healthcare system,” Giarrusso said. “From finding ways to make healthcare more affordable to helping create a more enjoyable environment for kids, adults, and the elderly…I want to use the knowledge I’ve acquired at LSU to provide a compassionate and purposeful healthcare.”