Student Spotlight: William Henson

MHA@GW student William Henson is innovating in the field of telemedicine, and he says it's all because of his experience in the program.

"The very first module really opened my eyes to telemedicine and the possibilities it could offer my organization," said Henson, who is the chief operating officer for TRP Management and Gwinnett Urgent Care in Suwanee, Ga.

Henson has been working as a health care management consultant since 2008 and enrolled in the MHA@GW program to expand his knowledge of health care, and specifically hospital operations.

"I wanted to move my career in that direction, and I knew that a Master of Health Administration could help open some doors," he said. "Perhaps the most exciting part is being able to apply what I have learned in class directly to my job."

Henson was able to persuade his CEO to explore the benefits of telemedicine at their urgent care clinic. To Henson, telemedicine — or telehealth — represents the future for urgent care clinics across the country. He said telemedicine transformed the organization, helping it stay competitive and provide consistent care.

"It allows us to break the geographic barrier that we have been limited by in the past," he said. "Today we see patients from all over the state of Georgia. We are no longer limited by a 30-mile radius."

Henson said watching his initiatives take shape is rewarding.

"It has been amazing to see the reaction of our patients when they try telemedicine for the first time," he said. "I believe that this telemedicine service will help my organization continue to distinguish itself from other urgent care clinics."

A number of factors led to Henson to MHA@GW, but the two most important were the program's reputation and the ability to fit it into his busy schedule. He's a husband and the father of a 1-year-old son, so he appreciates the flexibility the program provides. It makes it possible for him to attend classes and still balance a full-time career with his family life. He enjoys the virtual, collaborative classroom structure, and he's a big fan of the immersion experiences.

"After attending the first two sessions, I knew I had picked the right program for my MHA," Henson said. "You can tell that a lot of thought and planning goes into creating experiences that will make us better leaders and more informed administrators."

When it all comes together, the learning environment, collaboration and focus of the program have a positive and immediate impact on Henson's work.

"The students in the program are experienced in different areas of health care. I find their knowledge, experiences and advice to be really helpful when taking on big projects," he said. "MHA@GW has opened me up to new ways of thinking."