Jennifer Kim received merit scholarships from the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) Foundation and the HSEED Award.
Why did you choose to come to the UW?
I chose to study at the UW because there are a lot of health care organizations and opportunities in the area that highly contribute to public health efforts in the U.S.
What’s your favorite aspect about studying public health?
Studying public health prepares me to become a successful leader who is able to contribute to health care quality management to directly improve patient health outcomes.
Why did you choose to major in Health Informatics?
I chose to study Health Informatics and Health Information Management when I learned the importance of non-clinical, administrative roles in health care. While I previously had a passion for clinical roles, working as a certified nursing assistant introduced me to administrative tasks, and I started to notice several gaps that should be addressed. I became motivated by the administrative roles of health care, especially in quality improvement and health equity.
What’s your favorite class and why?
The course that I enjoyed the most so far was HIHIM 480 HIM Operations and Project Management by Associate Teaching Professor James Condon. The course taught practical managerial skills and tools of leadership, coordination, organization, problem-solving, operational strategies and project management. Throughout the course, I have learned so many valuable management tools such as workflow diagrams, brainstorming, procedure and policy scripts, flow process charts and organizational charts, and these will be very helpful and practical as I continue my career in the health information management (HIM) field.
How do you want to change the world with your public health degree?
As health care is moving towards the digital age, health informatics needs to be integrated to ease the transition. Successful technological implementations within health care systems will allow interoperability and a standard, universal system where the communication of information is easy and secure.
What experiences at the UW School of Public Health (SPH) have been most influential?
I would like to specifically thank Associate Teaching Professors Carrie Kaelin and James Condon for being a great support and mentor in addition to being awesome professors who enriched my understanding of HIM. They guided me to volunteer, internship and scholarship opportunities that allowed me to become more engaged in the HIM community. I have gained invaluable experiences from these opportunities, and I am certain that these will be great assets as I continue my journey in HIM.
What interests do you have outside of (or related to) public health? Any extracurricular activities?
In my free time, I enjoy going to the gym, going out for a walk, listening to music, reading self-improvement books, cooking and baking, and taking long naps.
What is one piece of advice that you have for potential new public health students or one thing you wish you knew before beginning your public health studies?
I would advise potential students to utilize the abundant resources available. Reach out to the academic advisers, ask endless questions to the professors, attend workshops and career fairs, join communities and organizations related to the major, connect with peer colleagues who could eventually be future employees in the same field, utilize LinkedIn learning resources, and visit the UW Hall Health Center or the counseling centers for any health concerns. Stepping out of your comfort zone and using this time as an opportunity to try new things will allow students to gain such valuable experiences that will prepare them to become successful leaders.