College of Public Health students graduating

Our Students


Keyana Boka

Hometown: Bowling Green, KY

Undergraduate: Western Kentucky University, BS in Biology with Minor in Worksite Health Promotions

Keyana is pursuing both her M.H.A. and J.D. degrees through UK’s dual degree program. Her interests in health law and policy led her to a M.H.A. internship in Washington D.C. with the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration Federal Office of Rural Health Policy. Keyana researches physical activity policy with the Department of Kinesiology and Health Promotion. She is a graduate of the Western Kentucky University Honors College, where she received a Bachelor of Science in Biology with a minor in Worksite Health Promotions. When she’s not studying in the law library, Keyana enjoys baking and rock climbing.


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Kristin Boone

Hometown: Bardstown, KY

Undergraduate: Eastern Kentucky University, B.S. in Health Services Administration, Ancillary Health Management

During her time at EKU, Kristin interned at three local healthcare facilities: St. Joseph, Rockcastle Regional Hospital, and UK’s Office of Patient Experience.  She was one of the re-establishing members of EKU’s Student Association for Health Services Administration chapter, as well as served on the executive committee of her sorority, Kappa Alpha Theta. She currently works at UKHC in the administration department in the Department of Pediatrics. Kristin is interested in becoming a Clinical Operations Manager after finishing her MHA degree. In her spare time, she enjoys attending concerts, local festivals, and spending time with family and friends.

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Lucas Brooks

Hometown: Pineville, KY

Undergraduate: Centre College BS in Economics and Finance and Political Science 

During his time at Centre College, Lucas spent time working at Pineville Community Hospital and then interning in the Marketing and Community Benefit Departments at Ephraim McDowell Health. He also served as his fraternity’s president and as the tennis team captain garnering All Conference Tournament Team honors. He also spent the summer in between his time at Centre and UK interning in the Medicare Service Center for HCA Parallon. Luke’s career interests include hospital operations, finance, and improving rural public health and rural access to care. In his free time, he enjoys cooking, playing tennis, the outdoors, and being with friends and family.

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Larrin Collins

Hometown: West Liberty, KY

Undergraduate: Morehead State University, B.A. HealthCare Management 

As an undergraduate at Morehead State University, Larrin held positions at St. Claire Regional Medical Center in patient financial services and patient safety. Larrin started and coordinated MSUs first student led Relay for Life while was also holding executive positions on the Interfraternity Council and Delta Tau Delta Fraternity. Larrin currently works part-time at UK HealthCare in Kentucky Children's Hospital. His current interests include pediatrics and operations. Larrin is a die-hard University of Kentucky football and basketball fan, enjoys spending time with family and friends and traveling at any chance he gets.

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Olivia Colliver

Hometown: Mt. Sterling, KY

Undergraduate: Centre College

Olivia Colliver graduated from Centre College with a Bachelor’s degree in Economics and Finance in May of 2017. As an undergrad at Centre College, Olivia was active in leadership within her sorority, a varsity athlete for the Centre Colonels, and involved in the After School Tutoring Program for local ESL students. Olivia completed an internship in the summer of 2015 with the Finance Office of Centre College. Following graduation, she worked with Easter Seals Cardinal Hill partnering with Central Kentucky Riding for Hope and is now working in Collections for Marshall Pediatric Therapy. Olivia is interested in non-profit fundraising and community outreach. In her spare time, Olivia enjoys baking, spending time with friends and family, and attending sporting events.


Reynalda Davis

Hometown: Clarksville, TN

Undergraduate: University of Louisville, BA in political science

Reynalda received the University of Louisville’s Woodford R. Porter scholarship and was a part of the National Student Exchange through Hunter College in New York City. She has interests in epidemiology and health insurance payment systems. In her spare time she enjoys concerts, music, and spending time with family.

Heshaam Elbakoush

Heshaam Elbakoush

Hometown: Lexington, KY

Undergraduate: BS in Dietetics, University of Kentucky

Heshaam completed his undergraduate at the University of Kentucky and was a member of the Student Dietetics and Nutrition Association. Heshaam was a Staff Sergeant as a Military Police Officer with the 617th Military Police Company based in Richmond, Kentucky, for 7 years while completing his undergraduate. A notable milestone while his time in was the successful shut down and turnover of the largest contingency post, Victory Base Complex, in  Baghdad, Iraq in 2011.  Currently a first year MHA student, he is interested in operations and management on an executive level. During his time off, Heshaam enjoys to hiking at various locations across the state, socializing with friends, and going on adventurous motorcycle rides.

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Blake Freeman

Hometown: Palm Harbor, FL

Undergraduate: University of Kentucky, B.S. in Biology

Blake received a Bachelor’s of Science in Biology from the University of Kentucky in 2014. During his time as an undergraduate, he was a varsity member of the University of Kentucky Swim and Dive team, and volunteered for a number of organizations as a student-athlete. After discovering a passion for business while working for lululemon athletica, he chose to pursue a degree that would bring his passions together, operational business management, health care, and community. Blake spends his free time exploring the Lexington community, and being surrounded by friends and family.

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Brenton Hill

Hometown: Yuma, AZ 

Undergraduate: Arizona State University, BS in Health Policy

Brenton is currently enrolled in the Juris Doctor and Master’s of Healthcare Administration dual degree. Before completing his undergraduate degree, he served a Spanish-speaking, full-time mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. During his time at Arizona State, he worked in the athletic department where he helped organize and facilitate various events for both sporting and non-sporting purposes. Over the past year and a half he was an intern at Naegle and Crider PLC, and then worked for Hunton & Williams LLP in Dallas, TX as a Legal Assistant. His interests include policy formation, strategic improvement of operations, and the interaction of healthcare and law. In his spare time he enjoys being with his wife, hunting, fishing, and volunteering for his church’s youth program.

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Andrew Horn

Hometown: Chattanooga, TN

Undergraduate: Centre College, B.S. in Behavioral Neuroscience with Minor in Psychology

As an undergraduate, Andrew majored in Behavioral Neuroscience with a minor in Psychology. His interest in healthcare was set in motion after interning at Tyler Insurance Group, the leading Medicare agency in Nevada. During his internship, Andrew met with clients and accompanied agents on appointments. This opportunity allowed him to not only deepen his knowledge of the healthcare system, but also better understand the flaws in the system that clients dealt with on a day-to-day basis. This experience led him to pursue his Masters degree in Health Administration. In his spare time, Andrew enjoys playing golf, eating Indian food, walking his dog Lucy, and avoiding wedding planning with his fiancé Caroline.

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Matt Hutson

Hometown: Plano, TX

Undergraduate: BA at Eastern Kentucky University

Matt Hutson is pursuing an MHA as well as graduate certificates in Lean Systems and Improving Healthcare Value.  At UKHC, he's the chair of the PCA Shared Governance council and has championed a monthly email that provides best practice, waste-eliminating measures, and education to all 200 unit clerks in the enterprise.  Deeply interested in process improvement, standardized work, and employee relations, Matt is actively engaged in multiple undertakings at the hospital to develop his skills and abilities.  When not at work or in class, Matt is improving his foreign language skills (Spanish, German, and French), reading yet another book, or trying to cook the perfect burger.

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Cameron Hyde

Hometown: Sartell, Minnesota

Undergraduate: University of Kentucky, B.S. Biology

Cameron received his Bachelor of Science in Biology from the University of Kentucky in 2015. During his time as an undergraduate, he was a varsity member of the University of Kentucky Swim team, and volunteered at a variety of organizations: St. Joseph Hospital, Mission Lexington, and Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Bluegrass. Upon graduation, Cameron enrolled at the University of Kentucky College of Dentistry. After two years in the dental program, Cameron decided that his strengths and interests lied elsewhere in the healthcare field. His healthcare interests include hospital administration, quality improvement, and creating a patient first environment. Cameron spends his free time working out, exploring Lexington, and spending time with family and friends.

Cameron Hyde Photo

Majd Jabbour

Hometown: Aleppo, Syria 

Undergraduate: University of Kentucky, B.A. Biology

Majd’s higher education began in the School of Pharmacy at the University of Aleppo in Aleppo, Syria, where he was forced to interrupt his studies three years into the program as a result of the ongoing war. Upon moving to Lexington, he received his Bachelor of Arts in Biology at the University of Kentucky in 2017 and entered the Master of Healthcare Administration program that same year. Majd is very passionate about improving healthcare delivery globally and in America, and his work experience reflects that. In 2011, he worked as a hospital pharmacy manager and is currently interning at Baptist Health Lexington in the Patient Experience Department and Baptist Foundation where he works with a group of dedicated people whose goal is to enhance delivery of care. Majd’s focus is on hospital management as he aspires to become a healthcare administrator who can lead real change in a troubled healthcare environment.

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Elizabeth Lancaster

Hometown: Versailles, KY

Undergraduate: University of Kentucky, B.S. Biology and Minor in Classics

Elizabeth has had a lifelong interest in the medical field. She spent time as a hospice CNA, during her undergraduate years, gaining experience in patient and family relations. From there, she turned to Markey Cancer Center, where she volunteered for the latter two years of college. She was able to meet and gain a greater respect for nurses and what they do. However, she realized she wanted to be able to do more for patients, nurses, physicians, etc.  Graduation came, and she wasn't sure what route to take. Elizabeth headed to Logan's roadhouse. There she met one of the best group of people, who helped her find her path - from introducing her to the field of teaching, to encouraging her to apply for graduate school (it took a couple years). Now, she has interests ranging from hospital operations to quality improvement within the MHA program here at UK. Outside of school, Elizabeth works at the Kentucky Blood Center as a phlebotomist.  In her free time, she likes reading, watching movies, traveling, cooking and of course, chilling with her friends/family.

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Adam Mardis

Undergraduate: University of Kentucky B.A. in Economics

As an undergraduate student, Adam was involved with College Mentors for Kids- an afterschool program for underprivileged children in the Lexington area. He also worked part-time for Conifer Health Solutions at Saint Joseph Hospital and has transitioned to a full-time position in the Access Center, assisting in the transferring of patient information between hospitals in the KentuckyOne Health network. His interests in healthcare include public health policy and the promotion of preventative healthcare, specifically in low-income areas. In his spare time, Adam enjoys working out, eating burritos, and hanging out with friends and family. 

Allie McNamara

Allison McNamara (Allie)

Hometown: Lexington, KY

Education: Washington and Lee University B.S. Business Administration and European History; cum laude

As an undergraduate, Allie ran cross country and track at Washington and Lee. As a Kappa Alpha Theta, she served as Alumni Liaison and Awards Director. She was also very involved in Mock Convention, which correctly predicted the outcome of the Republican primary election in 2016. She served as a state chair. Allie has volunteered with a local domestic violence shelter for the past 7 years and worked closely with Theta’s philanthropy, CASA. Allie has worked as the Administrative Resident under the Chief Operations Officer and Chief Nursing Officer at Williamson Medical Center for the past two summers. She is currently pursuing her JD/MHA at the University of Kentucky and working as an Administrative Intern at UK Healthcare.

Baeley Reed

Baeley Reed

Hometown: : St. Louis, MO

Undergraduate: Drexel University, B.S. in Health Services Administration with minor in Business Administration 

As an undergraduate, Baeley was a member of the Division I softball program at Drexel University and worked part-time within Drexel’s Recreational Athletics Department. As part of her curriculum, she also completed a six month, full-time internship at a NovaCare Rehabilitation Center in Philadelphia as a patient service specialist. There she managed patient data and helped in the verification of patient insurance coverage. Currently, she is working as a graduate assistant for premium seating, hospitality, and events within the UK Athletic Department. Her healthcare interests include hospital administration and quality improvement. In her spare time, Baeley enjoys traveling, being outdoors, and spending time with family and friends. 

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John Rhea

Hometown: Louisville, KY 

Undergraduate: University of Kentucky, B.S. in Kinesiology

As an undergraduate at UK, I was very involved with the University of Kentucky’s DanceBlue Morale Committee as well as my fraternity, Sigma Alpha Epsilon, getting them involved with DanceBlue. During my last year of undergrad, I was a physical therapy technician for Performance Physical Therapy, providing patient care and instructing patients about exercises. After graduation from undergrad I moved from Performance Physical Therapy to Ellis and Badenhausen Orthopaedics to work as a physical therapy technician where I continued my learning of physical therapy. I am interested in chronic disease, operations, and quality improvement. During my free time, I enjoy spending time with friends and family, camping, being outside, and traveling.

Kaden Ross

Kaden Ross

Hometown: Ezel, KY

Undergraduate: Morehead State University, B.A. Health Care Management

During his time at Morehead State University, Kaden was an active student leader.  He served as the Marketing Coordinator for the Student Programming Board, a congress member for Student Government, Accounting Coordinator for Relay for Life, as well as Treasurer and President of his fraternity Delta Tau Delta. His career interests include hospital operations, quality improvement , and project management. In his free time he enjoys playing golf, rooting for the Wildcats, and spending time with family and friends. 

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Eliza Jane Smith

Hometown: Burkesville, KY

Undergraduate: B.A. Health Communication

As an undergraduate, Eliza Jane was involved with the Red Shoe Crew and obtaining multiple positions in her sorority, Delta Delta Delta. Eliza Jane was also very active with the philanthropic side of Greek life, helping raise thousands of dollars for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. She recently finished an internship at the Kentucky Center for Oral Surgery and currently hold a Graduate Assistantship at UK Healthcare. She is interested in pediatrics, operations, and hospital administration. In her free time, you can find her working out, spending time with her family, watching HGTV, or playing with her dog.

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Amber Williams

Hometown: London, KY

Undergraduate: Morehead State University, B.A. in Exercise Science with a Minor in Health

After graduating from Morehead State University with a degree in Exercise Science, Amber spent 17 years in the Health and Fitness industry working in a variety of settings, such as corporate fitness as a Fitness Specialist at Toyota Motor Manufacturing of KY, non-profit wellness as a Wellness Director at the Frankfort YMCA, medically integrated sports club as the Assistant Fitness Director at the Westview Hospital Healthplex Sports Club and owner of her own fitness studio, Body of Stone Fitness.  Amber’s love for the health & wellness industry has transitioned to the Healthcare side of wellness and she is currently the Chief Administrative Assistant in the Division of Plastic Surgery at UK Healthcare.  Amber is very much interested in quality and patient satisfaction in the Healthcare industry and is currently pursuing a graduate certificate in Improving Healthcare Value along with her Master’s in Health Administration.  Outside of work and school, Amber enjoys spending time with her husband, Chris their children Luke (15) and Alli (13).  Her free time is consumed with her children’s sporting events and extra-curricular activities.

Renee’ Wilson

Hometown: Northern KY

Undergraduate: University of Kentucky, BA in Health Communication

Renee' received the University of Kentucky Presidential Scholarship and completed an internship with KentuckyOne Health in Louisville, Kentucky. Renee' has an interest in risk management, corporate compliance, and healthcare law, and hopes to pursue one of these interests after completing her Master of Health Administration and J.D. dual degree. In her spare time Renee' enjoys crafting, hosting board game and trivia nights, and playing tennis.

Heath Abney

Hometown: Owensboro, KY

Undergraduate: University of Kentucky, BS in Economics, BA in Political Science and Minor in Spanish

As an undergraduate, much of Heath’s time involved coordinating service events for his service fraternity, Alpha Phi Omega, as well as organizing, fundraising for, and leading volunteers on trips abroad with UK Alternative Service Breaks. Heath completed an internship with the Lexington Habitat for Humanity ReStore and has worked for UK HealthCare and the Lexington Clinic. Heath is the recipient of the Norton Scholarship for Health Care Leadership and has interests in health care policy and improving access to quality care. Outside of class, he enjoys cooking, spending time with his friends and family, and spending too much time at flea markets.

Erin Alenciks

Hometown: Naperville, IL

Undergraduate: Hope College, B.S. in Biology

At Hope College, Erin worked as a teaching assistant in various biology courses as well as an undergraduate research assistant in a neurobiology lab. She has been on numerous mission trips to Central America over the past 5 years and has an interest in international healthcare after completing her MHA degree. She currently is completing a work experience in the Patient Experience Department at UK HealthCare. In her spare time, Erin enjoys volunteering, traveling, reading and being with friends and family.

MHASA Recruitment Chair

Corey Billups

Hometown: Greenup, KY

Undergraduate: University of Kentucky, B.S. in Economics, B.S. Business Management

As an undergraduate at UK, Corey was involved with University of Kentucky's Christian Student Fellowship and worked as a tutor in math for a couple semesters. Corey is also very active in community service through his church in Greenup, KY and volunteering at Southland in Lexington. Corey currently works part-time at UK HealthCare in the Emergency Department. His current interests include operations, capacity command, and project management. In his spare time, Corey enjoys spending time with friends and family, fishing, kayaking, hiking and traveling. 

MHASA Treasurer

Jessica Black

Hometown: Louisville, KY

Undergraduate: University of Kentucky, B.S. Hospitality Management

As an undergraduate, Jessica worked at UK Chandler Hospital as a Hospital Service Representative responsible for equipment management tasks. Currently, she works in the Emergency Department at St. Joseph Hospital as a Patient Access Representative. Her healthcare interests include hospital operations, quality improvement, and public health policy. In her spare time, she enjoys working out, traveling, and spending time with family.

Haylie Dennis

Hometown: Lexington, KY

Undergraduate: University of Kentucky, BA in Health Communication, BHS in Clinical Leadership and Management, Spanish Minor

As an undergraduate, Haylie worked as a UK HealthCare Patient Relations Assistant  in the pediatric, ambulatory, orthopedic and neurology departments. She also participated in  research on oral health in Appalachian Kentucky and intimate partner violence and co-authored two conference presentations. Her area of interest is population health, particularly in physical health and wellness. In her free time, Haylie enjoys taking her dog hiking, kayaking, and hammocking.

Daniel Ficker

Hometown: Butler, KY 

Undergraduate: Transylvania University, B.A. in Psychology with Minor in Biology

While at Transylvania University, Daniel volunteered at Shriners Hospital in Lexington, KY. Upon graduation, Daniel served with AmeriCorps NCCC working in underserved communities throughout the Pacific Northwest. Daniel is completing the MHA/JD dual degree program and is interested in the integration of law and the healthcare industry. He currently has a part-time work experience with UK HealthCare.  In his spare time, Daniel enjoys working out, traveling, and spending time with friends and family.

Kristen Green

Hometown: Owenton, KY

Undergraduate: University of Kentucky, B.A. in History

As an undergraduate degree at the University of Kentucky, Kristen worked as the primary outpatient intake coordinator for Lexington Infectious Disease Consultants.  Kristen is interested in cost and resource management as well as private practice sustainability, areas in which she hopes to further her experience after completion of the MHA degree.  She currently volunteers for the Alzheimer's Association as an advocate to Senator Mitch McConnell and serves on the Walk to End Alzheimer's committee in Lexington.  In her spare time, Kristen enjoys whitewater rafting, travel, and spending time with her husband and two sons.

Aaron Heffley

Hometown: Louisville, KY

Undergraduate: Salisbury University, B.S. in Science

During his time at Salisbury University, Aaron interned at the local YMCA as a wellness consultant.  He served as an executive member of the Exercise Science Club at the university as well as president of his fraternity, Pi Lambda Phi.  Aaron's interests in health care include initiatives that promote healthier lifestyles for people and combat chronic health-related diseases.  His career interests include hospital administration, long-term care, and primary care.  He enjoys playing tennis and guitar, working out, and spending time with family and friends.

MHASA Vice President

Angel Ho

Hometown: Elizabethtown, KY

Undergraduate: University of Kentucky, Biology with a Topical Focus in Public Health

As an undergraduate, Angel worked as a Research Assistant in the Department of Rehabilitation Sciences at UK HealthCare, collaborating with post-doctoral candidates to better understand the physiology of the human body and shadowing several administrators. Angel is interested in becoming a practice manager after finishing her MHA degree. In her spare time, she enjoys being outdoors, attending concerts, traveling, and spending time with family and friends.



Nahal Hosseini

Hometown: Okemos, MI

Undergraduate: University of Kentucky, BS in Business Administration

While she was an undergraduate, Nahal began working for the University of Kentucky Center for Clinical and Translational Science and became interested in health administration through her experience there. When not at school and work, she enjoys reading, painting, traveling and spending time with her friends and family.

Tarra Lowe

Hometown: Lexington KY

Undergraduate: Berea College, B.A. in Political Science

Tarra has worked at UK HealthCare for the past 20 years. She started her career in Continuing Medical Education (CME) organizing  programs for providers.  The majority of her experience at UK HealthCare is in the Physician Liaison Program providing outreach to the providers of Kentucky. Tarra has an interest in advancing her career in healthcare after finishing her MHA.  In her spare time, Tarra spends time with her husband, chasing after her twin boys, and when she has any extra time, playing tennis and spending time with friends.

Richard Neikirk

Hometown: Burkesville, KY

Undergraduate: Centre College, B.S. in Economics

Richard began working for his local hospital in high school and soon realized his affinity for hospitality. While studying economics at Centre College, Richard interned with the Kentucky Hospital Association and worked closely with the rural health department on various projects. During his senior year at Centre, he completed an internship with the Community Outreach department of  Ephraim McDowell Regional Medical Center, from which he gained clinical experience. After graduation, Richard moved to Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany for 2 years as a civilian contractor for the U.S. Department of Defense and served as a customer service and relations liaison. Naturally, traveling is one of his favorite pastimes because of his open-minded nature. Richard also enjoys getting out and being active with friends in his off-time.

Kenneth Nusbacher

Hometown: Lexington, KY

Education: Transylvania University, B.S., Psychology, University of Kentucky College of Dentistry, DMD

Kenneth is an Assistant Professor in the UK College of Dentistry. He serves as the Director of Faculty Practice Clinic and also the Director of the Dental Assisting Program in the College of Dentistry. His clinical interests include oral diagnosis, oral medicine and oral radiology. Kenneth teaches several courses in the College of Dentistry and in teaching continuing education courses. Prior to joining the dental faculty, Kenneth was in private practice in Lexington. He is very active as a youth soccer coach in Lexington plus serves as the UK Soccer Club Faculty representative.

Maggie Owens

Hometown: : Lexington, KY

Undergraduate: University of Kentucky, B.A. in Health Communication

As an undergraduate at UK, Maggie was very involved with University of Kentucky's DanceBlue committee  and also volunteered at community events. She spent her last semester of undergrad interning with UK's Medical Professions Placement Service. Maggie currently works part-time at UK HealthCare in Kentucky Children's Hospital. Her current interests include pediatric and primary care, operations, and project management. In her spare time, Maggie enjoys working out, going to musicals and community theatre, volunteering around Lexington, and spending time with her family.  

MHASA President 

Carrie Rudzik

Hometown: Versailles, KY 

Undergraduate: University of Kentucky, B.S. in Accounting

After graduating from the University of Kentucky in 1999, Carrie pursued a career within manufacturing as a cost accountant at Square D Company, a local manufacturer of circuit breaker boxes and equipment.  After four years in the industry and amidst some turmoil and outsourcing, Carrie took a job with UK HealthCare in 2003.  She spent over eight years in various accounting and finance roles including Cost Accounting Coordinator, OR Finance Manager, and Senior Manager of Fiscal Planning & Analysis.  In 2011, Carrie transitioned to the ICD-10 implementation team as the project manager, a position she held for two years.  In 2013, when UK HealthCare  assumed management of Eastern State Hospital,  Carrie was asked to be a part of the transition team which was tasked with opening the new building and over 400 employees from the original 1824 hospital to the new, state-of-the-art.  When the transition was complete, Carrie stayed on as the Director of Business and Administrative Services overseeing financial and administrative functions of the facility.  In February 2016, Carrie was asked to assume the role of Chief Administrative Officer.  In this role, Carrie oversees all operations of the 239-bed facility.  In her spare time, Carrie enjoys playing golf and spending time with her husband, Jason and their two boys, Jacob (11) and Matthew (9).

Lauren Seaton

Hometown: Mount Carmel, IL

Undergraduate: University of Kentucky, B.A. in Social Work

As an undergraduate, Lauren completed internships with Ashland Terrace Retirement Home and Lexington Country Place Senior Living. As a result of her internships, Lauren became interested in geriatric healthcare. She is currently employed at Concentra Healthcare and involved at Ashland Terrace. In her spare time, Lauren enjoys traveling, concerts, reading, and spending time with family and friends. 

MHASA Secretary

Danielle Sedlacek

Hometown: Akron, Ohio

Undergraduate: University of Kentucky, B.S. in Business Management

As an undergraduate, Danielle worked for Saint Joseph Hospital in the Emergency Department. She also worked with the Lexington-Fayette County Health Department  on their Community Health Improvement Plan. She designed their logo and collaborated as part of the team that implemented the program. She currently works in admissions at Saint Joseph Hospital and registers patients for inpatient and outpatient procedures. Her interests in healthcare include quality improvement and process management in large hospitals, more specifically quality and design improvement in emergency departmentss to increase efficiency. In her spare time she likes to explore new things in Lexington; food, sites and activities. 

John Shearer

Hometown: Raceland, Kentucky

Undergraduate: University of Kentucky, B.S. Economics; B.S. Business Administration

John will be receiving his Juris Doctor and Master of Health Administration via the dual degree program. He is interested in healthcare policy and compliance as well as improving institutional efficiency. Currently, John is a law clerk at Mattmiller Crosbie, PLLC and also holds an administrative internship with UK Healthcare in the Office of Patient Experience. In his spare time, John enjoys backpacking, kayaking, live music, and spending time with friends and family.

Kara Ward

Hometown: Georgetown, KY

Undergraduate: University of Louisville, B.S. in Industrial Engineering

As part of her undergraduate curriculum, Kara completed two semesters working full-time as an Industrial Engineering Co-op student at Norton Healthcare, where she led process improvement projects. Following graduation, she continued her work at Norton Healthcare through a summer internship and a part-time extended internship. She has a specific interest in the integration of industrial engineering principles in health care systems including elimination of waste, efficiency, supply chain solutions, facility planning, signaling, and scheduling optimization. In her free time, she enjoys attending concerts and local festivals, cooking, and spending time with friends and family. 

Christopher Yost

Hometown: Manchester, KY

Education: University of Kentucky, B.S. in Biology University of Kentucky College of Medicine, MD 

After completing medical school, Chris completed a three-year Internal Medicine Residency at the University of Kentucky. Chris is currently in his third year on faculty at UK as an assistant professor in the Department of General Internal Medicine. His clinical responsibilities focus on adult primary care and chronic disease management. Chris is involved in both internal medicine resident and medical student education. He has an interest in clinical quality improvement, transitions of care, and practice transformation. Outside of work and school, he spends most of his time with his wife and children.


Sarah Clark

Hometown: Central KY

Undergraduate: Asbury University, BS in Management and Ethics

Sarah’s work experience is in Emergency Medical Services.  She has an interest in global health and implemented a mobile medical clinic in Haiti serving over 1,000 patients. Sarah looks forward to working on patient safety initiatives in healthcare after she completes her MHA degree. In her spare time she enjoys her children’s activities and advocating for Emergency Medical Services.

Rebecca Cheatham

Hometown: Salvisa, KY

Undergraduate: University of Kentucky, BA in Health Communication

As an undergraduate, Rebecca participated in a medical brigade traveling to underserved areas in Ecuador and was a member of several service organizations.  These experiences led to Rebecca’s interests in global health and operations administration after completing her MHA degree. Outside class, she enjoys camping, traveling, and spending time with family and friends.

Kaylee Gaspard

Hometown: Springfield, IL

Undergraduate: University of Kentucky, BS in Biology

Kaylee held leadership positions as an undergraduate and has two years of administrative experience in a dental practice in Lexington. After graduation, Kaylee is interested in health law and public health policy. In her spare time she enjoys playing soccer, being outside, and spending time with friends.

Patrick Hanks


Undergraduate: University of Colorado, BA in Environmental Studies; Colorado State University, BS in Business Management

From August 2011 to July 2015, Patrick served in the United States Coast Guard as an Operations Specialist and a Ship Navigator, with assignments on the USCGC Cuttyhunk WPB 1322, home ported in Port Angeles Washington, and at the Coast Guard Communication Station in Kodiak, Alaska. His interest in healthcare stemmed from his business management education: looking for a setting where he can serve and pursue interests in data analytics and healthcare information technology. Patrick worked part-time at UK HealthCare’s Office of the Executive Vice President for Health Affairs during his first year in the program.  He completed his internship at UK in the Office of Value and Innovation in Healthcare Delivery, where he continues to work in an assistantship role. In his free time, Patrick enjoys playing tennis, golf, running, reading, and volunteering.

Andrew Hines

Hometown: Fort Lauderdale, FL

Undergraduate: University of South Florida, BA in History

While at USF, Andrew volunteered with the Youth Environmental Alliance and interned with an environmental management company. Andrew has interests in healthcare operations, international patient programs, and process improvement. Andrew spent his summer interning with Broward Health’s International Program in Fort Lauderdale. In his spare time, he enjoys baseball, watching movies and spending time with friends.

Jay Howenstine

Hometown: Birmingham, AL

Undergraduate: University of Kentucky, Degree in Business Management and Economics

Jay worked throughout his undergraduate degree program at UK and found a graduate assistantship that would allowed him to pursue an advanced degree. Knowing he wanted to work in healthcare and given his background in business, he chose the MHA program. He wants to use his interests in finance and accounting to streamline the revenue cycle and business processes. Jay completed his internship at Mount Carmel Health System in Ohio.  In his spare time he likes to swim, play with his dog, and hang out with friends.

Joanne Imbert

Hometown: Brooklyn, NY

Undergraduate: University of Kentucky, Bachelor of Business Administration

As a UK undergraduate, Joanne competed on the track and field team on an athletic scholarship  and achieved a management position with the team in her final year of undergraduate studies. Joanne has an interest in cancer prevention and research after completing her MHA degree. In her spare time she enjoys traveling, reading, and spending time with friends.

Alexandra Matz

Hometown: Louisville, KY

Undergraduate: Francis Marion University, BS in Science with a Minor in Chemistry

Originally from Kentucky, Alex moved to South Carolina to accept a volleyball and academic scholarship. She did a volunteer internship at Hope Health, a local community hospital, as well as served the rural communities in an Interprofessional Healthcare (IPHC) delivering free health screenings. In her free time, Alex enjoys working out, traveling to SC and meeting new people. This past summer, Alex worked as an intern in marketing/administration/human resources over the summer at Clark Regional Medical Center in Winchester, Kentucky. Alex was part of a lot of behind the scene work there and thoroughly enjoyed her time. She is eager to continue her education and move forward with her degree and career in Healthcare Administration. 

Rithvi Melanta

Hometown: Indianapolis, IN

Undergraduate: Butler University, BS in Chemistry with a Minor in Spanish

While at Butler, Rithvi worked at Information Technology and served as a Patient Services Volunteer with Riley Children's Hospital. During her first year at UK, Rithvi completed an internship at UK HealthCare in the Perioperative Services Department. This past summer she finished her internship in Philadelphia with Main Line Health working on clinical process improvement projects. She currently holds a Graduate Assistantship at UK HealthCare.  Rithvi has an interest in the integration of health information technology after finishing her MHA degree. In her spare time, Rithvi enjoys playing tennis, being outside, and traveling to new places. 

Benjamin Minnis

Hometown: Green Bay, WI

Undergraduate: University of Minnesota, studied kinesiology and neuroscience

In college, Ben worked as a patient care attendant providing residential support services for people with physical and developmental disabilities. He also worked as a research assistant studying marathon performance and fall prevention strategies. Ben is interested in public health initiatives that focus on physical activity promotion for all ages. He completed his internship with New Ulm Medical Center in Minnesota.  His healthcare interests include primary care, ambulatory subspecialty care, and clinical process improvement. In his spare time he enjoys cycling, working out, camping, concerts and spending time with friends and family.

Cam Musil

Hometown: Johnson City, TN

Undergraduate: University of Kentucky, Bachelor in Business Administration Marketing

Cam has an employment background in mental and behavioral health but is interested in hospital and health system leadership.  During his first year at UK, Cam completed an internship with UK HealthCare in Emergency and Trauma Services. This past summer, Cam interned at Norton Healthcare working on process improvement and quality reporting projects in Norton Medical Group. He enjoys playing golf, reading, and being with family and friends in his free time.

Katie O’Leary

Hometown: Atlanta, GA

Undergraduate: Shorter University, Piano Pedagogy

After managing a small, personal business for two years, Katie started the MHA program.  She is interested in operations. Katie is married with a son and two dogs. In her spare time, she enjoys hiking, weight-training, and performing classical piano. This past summer Katie completed an internship at Shriners Hospitals for Children, Lexington where she had the opportunity to observe and participate in the planning phase of their transition from hospital to Ambulatory Surgery Center.

Sharon Rodriguez

Hometown: Lexington, KY

Undergraduate: The Ohio State University, BS in Health Information Management and Systems

Sharon Rodriguez received her Bachelor of Science in Health Information Management & Systems at The Ohio State University. She traded in her scarlet & grey for blue & white when she returned to her hometown of Lexington. During her time at UK, she has completed a Business Management Internship at the Ronald McDonald House and served as a Financial Services Healthcare Representative in the University of Kentucky Chandler Medical Center Emergency Room. She is currently working as a Graduate Assistant at UK Healthcare. Sharon spent last summer in San Francisco, serving as an Administrative Intern at Sutter Health. Sharon spends her free time exploring Lexington, relaxing outside with a cup of coffee and chanting “O-H” at people wearing Ohio State gear.

Amanda Richey

Hometown: Kansas City, MO

Undergraduate: University of Kentucky, BS in Accounting and a Bachelor’s of Business Administration in Management

Amanda Richey was born and raised in Kansas City, Missouri. She completed a dual undergraduate degree program at the University of Kentucky where she received a Bachelor's of Science in Accounting as well as a Bachelor's of Business Administration in Management. This summer, Amanda completed her practicum at Saint Luke's Health System in Kansas City with the Quality and Process Excellence department where she was involved in system-wide process improvement initiatives using Lean principles. In her free time, Amanda also enjoys cheering on Kansas City sports teams, reading, and cooking.

Mayoing Sun

Hometown: Sichuan, China

Undergraduate: University of Kentucky, BS in Accounting

Maoying currently works as a tax preparer at a local tax firm. As a student of the MHA program, she has special interests in financial and hospital management. Maoying spends her free time exercising and volunteering at the local Ronald McDonald House.  Maoying’s internship experience is with UK HealthCare.  

Thomas Pettrey

Hometown: Flatwoods, KY

Undergraduate: University of Kentucky, BA in Political Science with Minors in History and Philosophy

After graduating from UK, TJ worked in a private medical practice in Ashland, KY. He later accepted a position at the Gill Heart Institute at UK Healthcare where he became an outreach coordinator for Eastern Kentucky. This past summer TJ interned at the Office for Value and Innovation in Healthcare Delivery at UK, where he focused on process improvement and Toyota Lean philosophies. TJ continues to serve an assistantship role at OVIHD while he completes his graduate degree. TJ's interests include process improvement, health policy, global health systems, and Appalachian health. He enjoys UK football and basketball, every soccer league in the world, and Kentucky bourbon. TJ and his wife Allison have one son, Kieran, born May 2015.

Peterson Wellford

Hometown: Memphis, TN

Undergraduate: University of Alabama, Double Major in Public Relations and Journalism

While at Alabama, Peterson was very involved in the student health education program, Project Health, and was named the 2014 Outstanding Board Member of the Year. In his final year, Alabama named Peterson as the university's 2015 Senior of the Year. Peterson has interned at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital and is interested in operations and risk management in hospital settings. In addition, Peterson completed his internship at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital this past summer. Peterson enjoys traveling as much as possible and discovering new music. 

Kaeto Vin-Nnajiofor

Hometown: Nigeria

Undergraduate: University of Kentucky, BS in Biochemistry

During her undergraduate education at UK, Kaeto held several leadership positions including  chapter president for Phi Sigma Theta National Honor Society. As secretary for the African Student Association, she helped raise money for  Medical Bridges, an organization that recovers medical surplus and redistributes it to hospitals in developing countries. Kaeto has an interest in global health, human resource management, and environmental health and safety in healthcare delivery settings. Kaeto’s internship was completed at Pediatric and Adolescent Associates in Lexington.  One of Kaeto's goals is to assist in improving and modernizing the healthcare system of Nigeria.