Lanaya Sandberg, MHA, MBA currently serves as the Program Director and Assistant Professor for Champlain’s online healthcare administration programs. She has been with Champlain College Online (CCO) since January 2016.
What brought you to Champlain?
My journey with Champlain College began almost 20 years ago when I became a traditional, on-campus student. I had discovered Champlain after the career services team at my high school in Connecticut referred me to them during my senior year. After touring the campus, I fell in love with the culture and decided it was a great fit!
The first degree I earned at Champlain was my bachelor's degree in business administration. After graduating, I started my career working in health insurance and quickly developed a penchant for the field of healthcare. While continuing to work full-time, I decided to go back to school at Champlain through their online programs where I earned my master's degrees in business administration (MBA) and healthcare administration (MHA). In 2014, upon earning my master's degrees, I was invited to be one of the speakers at my commencement ceremony, which was an incredible honor.
Shortly after graduating, I began instructing for CCO and am thrilled to now be the program director overseeing the online healthcare administration programs!
Tell us a bit about your professional background in healthcare.
While pursuing these academic endeavors, I always worked full-time. I have held positions (chief of staff, associate vice president, director) in various functional areas within the healthcare delivery system: provider contracting, mergers and acquisitions, operational and strategic planning and execution, and revenue cycle management. I have applied the theories and concepts I learned through Champlain College to solve complex challenges with my employers.
What are some of the things you like most about working at Champlain College Online?
My colleagues share my passion for the learning and success of our students. My main priority is to guide my students by helping shape and cultivate their abilities to create innovative solutions to the healthcare field's ever-changing challenges. The student-centered approach and integrated reflection I take as an instructor are evident in my colleagues and are part of what makes CCO unique and valuable.
Why did you decide to teach adult learners?
Instructing adult learners has been a good fit for me because I know what it's like to juggle work, studying, family, and time for myself. Time for me is a critical component; when I re-charge alone, it reenergizes me mentally and physically. I am delighted that we offer students the flexibility to weave a degree into their already busy lives!
What’s something you’d like students to know about you that they might not know otherwise?
We welcomed our daughter in 2020. It is hugely fulfilling juggling academia, working full-time, and being part of such a loving family. I hope that potential and current students view my story as a source of inspiration to invest in themselves through education.
What do you think makes a good online instructor?
An excellent online instructor must possess healthcare-specific expertise and understand how to educate and guide adult learners. I believe instructors need to have a strong presence, compassion, and humility while helping adult learners achieve their degrees.
What are some of the trends you see shaping healthcare administration education over the next few years, particularly in the online education space?
The critical challenges, opportunities, and trends influencing healthcare administration education continue to be: costs and transparency; payment models that are equitable for all stakeholders; individual and population health outcomes; accessibility and availability; privacy and security; and data and analytics. These areas evident throughout the U.S. healthcare landscape remain largely unresolved. The leaders of tomorrow will need new approaches if real advances are to be made in the healthcare delivery system.
The important mission of CCO’s healthcare administration programs is to graduate students who can manage for quality, high performance, and continuous improvement in any healthcare-related industry by employing their knowledge of leadership, management, performance improvement, innovation, and information systems. This mission is fulfilled through blending andragogy, curriculum design, existing curriculum, and online learning with the necessary healthcare-specific content that distinguishes the field of healthcare from other industries/sectors.
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