Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Dress for success with the help of CDS

For those of you who stopped by during the CDS Student Appreciation Week, you know that we automatically entered your name into a drawing to win a free business suit. The lucky winners were Anne Marie Daly and Troy Crawley, who were taken on a guided shopping trip where they chose the business suits that best “suited” them and their future careers.

Anne Marie came to Peirce in May 2010 after being impacted by the flood of layoffs that hit in 2008. Her long-time interest in the law led her to an open house for the Paralegal Studies program. Assistant Dean and Professor Ed Miller had so much enthusiasm for the field that Anne Marie was convinced Peirce was the place for her. Anne Marie will soon complete her associate degree and intends to earn her bachelor’s degree as well.

A former police officer, Troy is another Paralegal Studies student who’d always been interested in the law. It was when he started feeling uncertain about where his career path was taking him that he began seriously considering returning to school to pursue the field that had always piqued his interest.

Troy came to Peirce in 2009 to pursue a bachelor’s degree in Paralegal Studies. He’s now a member of the Peirce Paralegal Student Association, and splits his time between work and school.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Mark Twain pens a letter of regret to Peirce College's founder

It's not often that you want to tell everyone that someone rejected you. But when that someone is Mark Twain, and you have the letter of regret he dropped in the mail in 1885, it suddenly seems like something worth sharing. :)

And since the first of three volumes of the "Autobiography of Mark Twain" was just published this month, we think there's no time like the present to share the letter he wrote to Peirce 125 years ago.

In the spring of 1885, Peirce founder Thomas May Peirce wrote to Samuel Langhorne Clemens requesting that he speak at the College's commencement ceremony. Clemens was a famous American author who went by a much more recognizable pen name -- Mark Twain. In 1885, just one year had passed since he'd published "Adventures of Huckleberry Finn."

Unfortunately, "the father of American literature" (as William Faulkner called him) was unavailable for the speaking engagement. He explained as much in a letter addressed to the Peirce founder that has become a piece of the College's history. As "keeper of the archives," I'm sharing it with you!

Read on for the full text, and download a copy of the original document by clicking the image to the right.

Hartford, Apl. 7/85 
Thomas May Peirce,
Dear Sir:
Yes, unfortunately I have plans for June of the utmost definiteness, + they will permit no absences from my desk + work -- which latter has been thrown behind hand by my late 4-months' campaign on the platform. If the thing acquired were a mere "reading," such as I do on the public platform, we should doubtless have no trouble as to price, if I were situated otherwise than I am as to time; but an address is another matter. I would deliver none but one which should satisfy me, personally, -- + such a piece of work would require time + pains. The price I should charge would be simply an outrage, + we couldn't agree. But I am wandering from the point, since matters are as set forth on my other page. 
Truly Yours, 
S. L. Clemens

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Personal health records: take control of your healthcare information

On behalf of the AHIMA (American Health Information Management Association), I recently gave a presentation at Doylestown Hospital focused on the Personal Health Record (PHR).

When it comes to organizing and keeping track of your own personal health information, there is no better way than by maintaining a PHR. And as the Program Manager of Peirce's healthcare programs, I thought it was important to share the highlights of my presentation here on the blog.

What exactly is a Personal Health Record, and why is it so important?
The Personal Health Record, otherwise known as a PHR, is a collection of important information about your health or the health of someone you're caring for that you actively maintain and update. It is different than a regular health record, which is information about your health compiled and maintained by each of your healthcare providers.

Think of all the medical professionals you or your family see -- primary care physicians, OB/GYN, dentist, orthodontist, physical therapist, eye doctors, specialists, and dermatologists, just to name a few. The information contained in a PHR will come from all of those sources, but it is maintained by YOU. It can help you plan and keep track of any care or treatment you receive, while keeping you up to date and educated so that you are better able to discuss your health with your doctors.

Why keep your own PHR:

  • Track appointments, vaccinations, and other services
  • Improve the quality of care you receive
  • Provide timely information when receiving emergency care and ensure access to vital health information
  • Reduce costs by eliminating duplicate tests

Research shows that improved health starts with you. When consumers actively participate in their own care, the outcomes are better. A PHR gives you ownership over your healthcare and the opportunity to provide accurate information to new caregivers; record your progress towards specific health-related goals; and refer to physician instructions, prescriptions, allergies, and insurance claims.

Getting Started
Gathering all of your personal health information in one place can be a valuable tool for documenting your health and communicating with healthcare providers. Individuals can create their own PHR, or may be offered one by a variety of sources, including healthcare providers, insurers, employers, or commercial suppliers.

Contact your doctors' offices and health information management (HIM) or medical records staff for help, and determine how you want to maintain your PHR. Various approaches include saving it to a computer disk, a USB drive, using online services, or starting a paper file folder.

To build your PHR, you need to access your health records. Ask your healthcare providers for an "authorization for the release of information" form (see sample form at myPHR.com). Complete the form and return to the facility as directed (most facilities charge for copies).

You've collected your health records and personal health information from all of your doctors. So what should be included in a PHR? In short, your PHR should capture a comprehensive view of anything that impacts your health.

  • Basic personal information: name and birthday; emergency contacts; contact information for your physicians, dentists, specialists; health insurance information; living wills, advance directives, medical power of attorney.
  • Anything pertaining to your medical history: dates of significant illness and surgical procedures; current medications and dosages; immunizations and dates received; allergies or sensitivities to drugs, materials or foods; important events and hereditary conditions in your family history; opinions of specialists; important test results; eye and dental records; correspondence between you and your provider; permission forms.

myPHR.com is a tool that makes it easy to start and maintain your Personal Health Record. Don't hesitate to visit the site to explore your options and learn more about PHRs. It includes a litany of tools and resources, including free PHR forms, a step-by-step guide to creating a PHR and info your PHR should include, as well as valuable information about your privacy rights.

Privacy and Security
Each PHR supplier has different policies and practices regarding how they may use data they store for the individual. While your healthcare providers create and maintain a record of your health information, the content belongs to YOU. It's important to understand where this information goes, who has access to it, and what your rights are.

The HIPAA Privacy Rule provides federal protections for personal health information and gives patients certain rights. For example, as a patient, you have the right to access, inspect, and copy health information, as well as the right to request corrections or changes. There are many common privacy myths, so do your research, and know your privacy rights.

Caregivers and the PHR
On the other hand, if you are a caregiver for someone, don't assume you automatically have rights to that person's information even if you are an immediate family member. Even dependent children under the age of 18 have special rights in certain circumstances. The person you are caring for should submit written authorization to his or her doctors and healthcare professionals. Check out myPHR.com for sample forms and additional instructions when it comes to health information, power of attorney, advance directives, and living wills.

Healthcare can be stressful, but when you create and use a PHR, you can be confident that important health information specific to you is always available to the people who need it most. Maintaining your own personal health record is one of the best ways to have constant access to your health information throughout the course of your lifetime.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Technology in Education: Florida school replaces textbooks with Kindles ... what’s next?

The past decade has seen rapid technological advancements in every industry -- energy, healthcare, construction, communication, transportation, entertainment, and, of course, education. While campuses across the country are doing their best to stay on the cutting edge, the ever-changing nature of technology makes harnessing it for educational use an ongoing challenge for those tasked with delivering technology to their students.

But it looks like one school is finding ways to stay ahead of the curve, and its faculty, staff, and students are making news. The headline that piqued our interest? “US School Replaces Textbooks with Kindles, Students Go Crazy.” The story, published on The Next Web, is about Clearwater High School in Pinellas County, Fla., the first school ever to distribute e-readers school wide.

Because this story speaks to the larger topics of technology and mobility in education, we thought it was a great opportunity to approach the school district about a possible interview with someone involved in the program. Enter John Just, Pinellas County’s Assistant Superintendent for Management Information Systems, who was kind enough to talk with us about this history making initiative.

Mr. Just offered some terrific insight on what goes on behind the scenes of launching a program like the one at Clearwater High School, how it impacts students and teachers alike, and the potential for the future. Click play below to hear the interview in full.

At Peirce, we recognize that technology and education are more closely linked than ever. Just as we have worked to make our online classes as accessible as possible, we recently introduced new smart phone applications to expand mobile access to resources at the College, including a new mobile site for our online learning platform. We will continue to track trends and developments in technology and report what we find. What do you think is next?

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Alumnus and Trustee Frederick Price is inducted into Peirce Wall of Fame

From left: Gregory West, Former Chairperson, Board of Trustees;
Frederick M. Price III; Floyd Price

A tribute luncheon was held last week in honor of prominent alumnus and trustee Frederick M. Price, who passed away in July of this year. At the lunch, this dear friend to the College was inducted into the Peirce College Wall of Fame.

The Wall, introduced in 1990, recognizes individuals for their outstanding contributions to Peirce. Mr. Price is the 37th member, and his photo will be displayed on a plaque at the main entrance of the College at 1420 Pine.

Mr. Price graduated from Peirce in 1964, served on its alumni board in the 1970s, and held a position on the board of trustees since 1999. He was chairperson of the College's Institutional Advancement Committee and a member of its Executive Committee.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

“I came back home to Peirce!” Readmit student shares why Peirce was the place for her

Cynthia Bradley graduated from Peirce College in 1989. She walked away with her associate degree in General Studies, and to this day, she proudly carries a copy of that degree in her wallet.

But it wasn’t goodbye forever when she stepped out the doors and onto Pine Street that day. Cynthia wasn’t done yet, and knew she wanted to pursue a bachelor’s degree. “When I graduated in 1989, we heard rumors that big things were happening at Peirce and a bachelor’s program was forthcoming … I decided to wait, I wouldn’t go anywhere else. There is no other place for me, I came back home to Peirce!”

Cynthia took a bit of a detour first. The year 1989 didn’t just bring her first degree, but her first child, Ashley. Cynthia instantly became a role model to a little girl who would grow up to attend college where she studies biology. Today, Ashley’s aspirations include attending medical school in 2012, where she plans on specializing in Pediatric Dermatology. Cynthia marvels at her daughter’s ambition, and knows that her own education was the start of something big -- a family that knows graduating from college is a must.

Monday, November 15, 2010

The migration to electronic health records

We told you about those 45,000 new healthcare jobs that are coming to Philly over the next 10 years. You might be wondering where exactly those jobs will be. I came across an interesting article in the New York Times last month that provides a great illustration of the expected growth in the health information management field, particularly surrounding patient records. What’s the big deal? They’re going electronic. It’s an inevitable shift – everything is digital, so why wouldn’t medical records follow suit? Given the drawbacks of paper records including illegible handwriting and single user access, it’s a logical idea that automating processes like order entry for prescriptions will be common practice as well.  

The article by reporter Steve Lohr further demonstrates the inevitable shift toward electronic health records (EHRs) for large hospitals and small physician practice alike. An accompanying post in DealBook refers to Mr. Lohr’s reporting that “medical experts have long agreed that digital patient records and electronic prescribing can help improve care and curb costs.” And with the Obama administration’s economic stimulus package, there is a renewed push (coming in the form of incentive payments) to encourage the use of electronic health records.

So what does this mean for you as a student pursuing a degree in healthcare information management? Jobs! Whether it is in medical offices, technology companies, law firms that deal with healthcare law, etc. I’m always watching the trends and growing areas of the industry, so I’ll continue to share things here with you.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Philadelphia’s Parent University featured on FOX 29

There was a great segment on FOX29 this week talking about the School District of Philadelphia’s Parent University. It’s an important education initiative that we at Peirce are very proud to be a part of! This summer, we were selected to provide a General Studies degree program for parents involved in Parent University.

Check out the story on MyFoxPhilly or watch the video below:

Peirce snapshot: Ambassadors Club at the Ronald McDonald House

On Sunday, Nov. 7, student members of the Peirce College Ambassadors Club rolled up their sleeves and tied on their aprons to provide breakfast for families at the Philadelphia Ronald McDonald House (PRMH). The group was on hand bright and early to volunteer as part of the Guest Chef Program at the Front and Erie House, which is located next to St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children. The house offers a home-like environment for 17 families a night, providing the comforts of home and support from PRMH staff and volunteers.

Pictured: (Back row L to R) Ann Marie Daly; Teresa Wilson; Alyson Rodgers, Enrollment Representative; Inna Watson
(Front row L to R) Danielle Jones, Enrollment Management Coordinator; Patricia Handy; Atiya Goldsmith

Alyson Rodgers, Peirce Enrollment Representative and co-advisor for the Ambassadors Club, worked closely with our student ambassadors to organize this community service opportunity. For those of you who might not be familiar with the group, the Ambassadors Club allows students to share their Peirce pride and spread the word about the College in our community and with prospective students. Volunteering in the Philadelphia community is just one of many ways that the ambassadors share their excitement about Peirce and serve as College representatives.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Student Veteran awarded prestigious scholarship by Peirce College and the National Guard

From left: Major General Jessica L. Wright;
Staff Sergeant Tiffany Brudnock; Program Manager,
Institutional Advancement, Steve Bird 
Adulthood doesn't have to keep you from going back to school, and neither does military service. Our Veteran's Appreciation Day brunch today was the College's way of thanking each of these students not just for their service to our country, but their dedication to making education a priority in their busy lives. While every service member deserves recognition today, and every other day of the year, there's one in particular who stands out from the crowd here at Peirce.

She's the winner of Peirce's Pennsylvania National Guard Scholarship: Staff Sergeant Tiffany Brudnock. Tiffany was an obvious choice to be the recipient of this competitive, renewable scholarship. Her glowing recommendations, long list of activities, spotless academic record, and eight-and-a-half years of service impressed the awarding committee and earned this soon-to-be Peirce grad full tuition!

While she's just the fourth person to earn Peirce's Pennsylvania National Guard Scholarship, Tiffany is part of a long history of Peirce students who served in the military. The College opened its doors for returning Civil War vets in 1865, and has seen thousands of servicemen and women enroll since. Contributions from members of the National Guard have made this renewable scholarship possible for a member of the New Jersey and Pennsylvania National Guards every year since 2006.

Tiffany is in the 656th Signal Company where she works in the Information Technology field and with communications during monthly drill weekends. She's currently taking the Associated Business Capstone, and will receive her associate degree in Business Administration this December. She's simultaneously working towards her bachelor's degree with a concentration in Business Management, and aims to complete her coursework by December 2011.

Tiffany first enrolled at Peirce in 2008. She started class just a few weeks after meeting with College representatives who impressed her with the options available to students looking for an online education. The following year she was deployed to Iraq and took time off from school, but picked up right where she left of upon her return to the States. What's up next? Possibly a master's degree, and one day, starting her own business. Tiffany, congratulations on all your success!

Information for those interested in applying for the Pa. or N.J. National Guard Scholarship is available on our website. And you can find many other resources for members of the military who are pursuing higher education here on Peirce Connections. Check out some of our past blog posts for more on scholarship and grant opportunities for veterans, the post-9/11 GI Bill, and turning military service into college credit. For those of you who want to speak with a staff member here at the College about your options, we've brought a new team member on board for just that purpose.

Joseph (Joey) Juarez Jr. recently joined our staff as Program Manager, Admissions, responsible for Military and Veteran Affairs. His role is to focus solely on supporting our military students as they pursue their education. Joey himself served in the United States Air Force, so he comes to Peirce with strong knowledge and experience with military personnel and family programs. Welcome to Peirce, Joey!

Happy Veterans Day to all our student veterans and to all the men and women around the world who've served our country.

Peirce's online learning site now available on your smartphone!

Big news for Peirce students enrolled in online classes: Peirce Online has gone mobile! Students can now check in on online classes right from their smartphone using Peirce's new mobile site within its online learning platform. Within the mobile site, students can:
  • Engage with class announcements
  • Access their online gradebooks
  • Review future assignment due dates
  • Be notified of Dropbox submissions
  • Check due dates for content items or units for next seven days
  • Verify exam start and end dates in the next seven days
The functionality of the mobile site will not replace using a computer or laptop to take online classes. But it's a great way to stay on top of assignments, due dates, grades, and discussions while you're on the go.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Donate blood, save a life: Peirce and American Red Cross team up again on November 29

You may remember that Peirce held a blood drive in partnership with the American Red Cross back in April. There is another chance coming up to save a life by donating blood! We are teaming up with the Red Cross again, and will be hosting another blood drive on Monday, Nov. 29, from noon to 6 p.m. The drive will be held on campus, in rooms 51 and 52 of College Hall.

This opportunity is open to all students, alumni, faculty and staff. If you would like to give blood, please visit the Red Cross Web site to schedule a time to donate. Students and alumni can also visit my.Peirce.edu to sign up today. The Red Cross recommends that you allow 45 minutes for your donation session, so keep that in mind when selecting an appointment.

Not sure if you are eligible to donate blood? To be sure, check the donor eligibility guidelines online or call 800-GIVE-LIFE (choose Option 4).

This is a great opportunity to give a meaningful gift to the community -- your participation will help provide life-saving blood to those in need. For more information and tips on how to have a good donation experience, visit http://www.givelife2.org/donor/tips.asp.

Monday, November 8, 2010

What is health information technology? Find out and win a $25 gift card!

Did you know that Peirce recently introduced new healthcare degree programs? To help you better understand the degree offerings and how they can translate into opportunities in this growing field of healthcare careers, we are celebrating Health Information and Technology Week from Nov. 8-12.

HI&T week is a national recognition week sponsored by the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) to recognize the achievements of healthcare professionals. To commemorate the week, we put together a quick trivia quiz that will familiarize you with the Health Information field.

Visit my.peirce.edu and click on the HI&T Week Trivia Quiz link to take the quiz by Friday, Nov. 12, and you’ll automatically be entered into a raffle to win a $25 Starbucks Gift Card! And remember, I’m here to answer your questions and tell you more about what a degree in health information technology can do for your career.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Peirce snapshot: Peirce attends International Students Reception

On Friday, Oct. 22, over 1,150 international students, scholars, and professionals from across the Delaware Valley attended the 41st annual International Students Reception at the Penn Museum.
Some of Peirce’s own international students attended. Elsarra Elamin, from Zimbabwe, is pursuing her degree in Business Administration with concentrations in Management and Accounting. Rijesh Shrestha, from Nepal, is also part of Peirce’s Business Administration program with a concentration in Accounting.

Elsarra Elamin and Rijesh Shrestha at the International Students Reception

Penn Museum's International Classroom Program hosts this free event to connect international guests with the local community and its leaders and to introduce attendees to the multicultural community of Philadelphia. Peirce is among the area co-sponsors who help make the event possible.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

What does it take to get a healthcare career in Philadelphia?

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Monday, November 1, 2010

Education at any age: Mom goes back to school, daughter follows

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