Health manager uses organizational leadership degree to advance career
Aimee Aldendorf’s official title is that of clinical informatics engineer, a role she holds at Madigan Army Medical Center at Joint Base Lewis–McChord. Outside of the healthcare community, it might be safe to say that not many people understand exactly what that job entails. “What I do is to look at raw data and Clinical Practice Guidelines to help the developers create information tools for primary care clinics. The tools facilitate clinical decision-making, ultimately improving patient health outcomes,” explains Aldendorf. “I take raw data and make it actionable.”
For example, when it comes to healthcare screenings, such as for breast, cervical or colorectal cancers, Aldendorf analyzes raw data, clinical practice guidelines and quality metric methodologies to create an information tool that lets providers know the patient is due or overdue for a screening. Then the provider can notify the patient at point of care and facilitate further care. This information becomes important when you are working with tens of thousands of patients, such as at Madigan, or at Naval Hospital Bremerton, where Aldendorf previously worked for eight years as a clinical health educator and population health specialist.
“What I like best about my role is working with different departments and being able to deliver information tools that improve the overall health of our patient population,” said Aldendorf.
Aldendorf received her master’s in organizational leadership (M.A.O.L.) from Brandman University’s Bangor campus in 2014. It’s a degree she credits with her current career success, and the ability to manage multiple projects. “I personally know that the M.A.O.L. prepared me to be a better leader and manage multiple projects,” Aldendorf said. “The Brandman program enabled me to take what I learned and apply in the workplace right away.”
Analyzing her leadership style through the master’s program was part of that process. “It helped me see how I can be even more resourceful for the organization and for the people I serve,” said Aldendorf. “I would absolutely recommend the program for other adult learners, especially those in a leadership position.”
In addition to her job at Madigan, Aldendorf also teaches courses in food science for Brandman University. Classes in human nutrition and the science of obesity help students fill their general science requirements for undergraduate degrees.
“I like opening a student’s mind, taking information from a textbook and teaching them how to apply it to their own lives,” said Aldendorf. “Adult learners learn better when they can make it applicable to their personal or professional life. It excites me to be a part of their learning process.”
Aldendorf is now considering her next steps and whether to pursue a doctorate, possibly in clinical psychology, so she can continue her work with patients. “I am fascinated by human behavior, and enjoy helping people move forward.”
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