HPM Student Spotlight: Jillian Noack ’22

Meet Jillian Noack! Jillian is a senior at Providence College majoring in Health Policy and Management with minors in Finance and French.

We asked Jillian about her experience as an HPM major, her future career goals in the field, and any advice she has for current majors and those interested in pursuing the major.

Why did you choose to major in HPM?

I first learned about the HPM program when I attended a ‘Day in Friartown’ during my senior year of high school as I was making the decision of which college to attend. During my lunch at Ray that day, a HPM student at the time explained to me her experience in the major, and in that moment I decided I wanted to go to Providence College for this program. Since volunteering at a local hospital in high school, I always knew I wanted to work in healthcare but struggled to find a way to be in a non-clinical role. The HPM program was a perfect fit as it combined my passion for healthcare while providing me with knowledge in disciplines beyond the clinical routes.

Can you briefly describe your experience as an HPM major?

My experience as an HPM student exceeded my expectations. Ever since my first HPM 101 class with Dr. Levine, I knew I had made the right decision to switch my major to HPM upon entering PC. In HPM classes, there is a special emphasis on the interdisciplinary nature of healthcare, along with acknowledgment of the fact that the field is constantly adapting and changing. The curriculum allows HPM students to connect themes across areas including public health, policy, finance, and law, exposing students to multiple career options post-graduation. Most importantly, the HPM professors are some of the most engaging instructors I have had at PC and consistently make the effort to get to know all students in the program at a personal level.

What has been your favorite HPM class or topic you have learned about and why?

My favorite course in the HPM program ended up being a class I was originally hesitant to take, but I am so happy that I did. In Fall 2020 when we experienced fully remote classes in the HPM department, I chose to take an Intensive Writing Seminar with Dr. Hackey and Dr. Olszewski on the topic of Democratic and Republican Perspectives on Health Care. I was nervous to take a class related to highly-debated, political topics such as vaccine mandates and physician-assisted death, as I tended to shy away from anything related to politics. However, I left the class with a new passion for the policy side of the HPM major. I gained not only a refined skillset in writing both opinion pieces and research papers, but also learned how to participate in tough conversations and take into account both sides of an argument. Being able to write and discuss about health policy events in current time during the pandemic and 2020 Presidential Election is something I look back on as a formative experience during my time in the program.

Is there any special project or research you are working on that you would like to share?

This past semester, I had the opportunity to conduct research on the topic of Hospital Community Benefits alongside Dr. Hackey and two other senior HPM students, Emma McLeod and Georgia Seaver. In the Spring of 2021 when the Lifespan-Care New England merger was re-proposed in Rhode Island, we started compiling some preliminary research on how hospital mergers can give policymakers an opportunity to enforce the community spending required to maintain non-profit hospital tax exemption status. We took information from community benefits requirements and reporting in other states as examples to show how future regulations can benefit a hospital’s community. During an Independent Study for this Fall, we co-wrote a paper on the topic that we presented virtually at the 53rd Annual Meeting of the Northeastern Political Science Association in November (see below!).

What is your most memorable experience at PC related to HPM?

My most memorable experience has been being able to take a Senior Seminar course this fall with all of the other seniors in the major. After a year of Zoom classes, having the opportunity to come together as a class for a course centered around learning from health emergencies has been a unique experience. Rotating between 4 HPM professors, I have met more people in my major this fall than I have throughout four years of classes at PC. The most interesting part of Senior Seminar is seeing how each HPM student brings a different perspective or set of knowledge to discussions based on their particular interests or niches within the field.

What are your future goals or aspirations?

My dream job is to work in a role as an administrator at a hospital, health system, or public health organization, focusing on improving access to quality health care for patients and underserved communities. I hope that my future role puts me in a position to enact larger-scale policy changes and help influence health care reform across the country. Upon graduating from PC, I hope to enter a Master’s of Health Administration or Public Health program that will continue to build on the knowledge I have gained throughout my time as an HPM student.

Interested in learning about more HPM Majors’ Experiences? Check out other student spotlights.

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