I have a B.S. in Mathematics from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and a M.A. in Theology from Fuller Seminary. The technical aspects of this program are those in which I excel. I am interested in data science because I feel like it plays into my technical strengths and allows for me to do some very powerful things. I investigated informatics and got excited about the potential power of data science in health care.
I am most interested in using my Health Informatics degree for applications related to health care, not necessarily directly in health care. This may involve starting a company, working as a consultant, or working for a large company. However I get there, I plan on using data science to impact health care.
My advice for incoming students is to understand their strengths and weaknesses, then commit to using this program to improve upon those weaknesses. They will learn about the different areas in health informatics and they can determine which area will be the best area for them to make an impact.
I studied biomedical engineering in undergraduate school and the program was largely focused on medical devices and applied mathematics. We studied a little computer science, but over the years my interest in programming grew into a passion and I developed apps and websites for personal gain and in business settings. I became interested in health informatics in order to take this convergence further, to take the machine learning and data storage approaches being used in other industries and find ways to apply them in order to advance clinical care.
USF appealed to me because of its location, the accessibility of the faculty, and this program’s commitment to driving its students to create change. The students and faculty bring diverse backgrounds into discussions and projects — from research to startups, nursing to law — and this creates an environment in which I can understand multiple perspectives very quickly. The Health Informatics program offers students the ability to pursue different areas of interest. I can take classes to focus on analytics while other students concentrate on policy or global health. This has been the most exciting aspect of the program because we each can pursue our own nuanced goals, yet continue to work together and learn from one another.
USF’s mission of “Change the World from Here” resonates with me. I whole-heartedly believe that the professors and administration truly feel this way as well, and will continue to support my ambitions to “do good.”
The Masters in Health Informatics at the University San Francisco program also caters to a board range of interests within healthcare. Everyone in the MSHI program has a different professional background, and consequently a different skill set. It has been wonderful learning and working with such a diverse group of individuals.
Roberta 'Robbie' Murphy
I was trained in Michigan as an occupational therapy assistant and have worked with adults with physical disabilities. My professional responsibilities systematically moved towards the use of data to measure the performance of individuals and programs.
Why Health Informatics?
Health informatics has shaped my career and I believe I have helped to shape how health information is used at Dignity Health. The electronic health record has revolutionized both the delivery and the documentation of every type of health service across the continuum of care. I find it very satisfying to develop systems that allow the health data being generated to be accessible, meaningful and usable.
What advice would you give to potential MS Health Informatics’ students?
Be prepared to be amazed. The global breadth of the program and the partnerships that are in place to support students’ learning are remarkable. There is a clear expectation that program graduates will make a significant contribution to field of health informatics and to our world.
I am inspired by the USF motto 'Change The World From Here'. In the next phase of my career, I plan to use health informatics to improve the health of underserved populations.