Catherine Connolly

Catherine Connolly

I graduated in May 2017 with a B.S. in Health Management Systems and a minor in Information Systems Management. I originally came to Duquesne University for the Physical Therapy program, but quickly realized that direct patient care was not for me. Still looking for a way to have a positive impact on the healthcare industry, I found the Health Management Systems program. I knew instantly that this would be the right career path for me.

During my time at Duquesne, I served as the Vice President of the Health Management Systems Student Society (HMSSS). Through HMSSS, I helped plan a senior trip to the national HIMSS conference in Orlando. This conference gave us exposure to upwards of 40,000 healthcare professionals and companies from across the world. The HIMSS conference confirmed my desire to work in the IT vendor side of the business.

The summer prior to my Senior year, I completed an internship with IBM Watson Health on the Clinical Program team. Through this internship, I was able apply my information systems minor to clinical problems. At the end up the summer, I had the opportunity to travel to IBM's Austin, TX campus to present my work and compete with my peers. It was during this trip to Austin, that I was given an offer to return full time after graduation.

I now work for IBM Watson Health as a Program Specialist. I am responsible for validating data and metrics prior to delivering our solutions to the client. Duquesne's HMS program truly set me up for success in this role. Classes such as Healthcare Reimbursement Systems and Quality Performance have given me the information needed to understand the quality programs I work with every day. Having a minor in information systems has also given me a huge edge in this developing industry.

I am so grateful for the opportunities I had through the Duquesne's HMS program and the support from amazing faculty members such as Professor Cousino. I look forward to seeing the amazing work HMS graduates continue to do!