Two Suffolk MHA alumni—Jaclene Coit and Jenni Bendfeldt—were recently elected to serve on the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE) Early Careerist Network (ECN) Leadership Team for the Massachusetts Chapter.

As chairperson elect, Coit (MHA, 2011) will spend this year working closely with the current chairperson Jeff Blackwell. Their goal is to offer emerging healthcare leaders with educational resources, as well as to provide mentoring and networking opportunities to help them develop flourishing careers in the healthcare industry.

As the new vice chair for the Community and Member Advancement Committee, Bendfeldt (MHA, 2011) will primarily focus on community outreach and developing ways to bring members together.

Blackwell, who is completing his Master of Health Administration (MHA) degree at Suffolk in the spring of 2013, encourages students to get involved with ACHE. “It’s an opportunity to meet people you otherwise would not,” he said.

He also recommends that students take it seriously and consider ACHE an investment in their futures. “You get out of the organization what you put into it,” he said.

Blackwell has been involved with ACHE since he was an undergraduate student. Having the opportunity to make connections with healthcare leaders has been an invaluable experience for him. “There is only so much that text books can teach you. Sometimes you need experts in the field to teach you how to network and provide you with solid career skills,” said Blackwell, who is a practice manager at Brigham and Women's Hospital.

Coit and Bendfeldt also became involved with the ACHE as students. They were appointed to serve as co-laisons for the MA Chapter.

According to Coit, who is a practice coordinator at Brigham and Women's Hospital, the ACHE offers a “tremendous benefit for the healthcare industry,” especially in Boston. “Beyond the education, there is the collegiality that we’re building across institutions and different areas,” she added.

It does not matter if someone has 50 years of experience or no experience at all. “Everybody is there for the same reasons—because they chose the healthcare industry, and they care about it,” said Bendfeldt, an EHR Implementation Analyst at Tufts Medical Center.