South Texas Early Careerist

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Hello HFMA STX Chapter Community – Early Careerists:

I am please the announced the launch of our STX HFMA New Minds Program to engage our next generation of leaders. Below are the details of this initiative: 

Purpose of the program: Actively engage students so HFMA becomes their go-to organization to support their professional growth. 

Student benefits: Networking and volunteer opportunities, free membership upgrade awards, public acknowledgment of their HFMA achievements, and professional exposure. 

The following has been implemented as of March 2022: 

Public acknowledgment of the students:

Many students have chosen to take the HFMA certifications while holding the student membership. Currently we are featuring one student per university who has successfully pass the test for any of our certifications. We do this once a quarter. See below for an example. This article is also featured in our newsletter which goes to 100s of executives across the region. Students are identified using their school email addresses. 

Volunteer opportunities: 

Students are encouraged to volunteer with our chapter. This is one of the requirements to be considered for a free membership upgrade. Volunteering not only gives them the opportunity to network with other professionals, if they are selected to volunteer at education events, they will also be able to attend sessions free of cost.  

Free membership upgrade awards:

One student per university per semester will be awarded a free upgrade membership if the following requirements are met: 

  1. 1st student to pass and hold the CRCR and CHFP certifications for a specific semester
  2. Had volunteer for the STX Chapter for a minimum of 10 hours
  3. Graduated from the MHA program

As soon as students have completed both certifications, they need to notify the chapter’s certification chair at [email protected] to check their eligibility. Students will need to upgrade their student membership to a professional membership within 24 months from the date of passing the Operational Excellence (Module II of CHFP) to get their CHFP designation. They can do so by emailing [email protected]. If they are given the award, students can forward their receipt to [email protected] to be reimbursed for their upgrade.


Your Certification’s Chair – Paola Turchi, MSHCA, FHFMA, FACMPE, CPC
[email protected] – May 9th, 2022.

Yajur graduated from the Post Graduate Institute of Dental Sciences in India with a Bachelor’s Degree in Dental Surgery. He worked in various clinical as well as administrative roles throughout his graduation and has spent most of his time engaging with patients both as a clinician as well as a Public Health Professional.

As a Public Health Dentist, he was part of various government and non-government Public Health Initiatives, all of which aimed to address the concerns of vulnerable populations. Briefly, during his tenure as a Dental Surgeon, he was part of many dental screenings as well as awareness campaigns in which patients from underprivileged areas were given free screenings and basic treatment as far as dental care is concerned.

But it was not until the last year of his graduation that h decided to pursue my dream of becoming a healthcare professional. This dream brought him to Texas State University in the MHA program. Since he joined Texas State, he has been working as a full-time Graduate Instructional Assistant in the Department of Biology in order to keep his interest alive as a medical student. 

Besides this, he is a full-time MHA student aiming to complete his master’s by the end of 2023. Secondary to the curriculum, he focuses more on gaining industry knowledge so he can always stand out as a leader. This vision has motivated him to be a part of various organizations like HFMA, ACHE, etc. He is also part of the Healthcare Leadership Coalition (HLC) which aims to polish all the budding administrators as far as modern healthcare is concerned. He has completed various industry certifications such as Microsoft Excel (Expert), HFMA CRCR (Certified Revenue Cycle Representative), and HFMA CHFP (Modules 1 and 2), and CSPPM (Certified Specialist Physician Practice Management) certifications. His ultimate goal is to become a Public Health Professional to enhance current healthcare practices focusing on underprivileged socioeconomic groups and vulnerable populations.

Until next time,
Certification Chair

Hello HFMA Members, allow me to introduce you to Caris Kopp, she is a graduate student at Texas State University pursuing her Master of Health Administration degree.

Caris returned to Texas State University after graduating summa cum laude in August 2021 with her Bachelor of Health Administration degree. Caris is expected to graduate with her Master’s in May of 2023. 

Before graduating with her bachelor’s degree, Caris completed an undergraduate administrative residency at St. David’s Georgetown Hospital with a focus in operations and women’s health. Caris enjoyed shadowing both clinical and administrative leaders within the hospital, and she led a project task force in the labor and postpartum departments working directly with the labor and delivery nurses, postpartum nurses, nurse managers, Chief Nursing Officer, and Facilities Director.

After the completion of her bachelor’s degree and residency, she began working for St. David’s South Austin Medical Center as a Health Information Management Specialist. During her time in this position, Caris also became a certified Acknowledgement of Paternity (AOP) entity through the Office of the Attorney General, serving as a Birth Certificate Clerk for the hospital. 

Caris is passionate about learning the ins and outs of healthcare to improve the quality of life for people with chronic diseases and empower patients. She attributes this interest to her experience as a Lupus patient. Caris could not imagine working in any other industry. She spent years trying to navigate the system as a patient, struggling to get diagnosed and trying different medications. Now that she has empowered herself to manage her disease and advocate for her health, she is ready to do the same for others as a healthcare professional. Way to go Caris! Can’t wait to see succeed in your future endeavors.  

Until next time,


Certification Chair

Callie Magrini graduated from Middle Tennessee State University in 2014 with a Bachelor of Science in Nutrition and Food Science, and a Minor in Spanish. With her continued interest in languages, she enlisted in the United States Navy where she attended the Defense Language Institute to study Modern Standard Arabic. She then became a Deck Supervisor with the Seabees for one year, supervising the assembly of floating piers and transportation of Naval Seabee construction equipment from ship-to-shore. She then became a Yeoman serving onboard the USS WILLIAM P. LAWRENCE and Naval Clinic Hawaii, where she acted as an Executive Assistant to command triads.

After separating from the US Navy, Callie took a career pause to focus on the birth of her son. In those early days of motherhood and transition to civilian life, she knew she wanted to merge her administrative Naval experience and original desire to be in healthcare. She applied to The University of the Incarnate Word’s (UIW) Master of Healthcare Administration program where she now attends as a first-year MHA Candidate. She is a member of HFMA, ACHE, MGMA, and IMA. She also works full-time as an Administrative Assistant for UT Health San Antonio in the Emergency Health Science Department. 

Callie has been a member of HFMA since December 2021 and has already completed the Certified Revenue Cycle Representative certification. She has started the Certified Specialist Accounting and Finance and Certified Specialist Physician Practice Management certificates and hopes to complete them by July 2022. She was also nominated and awarded a CMA (Certified Management Accountant) scholarship from IMA, which she plans to take Part 1 of the exam in January 2023.

She is looking forward to utilizing and applying all the skills she is accumulating during her enrollment at UIW and from her HFMA membership to grow in her leadership skills and knowledge of healthcare finance. She is especially excited to be an HFMA member after attending the HFMA Leadership Forum held in Austin in March, where she learned what value can be obtained from HFMA ad it’s members. Her ultimate goal and passion is to work towards eradicating healthcare inequities among different socioeconomic groups and marginalized groups of people.

Callie: We are very lucky to have you!

Until next time,

Certification Chair

About UIW Master of Healthcare Administration Program

University of the Incarnate Word® 

Master of Health Administration H-E-B School of Business and Administration

The Master of Health Administration (M.H.A.) at the University of the Incarnate Word is a 21-month, 48-credit hour program designed for those seeking early career positions within the healthcare industry. It is ideal for those currently in the workforce as the courses are offered exclusively in the evenings, two nights per week.

Students can choose to pursue their M.H.A. degree in the traditional face-to-face class setting (residential) or in our hybrid (synchronous on-line) setting. Our M.H.A. program is distinguished by our small class sizes that provide maximum professor-student interaction and mentoring opportunities. Both the residential and on-line options each matriculate only a small cohort of approximately 25 students each year who begin their program in the fall semester. The M.H.A. degree curriculum is value-based, competency-driven and experientially focused and develops students’ ethical, theoretical, and professional skill set, positioning them well for entry- to mid-level positions within the healthcare field.

Member Spotlight

Student Edition

Allow me to introduce you to Joseph Soliz, this quarter’s standout student. After separating from the United States Marine Corps in 2015, Joseph Soliz pursued his Bachelor of Science degree in Healthcare Management from Park University.  He graduated from Park University in 2019 while employed at University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio as the Academics Program Coordinator for the orthopedic residency program.  He recently graduated from Texas State University’s Master of Healthcare Administration program in May 2021 where he was inducted into the Upsilon Phi Delta National Honor Society in Healthcare Administration for his academic distinction.  He developed his interest and passion for healthcare administration from his nascent beginnings with Medicaid insurance coverage, Military Health System care, to more recent exposure to health systems through his education and administrative residency. 

Joseph is currently employed as a Graduate Healthcare Administrative Trainee Program (GHATP) at South Texas Veterans Health Care System (STVHCS) in San Antonio, Texas.  Joseph is currently working on an oral chemotherapy project to improve the process involving several stakeholders including hematology and oncology physicians, clinical pharmacy specialist, outpatient pharmacy, and veterans.  Thus far the project has improved and increase collaboration and communication of the stakeholders and most importantly, managing expectations of veterans in need of oral chemotherapy medications.

As a trainee in the GHATP, Joseph is completing rotations with various departments/services and executive leadership including the director, associate director, assistant director, emergency department, bed management, patient administrative services, group practice manager among many others.  Currently, Joseph is detailed as the Activations Coordinator in Facility Planning where he coordinates the movement and activation of services within STVHCS. 

Joseph approaches his role in healthcare administration with a patient-centered and financial mindset to address areas of opportunities for improvement in healthcare systems and operations.

Joseph has been a HFMA student member since 2019 and has completed three certifications including Certified Revenue Cycle Representative, Certified Specialist Business Intelligence, and Certified Specialist Physician Practice Management.  He has started and is determined to complete the Certified Specialist Managed Care and Certified Specialist Accounting and Finance very soon.  Joseph continues to utilize and apply the information gained from HFMA certifications in the healthcare industry and to have a deeper understanding of the healthcare industry.  Ultimately, Joseph is pursing to work in a revenue cycle manager or practice administrator role in San Antonio.  Joseph is looking forward to engaging with HFMA events and networking with HFMA members to gain insight and experience from healthcare professionals.

Joseph: We are very lucky to have you!

Until next time,

Certification Chair

About Texas State Master of Healthcare Administration Program

The Texas State Master of Healthcare Administration is a CAHME accredited graduate degree program offering students the opportunity to study the health care industry on both an academic and professional basis. During the program, students are exposed to health care leaders within and beyond the classroom and delve into diverse subject matters that comprise the critical core health care management skillset. These topics include quality management, health care law, research methods, operational decision making, human resource management, and financial management, among many others. 

One unique aspect of the Texas State MHA student is their rigorous financial management preparation. In Dr. Brad Beauvais’ Healthcare Financial Management course, students are challenged with two Healthcare Financial Management Association certification requirements – the Certified Healthcare Financial Professional (CHFP) and the Certified Revenue Cycle Representative (CRCR). These certifications align with both textbook-based and live financial management consulting projects in the local area. Throughout the course students are challenged to examine and apply numerous core financial concepts, significantly develop their Microsoft Excel capabilities, and depart the program with a set of competencies and skills that are immediately applicable in the contemporary health care industry.  

We are very lucky to have Texas State University help drive the mastery of healthcare financial principles with all its graduate students. Thank YOU! 

MHA students: not an HFMA member yet? What are you waiting for?

 Students can take advantage of great benefits for only $50.00/year!

  • Unlimited website content
  • Access to a large community of professionals
  • Free online courses, webinars, podcasts, and certifications
  • Free access to regional and local chapters
  • Eran up to 3 college credits when successfully completing the HFMA Business of Healthcare course
  • Access to HFMA’s job bank
  • Free resume review
  • Volunteer and networking opportunities
  • Opportunity to be featured in our newsletter

Please contact our Student Liaison Gevin Dray, CRCR, at [email protected] for additional information.   

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