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Meet the Wake Forest SPS Students Who Turned a Powerpoint Presentation into a Publication in an Academic Journal

As Dr. Joan Kiel sat down to grade projects in “Health Information, Regulation, Privacy and Security”, one group’s presentation stood out. As a required class in the Master of Health Informatics program, this course offers students foundational exposure to legal and ethical issues related to health information privacy and security.

For this particular assignment, Dr. Kiel tasked students to work in groups and create a presentation on any topic related to health informatics.

This particular group focused on updating HIPAA security in response to artificial intelligence, and they used primary and secondary research sources to back up their claims. Their work earned the group an A, but Dr. Kiel felt compelled to do more.

“As I thought more about the research, I thought of why people publish in journals and present at conferences,” Dr. Kiel explains. “They do so to disseminate new knowledge, and this group’s presentation had new knowledge. I could not simply put the grade in the gradebook and be done.”

She proposed that the group convert their homework assignment into a written piece for publication. The five students worked together and wrote “Updating HIPAA Security to Respond to Artificial Intelligence” which was published in the peer reviewed Journal of American Health Information Management Association on November 13th, 2023. 

Meet the students behind the publication:

Jacob Hansen, DO

Located: Hendersonville, NC

Background:  A practicing anesthesiologist whose interest in computing and health applications in the healthcare delivery domain drove him to pursue a Master of Health Informatics

What was your favorite part of the experience?
I appreciate the enthusiasm from Dr. Kiel and Dr. Wolf. I could tell that they were very excited to see this student group effort turn into a manuscript published in a peer-reviewed journal. It is great to be a part of a supportive program, with leaders and professors that go beyond their teaching obligations to mentor students in pursuing additional professional accomplishments, such as this manuscript.

After you finish your graduate degree, what’s next for you?
I will continue to work in anesthesia. I have a new position lined up as Medical Director for an outpatient surgery center. I plan to stay involved there in the health informatics domain. Additionally, it is possible that I will take advantage of medical informatics consulting or teaching opportunities in the future.

Kelly Carlin

Location: Baltimore, MD

Background: Currently working as RN in hyperbaric medicine with previous experience working in the ICU and as a travel nurse. 

What was your favorite part of the experience?
Dr. Kiel’s initial feedback was great and the news of the actual publication was very exciting! Wake Forest, Dr. Kiel, and Dr. Wolf have been very supportive and encouraging through the whole process.

What made you decide to pursue a Master of Health Informatics?
After working in the ICU during the pandemic and seeing how much medicine was challenged, I decided I want to be able to affect healthcare on a broader scale, and leverage information and data to help patients and improve public health.

Anna Hart

Location: Winston-Salem, NC

Background: Currently working as a Quality Improvement Specialist at Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center

What was your favorite part of the experience?
It was having our professor so excited and wanting to join us in this process.  Since AI is such a big topic right now with healthcare, having my name attached to something that could be used to assist with research is exciting.

From your point of view, what was the research/writing/editing/submission process like? I was very thankful that this was a team effort.  We were able to break up the project into key parts and each person was assigned their part. We worked closely as a team, ran ideas by each other, and shared our writings for critique and advice. I would have never dreamed of this becoming a paper. I am extremely grateful to our professor for recognizing our work as a possibility of a strong paper.

Jody Johnson, BS, RT (R)(CT)

Location: Winston-Salem, NC

Background: The Lead CT technologist at Novant Health Forsyth Medical Center with more than 22 years of experience in healthcare

What was your favorite part of the experience?
At the time when we wrote the paper, we didn’t know Dr Kiel’s grade or feedback on our paper. Once she emailed us and told us how blown away she was and that she was so impressed that she was going to take the lead in getting it submitted for publication! She helped us go through the paper multiple times with a fine tooth comb and led us the whole time. I’m glad she believed in us and helped us reach this goal! 

What made you decide to pursue a Master of Health Informatics?
Covid burned me out working the front lines. With my healthcare background and the innovative future of healthcare, I wanted a new way to help patients and providers in the digital world. 

Scott Wells

Location: Charlotte, NC

Background: Currently working as a technical recruiter for a healthcare IT consulting firm

What was your favorite part of the experience?
There were many memorable moments throughout this project, but a personal favorite was when Dr. Kiel first suggested that we publish our work. This tremendous compliment caught us off guard, and it was thrilling to receive such positive feedback and recognition from a respected professor and expert. Watching our group rally together to pursue this new objective was a remarkable experience.

What made you decide to pursue a Master of Health Informatics?
Witnessing my mother’s passion for her career in healthcare and working closely with healthcare IT professionals as their recruiter reassured me that pursuing a career in healthcare informatics was the right decision for me.

Take the next step in your career and learn more about the online Master of Health Informatics degree from Wake Forest University School of Professional Studies, 


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