Things were different at UConn in 1979 when Linda Shanley graduated. For example, men’s soccer was the sport to follow. South Campus didn’t look anything like the current South Campus. In addition, she was quite proud to get a degree from the School of Allied Health before it became a department within CAHNR. Here is what she said about her time at UConn and beyond.
What was your major in the School of Allied Health? When did you graduate? With what degree? I received a BS in medical technology from the School in 1979.
What class was most useful to you? Microbiology was helpful to me especially when I spent one year as a bench technician at Hartford Hospital after graduation. There was a natural progression in my career, and now I am working in health care information technology.
Tell us some of your fond memories of UConn. My job in the infirmary laboratory supported my career goals. It was educational and sharpened my ability to work with people.
Men’s soccer was a winning team for UConn. In addition, I remember living in the old South Campus before it was torn down and being in an all-girl dorm. I made many friends in the dorm.
Please describe your current job. I am the regional chief information officer (CIO) for Trinity Health of New England, which is comprised of six hospitals in Connecticut and Massachusetts. Overall, there are 92 Trinity Health hospitals in the United States. I have been here seven years.
I am in charge of information technology, such as networks, application and desktop support, for the entire region, and I supervise about 300 staff members. One of the current projects is to integrate our systems and infrastructure to our headquarters in Livonia, Michigan. This has to be done slowly because we support a comprehensive electronic medical record system, which has to be handled with the utmost security.
I love working with people, and I support mentoring to help others obtain their career goals. I have worked in several medical facilities, including 23 years at UConn Health, and various locations like Stony Brook on Long Island.
Are you doing what you imagined you would be doing at this point in your life? No, but I believe everything happens for a reason, and this career path fell in my lap.
Medical laboratories were the first medical departments to be computerized. So, I was familiar with technology early on with my work as a medical technologist.
As a CIO with health care experience, I feel that I can bridge the gap between the clinical and the technological sides. For example, I understand patient care and can solve problems with technology. I also think that you need the right people around you who can do the job. You have to build a team.
Do you have any advice for current students that will help them in the future? Don’t be afraid to try something risky that comes along. You might excel in it, and that will be the direction you will take. For me, going back for an executive MBA program with a health care focus was scary. But, I completed it in 21 months and feel it was beneficial.
Is there anything else you would like us to know about you? I love what I do and enjoy interacting with people.
I was inducted into the University of Hartford Alumni Hall of Fame.
My late husband was director of the Division of Infectious Disease at UConn Health and later earned his master of public health from UConn. He set up some non-governmental organizations that I support.
By Patsy Evans