After graduating from Cleveland University-Kansas City’s (CUKC) College of Chiropractic in 2014, Dr. Abby Delich noticed a concerning pattern in the patients she encountered. While many of the conditions that she saw were injuries as a result of trauma; much more alarming for Delich were the number of patients who were suffering from health issues related to chronic disease. Motivated by this, Delich wanted to broaden her ability to make a healthy difference in society. She returned to CUKC and earned a Master of Health Promotion (MHSP) degree, graduating in 2015.
Delich is now the Wellbeing & Community Partnerships Coordinator at Humana, a company that seeks to assist members of the public with lifelong well-being. The MSHP degree has allowed her to set out on her desired path with a skill set that she hopes will help her ignite a societal movement toward more productive healthcare solutions, and ultimately, a healthier populace.
“All healthcare providers are challenged with realistically addressing and impacting patient’s behaviors due to lack of educational training, community resources and time,” Delich said. “I wanted to impact population and community health on a larger scale and bring much-needed help and resources to healthcare providers to combat an increasing decline in American health.”
Delich was uncertain about what career direction she wished to pursue when she first considered the MSHP degree because she was unfamiliar with its focus. She knew where her heart was and after further research, much of what she found in the MSHP program appealed to her, and her field of choice became clear.
“I was not really sure what all health promotion included so I was not sure of a career goal,” Delich said. “Looking back, the curriculum matched perfectly with my interests. Health promotion and public health are related but completely different at the same time. Health promotion is a very specific specialty, public health encompasses a much broader spectrum.”
As she already had a degree from CUKC, Delich was familiar with what Cleveland had to offer. However, acquiring the MSHP degree was somewhat different as she was working full-time. She needed something that she could mold to accommodate her life. She found the Cleveland MSHP degree to be challenging, but ideal for a working professional.
“The flexibility was great because I could work at my own pace at home,” Delich said. “I will, however, say that online programs require excellent time management and dedication. Potential students should be aware of the difference between traditional and online classes before making the commitment.”
Delich raved about the coursework saying the program delivers the appropriate content to the students that will allow them to achieve success. In addition, the guidance of Dr. Karen Doyle, director of the Master of Science in Health Promotion degree program, was an essential part of the learning process for Delich.
“The best thing about the MSHP program was the curriculum,” Delich said. “The core content was exactly what you needed to know, and is applied daily in the professional field. Dr. Doyle is the queen of resources and continuously provided up-to-date data and resources for any and all things health and wellness related. I completed the program overly qualified for my profession because of Dr. Doyle.”
Not only was Doyle an asset academically, but she was also instrumental in getting Delich an internship that later developed into a job. The employer was familiar with Doyle, the MSHP program and the level of preparedness that CU-KC grads have, which all worked in Delich’s favor to secure employment.
That was the career-launching point for Delich, and the MSHP helped put her on the road to realizing her ultimate goal of better health for all. There is a certain satisfaction that comes with finding your calling, and for Delich, there is no doubt about the career path in which she is engaged.
“Personally, I found my passion, and to have my passion as my profession is beyond rewarding,” Dr. Delich said.
Eventually, Delich hopes to become the director of a population health or health department. To that end, she will use her MSHP degree as the foundation for continued study while seeking a Ph.D. in Health Education and Promotion.