SAACHE club helps healthcare students get experience

The Student Associates of the American College of Healthcare Executives (SAACHE), Fresno State’s newest club, offers students hands-on experience in healthcare, as well as national networking with healthcare executives.

“The club gives students the tools, and then they build the house,” public relations officer Ugochi Egbuziem said. “The club really helps you figure out what you want to do.”

The club’s goal is to provide enhanced educational opportunities and networking.

It is in the process of being recognized as an official Fresno State club, but is already recognized by the ACHE national organization as a local chapter.

“One thing our club does is it offers students the ability to shadow the executive they want to be,” club president Jeremy Plumb said. “I recently came off of a CEO shadow at Ridgecrest Regional Hospital. I got to sit in on meetings, network with him and do what he does for a day, while also setting up a possible job opportunity. I was offered to do business development at the hospital as result of that day.”

SAACHE helps members figure out what they want to do and then puts them in contact with a person in that job.

“Essentially what we want to do is enable somebody to come into the club, learn what they want to do in healthcare and put them in touch with the right kind of people to network and then really foster that relationship,” vice-president Michael Pacheco said. “What we want to do is help them go get a job, get an internship, find volunteer hours, or even get into grad school.”

The club requires its members to put in at least 10 hours of community service per academic year, as well as pay a club fee which can be waived if members join the ACHE national as a student associate.

“To really reap the most of our club and gain most benefit from it, they need to be a member of the national ACHE because that will enable them to utilize all the benefits that the national database offers,” Plumb said.

The club also competed in “The College Bowl.” The College Bowl is a competition put on by the California Association of Healthcare Leaders and the ACHE, during which teams are asked a series of questions about healthcare issues and are judged on the speed and accuracy of their answers. The competition is formated similar to “Who Wants to be a Millionare?”

At this past year’s College Bowl, six teams competed, including three teams that had graduate students. The Fresno State team finished third in the competition, beating the three graduate-student teams.

“The questions asked are questions that healthcare professionals know,” Pacheco said. “In the competition we were judged by a panel of three judges. It’s really a way for the ACHE to see the talent coming out of the Valley and the Northern California chapter of the ACHE.”

SAACHE invites all of the public health options, which include community health, health occupation and health administration as well as those involved in business administration, pre-medical and pre-nursing. Anybody with an interest in healthcare is also invited to join.

The club has 60-plus people on its email listserv, but hopes to expand when it is recognized as an official club next fall.

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