Florida Poly launches health systems engineering program amid COVID-19 pandemic
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The program integrates STEM education with health care.

Florida Polytechnic University in Lakeland is launching the first undergraduate concentration in health systems engineering in the state of Florida, the school announced Tuesday.

Students interested in STEM careers and health care can now prepare for a career in both in Florida Poly’s new Health Systems Engineering program.

“Anyone who is frustrated with the current health care state and who would like to learn how to use their STEM skillset to transform health care delivery could benefit from HSE,” said Grisselle Centeno, director of the program and professor in the Department of Data Science and Business Analytics. “This new program uses engineering tools and methods to improve efficiency and productivity, and studies health care as a holistic complex system.”

The program allows students pursuing a degree in data science or business analytics to declare a concentration in health systems engineering. Students majoring in computer science, or electrical, mechanical, or computer engineering can also benefit from the program by pursuing an HSE certificate.

Career opportunities include positions in systems engineering in health care, health informatics, health data science, medical device development, and medical supply chain management.

“Health care captures 18% of the national gross domestic product, equivalent to $3.5 trillion,” Centeno said. “There are many challenges and therefore opportunities to improve health systems — that is hospitals and clinics, which constitute about 80% of that 18%.”

The concentration includes relevant coursework as well as a variety of guest speakers including doctors, nurses and health care consultants to discuss the importance of data, process improvement, and other relevant issues in the health care industry.

“Given all the support we’re getting from industry and interest in opening doors for our graduates, we hope to grow our program quickly,” Centeno said.

Sophomore and data science major Michael Ortiz said he is eager to declare the concentration next semester.

“What motivates me is being able to wake up every morning and put my skills to use in a field that can really help people, not just businesses or profit margins,” Ortiz said.

Janelle Irwin Taylor

Janelle Irwin Taylor has been a professional journalist covering local news and politics in Tampa Bay since 2003. Most recently, Janelle reported for the Tampa Bay Business Journal. She formerly served as senior reporter for WMNF News. Janelle has a lust for politics and policy. When she’s not bringing you the day’s news, you might find Janelle enjoying nature with her husband, children and two dogs. You can reach Janelle at [email protected].


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