Healthcare Administration Engaged Learning

Healthcare Administration Engaged Learning

UVU Healthcare Administration Students Learn Real World Skills from Tom Burton of Health Catalyst

During the Spring 2022 semester, the Utah Valley University Healthcare Administration Program partnered with Health Catalyst’s Tom Burton for an incredible engaged learning opportunity. Burton, Health Catalyst’s co-founder and Chief Learning Officer, focused his teaching on quality and cost improvement in our health systems. He also shared the importance of education for primary teams, to become leaders and adopters in healthcare at the administration level.   

UVU Assistant of Healthcare Administration Dr. Heather Thiesset talked about the importance of this event stating, “We are thrilled with this incredible engaged learning opportunity.”

“Learning from Tom about Health Catalyst was interesting and helpful,” said Sarah Furst, a student in the healthcare administration program. “It really was so much information that we were packing into three, 75-minute classes. I enjoyed gaining a better understanding of our current health systems and how we can improve them.”

When asked why he was investing in UVU students, Burton shared his love for teaching and stated, “We need talent and bright young minds in this field.” Sharing Health Catalyst’s message at UVU gave him a great opportunity to influence the future of healthcare administration. It also gave the students valuable information and hands-on experience at decision making through the playing of Health Catalyst’s board game “Wasted”.

The engaged learning game focused on getting rid of waste in healthcare to help businesses increase revenue while decreasing their ‘waste’. Grand prize winning students took home gear from the company including Ogio travel bags, Camelbak water bottles, and sunglasses. 

Many students noted the game as being their favorite part of the engaged learning opportunity. Rachel Spencer, a student in the Healthcare Administration program shared her thoughts afterwards writing, “It was really amazing learning from Tom at Health Catalyst - his insights and examples of where they have made successful changes in healthcare were great to learn about. I really thought the information was helpful - the graphs that he shared - I obviously loved the game, it was a lot of fun.”

Throughout the course, Burton also shared many real world stories from his career. “I liked the personal stories,” a UVU student, Liam Roberts, noted. “One that stood out to me was the doctor who had five people helping in surgery while every other doctor only had four people helping and what differences this made in terms of cost.” 

“It was eye opening,” Roberts said. “I gained a lot of perspective on just how healthcare administrators can impact different areas to improve health outcomes.” 

At the close of Burton’s lecturing, students were given the opportunity to apply for internships and possible employment opportunities with Health Catalyst. Taylor Hardy said one of the best parts was, “chatting with the Health Catalyst people after class” about these possible work opportunities. 

This learning and potential work opportunity are invaluable for students in the school’s Healthcare Administration degree (bachelor’s and Master of Business Administration). By being prepared to improve health outcomes working in public, private, and non profit health organizations or companies that offer healthcare-related products upon graduation, students can utilize their newfound skills in the real world for years to come. 

To learn more about the Healthcare Administration program at Utah Valley University, visit the website at or their instagram page @uvuhealthadmin.

Tom Burton

Tom Burton

TTom Burton of Health Catalyst with College of Health and Public Service Dean; Cheryl Hanewicz and Assistant Dean; Sue Jackson.