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McPherson College Announces New Director of Health Care Initiative

Dr. Nick Baldetti will join McPherson College as executive director of Health Care Initiatives on August 10. Dr. Baldetti will advise the college’s incoming Health Science Scholars, oversee experiential learning opportunities for the health science and healthcare management majors, and instruct the health systems course.

Last fall, McPherson College announced the new academic program focused on creating health-related career pathways for students while engaging them in the community. The initiative includes a partnership with McPherson Center for Health, the local hospital, as well as a $1 million gift to fund the program, including ten $25,000 scholarships for students committed to community health.

The hands-on experience offered is a unique feature of the program. Every student will participate in multiple field experiences or rotations, and McPherson Health Science Scholars will be matched with signature outreach being developed to solve issues in the community. This academic year, two outreach opportunities have been secured for the Health Care Scholars. They will get hands-on experience at McPherson County Health Department and Disability Supports of McPherson. Sophomores in the program will participate in orientation and introduction to health care professions at the McPherson Hospital, and an introductory class in health systems is offered for freshmen. Students interested will also have the ability to obtain CNA certification to supplement their degree with Hutchinson Community College, The Cedars, and Moundridge Manor.

“Dr. Baldetti is a great fit for the mission of this initiative,” President Michael Schneider said. “In small communities, you need to be resourceful uncovering ways to build a healthy community. With Dr. Baldetti’s experience in public health, we will explore placing our students out in the community working to solve health care challenges while gaining experience for a career as a health care professional.”

For the past six years, Dr. Baldetti has served Reno County as public health director and health officer. He advanced in his position there in only two years after beginning with the county in 2013 as a health educator. Under his leadership, the health department was named the Public Health County of the Year and recognized three times by the Governor’s Public Health Conference for Promising Innovative Practices in Public Health. He sits on the board of directors for the Hutchinson Regional Healthcare System and Horizons Mental Healthcare and the advisory boards for Creighton University’s Master of Public Health, Wichita State’s Public Health Science, and the University of Kansas Medical School Master of Public Health programs.

He holds the D.B.A. in health economics from Creighton University, the M.S. in health and human performance, and the M.B.A. from Pittsburg State University. He earned his undergraduate degree from Wayne State College. He has held faculty rank at the University of Kansas Medical School in Wichita since 2014 and has taught at both Wichita State and Creighton.

He fills the vacancy left by Dr. Matthew Bogner, who resigned earlier this summer.