Student Spotlight: Lance Rodgers

William Lance Rodgers is a senior analyst for the Air Force Medical Service at the Defense Health Headquarters. He has spent close to a decade working with data, including nearly three years of experience in healthcare analytics. Being able to creatively solve problems and provide better information is what he enjoys most about his work.

After discovering that several analysts from the Air Force were taking the Healthcare Analytics Certificate Program at UC Davis Extension, he decided it would be beneficial to him as well.

“My objective in taking the program was to improve my ability to work with large data sources, transforming data into information to help Air Force Medical Leadership make more informed decisions.”

Rodgers said the greatest benefit of the program was learning basic SQL programming, which also turned out to be the most challenging aspect, since he basically had to learn it from scratch. Familiarity with SAS programming and general knowledge of data usage in a healthcare environment were also valuable takeaways for him.

The online format made the program a viable option for Rodgers, who lives and works in Virginia. “As one of the older students in this program, this was my first online classroom experience,” he said. Despite underestimating the time commitment, he enjoyed the coursework and gained valuable information.

After completing the program, Rodgers has a better understanding of the available tools for analyzing healthcare data and has his sights set on securing a new position where he can maximize what he has learned. “Overall, the program presents multiple innovative ideas used to improve quality or cut costs, which can spur new ideas in the future.”

One thing that struck him was the general theme of the program, which was echoed by each of the instructors. “Healthcare analytics is a growing field, and the smarter we are in using the information, the better we can help control costs and improve the quality of health care,” he said.

In fact, one of his goals is to continue finding ways to help control costs and improve the quality of health care in the United States.