Texas Tech University

Siobhan Shahan Alumni Profile

Human Development and Family Studies Alumna Appointed to the Texas Health Services Authority (THSA) Board of Directors

Texas Tech University alumna Siobhan ShahanCollege of Human Sciences alumna Siobhan Shahan was recently appointed by Gov. Greg Abbott to serve on the Texas Health Services Authority (THSA) Board of Directors. THSA promotes, implements, and facilitates the secure electronic exchange of health information in Texas. To do this, THSA offers state-level health information exchange (HIE), privacy, and security certification and supporting programs to improve healthcare across the state.

Siobhan graduated from Texas Tech University in 2007 with a bachelor's degree in Human Development and Family Studies (HDFS), and a master's degree in Public Administration in 2017. Siobhan worked in the University Medical Center Health System for almost 9 years before working as a Regulatory Compliance and Performance Improvement Coordinator with South Plains Rural Health Services, Inc. She would then go on to work at Compliance Coordinator with Interim Healthcare of TX & NM and as an Area Supervisor for ResCare.

"With my experience in healthcare, more specifically compliance, healthcare data and patient privacy, the Appointments Coordinator thought I would be a good candidate for the Board," Siobhan said.

Governor Greg Abbot's THSA appointees were confirmed by the Texas Senate in April of this year. Siobhan is excited to work with experienced healthcare professionals to promote and educate others on the benefits of electronic healthcare data exchange. Siobhan is most looking forward to serving the citizens of the great state of Texas.

"I am also eager to learn more about the THSA PULSE (Patient Unified Lookup System for Emergencies) initiative," Siobhan said. "Working in the Emergency Room at University Medical Center, I believe I have a sincere appreciation as to how advantageous a program such as this would be to healthcare providers across the state."

Siobhan knew she wanted to go into healthcare when she began college. Siobhan planned to become a physician, so she knew she would need to choose a program that would accommodate all of the course requirements for medical school. Siobhan didn't want to pursue a traditional pre-med major like biology or chemistry. When she found the Human Development and Family Studies program in the College of Human Sciences, she knew it was the best fit for her.

"I was able to take all of the requirements for medical school as electives and then take classes that I felt like would greatly benefit me in the future," Siobhan said. "I believe the HDFS program supported my goals while I was enrolled and actually continues to support my goals today, simply because of the knowledge I gained."

Siobhan thinks that the education she received in the HDFS program helped her become a more well-rounded medical school applicant. Siobhan said that providing healthcare services require that professionals be able to communicate efficiently and effectively with people from all walks of life. She believes that HDFS equipped her with the tools necessary to focus on building strong relationships with others.

"HDFS provides students with skills needed to collaborate with others in order to provide the best care possible," Siobhan said. "HDFS also gave me insight into the dynamics I might encounter with patients as well as colleagues, allowing me to have a better understanding of the individuals I meet and use that understanding to engage and develop a foundation of trust."

The Human Development and Family Studies program is a great fit for students who seek careers in healthcare or healthcare administration, but Siobhan genuinely believes the program prepared her for much more. Siobhan said that she pulls knowledge from a parenting course to raise her daughter. The Understanding Death and Dying course helped her navigate through the difficult time leading up to and following the death of her loved ones. Siobhan had the opportunity to study addiction in the HDFS program, which helps her better understand how to support individuals struggling with addiction. Siobhan's education touches many more aspects of her life than just her healthcare career.

"I can say with 100% certainty that the HDFS program at Texas Tech provided me with tools I use at work and at home, making me better equipped to handle a multitude of situations."