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Arnold School of Public Health

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2024 Student Awards

The Department of Health Services Policy and Management is proud to announce the recipients of their 2024 Student Awards. These students were selected for their outstanding performance both academically and outside the classroom.

Student Award About
Peyton Moore Susie James Yates Award for Excellence in Scholarship:  Peyton Moore

Peyton Moore enrolled in the Master of Health Administration (MHA) program at the University of South Carolina (USC) Arnold School of Public Health after completing her undergraduate degree at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. She selected USC because of its emphasis on graduate assistantships and professional development. One of the most enriching experiences she had was her graduate assistantship at McLeod Health. This opportunity allowed Peyton to gain hands-on experience in a real-world healthcare setting, where she applied the knowledge and skills she gained in the classroom to practical situations. Overall, the MHA program has been an incredible journey of growth for Peyton, equipping her with the knowledge and skills necessary to excel in her career. Peyton's long-term career aspiration is to earn a doctorate in healthcare administration and become a program director of a MHA program, so she can impart knowledge and expertise to the next generation of healthcare professionals.

Rebecca Wiesehahn AUPHA Foster G. McGaw Scholarship Award:  Rebecca Wiesehahn

Rebecca Wiesehahn is currently a Research Director with the SC Senate Labor, Commerce, and Industry Committee. She enrolled in the Master of Health Administration - Executive Track to advance her education in public health and health policy. The executive track allows students to continue working in their healthcare position while earning their degree by attending classes one weekend a month. The highlight of Rebecca's degree program was a trip to Switzerland to participate in the 2023 World Health Assembly. During the trip, students and faculty also engaged in a bi-directional learning experience with the leadership of the several local Swiss health systems and hospitals and visited the World Health Organization, the United Nations, the Red Cross, and the Federal Office of Health in addition to several other sites. Rebecca aims to bring positive change to healthcare by utilizing her education and professional position to engage in conversations that bridge the gap between public health and health policy.

Michael Mulligan AUPHA Foster G. McGaw Scholarship Award:  Michael Mulligan

Michael Mulligan enrolled in the Master of Health Administration (MHA) program at the University of South Carolina (USC) Arnold School of Public Health after working at a physician practice for one year. He selected USC because of its emphasis on graduate assistantships and co-curricular learning. Michael worked at MUSC Health Columbia Medical Center Downtown in the supply chain, accounting, and accreditation departments. He focused on accreditation during his residency project, where he implemented new software and processes to monitor the environment of care for compliance with the Joint Commission accreditation standards. Michael is pursuing a career in performance improvement and project management roles.

Madison Paternostro AUPHA Foster G. McGaw Scholarship Award:  Madison Paternostro

After graduating from High Point University, Madison Paternostro joined the Arnold School of Public Health to pursue a Master of Health Administration (MHA) degree. The emphasis on experiential education drew Madison to the University of South Carolina for her master's degree. Her graduate assistantship at McLeod Health in Florence, SC has been one of the highlights of the past two years. Madison has been able to gain hands-on experience in all areas of hospital and outpatient healthcare administration. In addition, she has been able to see firsthand the differences in healthcare in rural and urban areas of South Carolina through work completed at McLeod's physician network sites. Madison will continue to work with McLeod Health as an Administrative Fellow after graduation.

Taylor Spritz AUPHA Foster G. McGaw Scholarship Award:  Taylor Spritz

With the goal of contributing to the delivery of high-quality care for patients, Taylor Spritz chose to return home and pursue a Master of Health Administration (MHA) degree at the University of South Carolina (USC) Arnold School of Public Health. While a student in the MHA Program, Taylor participated in several co-curricular opportunities. The past year and a half Taylor served as a graduate assistant for the Strategic Planning Department at Lexington Medical Center. In this role, she was mentored by USC MHA alumni which allowed her to grow as a future healthcare leader. Taylor has an interest in patient access and data analysis and plans to complete her Master of Business Administration degree this summer. She recently accepted a position with MUSC Health in Charleston.

Brandon Hulko Michael E. and Sandra P. Samuels Distinguished Alumni Award: Brandon Hulko

Brandon Hulko is the current Vice President of South Carolina Medicare and Retirement for UnitedHealthcare and has been in that role for a year and a half. He oversees all operations, finance, and strategy for the delivery of Medicare benefits to roughly 140,000 beneficiaries statewide. Prior to his time at UnitedHealthcare, he spent almost four years with Molina Healthcare serving as their Director of Government Contracts. His responsibilities included management of the Medicaid contract, state relations, and regulatory compliance along with the additional role of implementing and operating Molina Healthcare's Marketplace line of business, which eventually grew to over 28,000 covered lives. Prior to his time on the payor side, he spent fourteen years on the provider side with over ten of those years with Prisma Health and Palmetto Health. A majority of his time there was as the Director of Managed Care. He developed and executed more than one hundred payor partnerships in the fee for service space, while creating and implementing several multi-county risk bearing and quality based reimbursement models. He began his healthcare administration career at UCI Medical Affiliates serving in multiple roles across the organization. His current appointments include a board seat with the SC Alliance of Health Plans and the SC Data Oversight Council. Brandon focuses his efforts on achieving the strongest payor-provider relationships possible by removing barriers, facilitating creativity, and fulfilling the Triple Aim of Healthcare. He believes the best path to a stronger healthcare system is through deeper payor-provider relationships, which include centering the patient around quality, preventive care, and overall experience. Brandon is a graduate of the Master of Health Administration program, serves on the MHA Advisory Board, and is a frequent guest lecturer. As an interesting fact, Brandon was also a springboard and platform diver for the University of South Carolina where he achieved multiple All-America honors, represented the United States in international competition, and was USC's Male Student Athlete of the Year in 2002. Brandon enjoys golfing, fishing, and cooking for his friends and family. He, his wife, and son live in downtown Columbia.

Olivia Hinds Michael D. Jarrett Scholarship Award for Leadership Potential in Public Health Administration:  Olivia Hinds  After graduating from the University of South Carolina Honors College with Leadership Distinction in Research, Olivia Hinds joined the Arnold School of Public Health to pursue a Master of Public Health degree. Research on health policy and services with Dr. Christina Andrews, began in her sophomore year, led Olivia to pursue a career in public health research instead of going the clinical route. Olivia is planning to continue her education, staying with HSPM for the PhD Program in Health Services Policy and Management, where she earned the Presidential Fellowship. After completing her doctorate, Olivia's goal is to pursue a career in academia while furthering her research on substance use disorder treatment for pregnant and postpartum individuals.


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