young man in medical office looking at a chart

Health Policy Administration degree prepares graduates to work for Lehigh Valley’s largest employer: Health Care

PSU-LV alumnus hones healthcare management skills right out of school
By: Dennille Schuler
PSU-LV alumnus hones healthcare management skills right out of school

Matt Rohrbach (class of 2018) originally came to Penn State Lehigh Valley intending to do the 2+2 program and graduate from University Park with a degree in finance, but after his first year, the campus launched a degree in Health Policy and Administration (HPA). Rohrbach, a Whitehall native, recognized the huge demand for health care-related jobs in the Lehigh Valley and debated a change of plans.

“It made sense for me for many reasons, because of future job prospects, because I could save more money by living at home while staying at Penn State Lehigh Valley all four years, and because I could benefit from the small campus size and from the great interactions with my professors,” Rohrbach said.

young man at medical office lobby

Matt Rohrbach credits his education at Penn State Lehigh Valley with preparing him for the experience at St. Luke's. 

Credit: Amber Campbell

Rohrbach started his year-long residency program as a practice manager resident at St. Luke’s Medical Associates of Bethlehem shortly after graduating. In the program, Rohrbach is learning about all of the aspects related to running a medical practice. Rohrbach learned about the residency program from Anita Yuskauskas, HPA program coordinator and HPA instructor at Penn State Lehigh Valley.

“I owe a lot to Dr. Yuskauskas. Not only was she a great adviser, but her connections in the field and the program’s connections exposed me to St. Luke’s. I obtained an internship in finance at St. Luke’s the summer before my senior year, and then another one during my last semester, which I think helped strengthen my application to the residency program,” Rohrbach said.

“Matt was an outstanding student, who was motivated to use his education in a targeted way to realize his career goals,” Yuskauskas said.

Rohrbach credits his education at Penn State Lehigh Valley with preparing him for this experience. Rohrbach is one of five total residents, and he is one of three residents who are right out of college.

“The residency program is hands-on. I am learning to create a team atmosphere between the doctors and staff. I am learning how to listen, understand, and implement the best action for the patients. I feel like everything I learned at Penn State Lehigh Valley is clicking throughout this experience,” Rohrbach said. “I highly recommend this residency program. It’s a fantastic opportunity to gain management skills and can lead to a variety of career paths.”

During his residency, Rohrbach reports to Kelly Flack who is a practice administrator.

“HPA is a great fit in the Lehigh Valley with the growth and development in medical practices and other health-related careers. HPA graduates are prepared to work in this field,” Flack said. “Matt excels in acquiring new management skills and responsibilities. His education gave him a strong foundation to work in this career and it’s been a great opportunity to mentor him in this program.”