Healthcare Systems Engineering
Optimizing Healthcare

Alumni Spotlight : Andrew Cowan

You are here

I graduated from Lehigh in 2011 with a BS in Cell and Tissue Bioengineering. Upon graduation, I worked for several years in medical research. While my research work was interesting, I decided on a career change and felt that Lehigh’s Healthcare Systems Engineering Program was a perfect fit aligning my engineering background with the business of medical delivery. I was able to pursue my Master’s Degree in HSE utilizing Lehigh’s Distance Education technology coupled with on-campus classes when needed. This flexibility allowed me to continue working throughout the duration of the program.

I conducted my Capstone Project within the Pharmacy Department of Thomas Jefferson University Hospital (Jefferson) in Philadelphia. My project sponsor, Dr. Brian Swift, is a member of the Lehigh HSE Industry Advisory Council. My project focused on detailed planning and process mapping associated with a major consolidation of pharmacy operations within the Jefferson network. This project leveraged both my engineering skills and HSE learnings to solve real-world process improvement and change management challenges.
After graduating from the HSE Program in 2016, I was fortunate to secure a full-time position at Jefferson. I currently conduct Workforce Management Planning and Optimization across the entire Enterprise as well as process improvement projects for the Pharmacy Department. I have gained exposure to many facets of Jefferson working closely with Nursing, IS&T, Finance and other support disciplines.

I have remained in close contact with Lehigh’s HSE Program sponsors since graduation and recently coordinated a site visit to Jefferson for 20 current and prospective HSE students as well as Lehigh faculty.  Participants gained a real-world understanding of how industrial engineering is being utilized to benefit a major healthcare network. During this visit, Jefferson’s CEO, CIO, EPIC team members, Pharmacy management and our consultants from GE gave presentations and responded to questions from site visit participants.

"I firmly believe that we are on the forefront of efforts to make our healthcare systems more efficient and effective while providing quality healthcare. The Lehigh HSE Program prepared me to tackle these challenges."