Christopher Rogers ’11 Uses Lessons Learned at Coppin to Improve Health OutcomesPublished Monday, November 09th, 2020
When Christopher (Chris) Rogers ‘11 attended Coppin’s School of Allied Health, he was a single father of three children, balancing daddy duties, school, and work.
“It was challenging, but after a while I got used to it,” claimed Chris. “It required diligence and good time-management skills.” He also had an excellent family support system. “Coppin was also like a family. The faculty, staff, and students functioned like a productive and protective family who cared for the well-being of each other. Everyone wanted to see each other mentally, emotionally, physically, socially, and spiritually healthy, happy and prosperous.”
“Attending an HBCU,” he added, “was an empowering experience because I encountered people who looked just like me— with similar backgrounds and experiences as mine. Even though Coppin is an HBCU I found it to be extremely diverse. I came across people from varying cultures, from across Maryland, the United States, and internationally.”
Chris valued his professors who he said genuinely cared for his overall well-being and wanted him to succeed. He benefited from the faculty incorporating their real-world work experiences into the course lectures, which gave him a practical understanding of the course content. “I also liked that the faculty provided me with career advice, emphasized to me the importance of networking, connected me with professionals in my field, and told me about job opportunities.”
After an internship which introduced him to health policy, he knew he wanted a career in health policy. Chris graduated from Coppin with a degree in Health Information Management (HIM). “HIM is one of the few health care degrees that prepares students to assume any non-clinical health care role. From data management, privacy and security, medical affairs, quality improvement, finance, human resources, to community health, the HIM degree gave me the knowledge and skills I needed to succeed in a variety of health care, management, and leadership roles. When I graduated with my HIM degree, I had a broad yet strong understanding of the rapidly growing health care industry,” he said.
Chris works for Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services, as the Policy and Strategy Officer of Public Health Services. He is responsible for planning, developing and implementing strategies, policies and practices to advance the County’s public health and wellness mission and the work of Public Health Services. “As the Policy and Strategy Officer, I actively participate in advancing prevention and promotion efforts to improve health outcomes by working with agency programs and services, other County departments, community partners and providers to decrease chronic disease burden in both morbidity and mortality.”
Chris offered this advice for current students, “My mentor once told me early in my career, people must want to work with you, nobody wants to work with someone who is not easy to get along with. This was a valuable lesson and has stayed in the forefront of my mind. Also, remember a degree is important and can open job doors for you, but if you want to advance in your career, develop your character and interpersonal skills.”