MSU Denver

Current news from our department


Air Force lieutenant works toward her master’s while stationed overseas

Jessica Flores-Faisal never intended to go to college.

“When I was in high school, I didn’t really think about pursuing higher education,” she said.

The 28-year-old, who was born in Mexico and adopted and raised in Aurora, joined the Air Force Reserves at age 17. She has spent over a decade in the military.

Today, she has her bachelor’s in Health Care Management from Metropolitan State University of Denver and is working toward her master’s degree with the University while stationed in Germany. She credits MSU Denver for meeting her where she was: passionate about her experience in the military and looking for a career where she would be able to grow her service in new directions. So after finishing her bachelor’s degree in May, she immediately began the master’s program in Health Administration (MHA).

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Better ingredients for better health

This article features two of our health profession alumni, Thalia Rodriguez (right) and Ines Calvete Barrios, exploring better health through nutrition. Thalia Rodriguez is a Health Care Management Alumna and now Master of Health Administration student. Ines Calvete Barrios is an alumna of the Integrative Health Care program.

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Trouble in the ozone: Denver’s declining air quality is a serious problem.

This year, Denver was ranked the seventh-most ozone-polluted city in the country. And in April, the Environmental Protection Agency admonished the city (for the second time in three years) as a “severe” violator of federal air-quality standards.

A recent study estimated that ambient ozone pollution, specifically, causes more than 800 deaths each year in Colorado. And as Denver once more starts to fall back to the notorious “brown cloud” days of the 1980s, the city’s pollution levels represent a growing threat to public health.

“I agree with leaders across the state, including from our state health department, that recent events indicate a clear need to start taking climate change seriously,” said Erin Seedorf, Ph.D., assistant professor in MSU Denver’s Department of Health Professions. “It’s important that we push for bold climate-policy development.”

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Maddy Chapman photo

Together We Can Combat the Devastating Effects of Ageism and Ableism

Article by by Dr. Amy Dore, CLC Board Chair, Metropolitan State University Professor and Maddy Chapman, MHA at MSU Denver Alum, Director of Community Life, Someren Glen

Did you know that ageism is learned and developed during early childhood and continued throughout adulthood? Did you know 61 million adults in the United States live with a disability? Ageism and ableism plague every aspect of our society, affecting how we view others and ourselves and triggering job loss, memory issues, health complications, decreased lifespan, and even impacts our national Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Did you know that you can play a part in combating Ageism and Ableism?

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Ines Calvete Barrio in front of a bright yellow wall, her hands on her hips and something happening off to the left that must be making her very happy, evidenced by a glowing smile.

Breaking barriers, saving lives

An ‘Afro-Latina, first-generation student, STEM enthusiast, proud immigrant’ and President’s Award winner perseveres to graduation.

Before Ines Calvete Barrios came to the United States, she lived in Barranquilla, Colombia, where she said she faced domestic violence, poverty and uncertainty.

Then, things got worse. In 2012, at age 12, she and her family came to Denver.

“Soon after we arrived, we found ourselves in an abusive, controlling and dark place,” said Calvete Barrios, the 2022 President’s Award winner for student achievement and Integrative Health Care major at Metropolitan State University of Denver.

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Dr. Ricardo GonzalesFisher 9NEWS

Vaccination challenges in the latino community

Health Professions Professor Ricardo Gonzalez-Fisher, MD speaks to 9NEWS about the low vaccination rate in the Latino community and the vaccine clinics offered by his organization.

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MHA Fall 2021 Hooding & Pinning

Fall 2021 MHA Hooding & Pinning Ceremony

We are very proud of our Fall 2021 MHA Graduates! The Hooding & Pinning Ceremony was held on December 15, 2021 at SpringHill Suites Denver Downtown at MSU Denver. We were honored by amazing speakers including ​ the Provost and Executive Vice President of Academic Affair, Alfred W. Tatum, Ph.D. ​, the Interim Dean, College of Health and Applied Sciences, Hope Szypulski, Ph.D., ​our student speaker Blaine Cole, MHA and our keynote speaker, the CEO, Denver Health, Robin D. Wittenstein, Ed.D., FACHE.

If you missed the ceremony but would like to watch, check out the link below.

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Ezekiel Peters News Screenshot

First-Of-Its-Kind Survey Aims To Stop Exodus Of Health Care Workers

MHA Professor Ezekiel Peters is part of a  disaster preparedness coalition of health organizations in Colorado that is taking action to prevent widespread staff shortages in health care.


Three MHA Alumnae

MHA Alumnae Featured on PBS 12

MHA Alumnae have joined community leaders on public television to discuss ageism, the future of work, technology and more amid COVID-19.


Health Professions newsletter cover Spring 2021

HEP Spring 2021 Newsletter

Read more about the Department of Health Professions including scholarship awards, new Faculty, and a contest to name our newsletter!


MHA Professor

Historic Implications of COVID-19

Dr. Seedorf, MHA Professor, interviewed by 9news to discuss the unprecedented timeframe in which the COVID-19 vaccine was developed and approved.


MHA Professor

Life expectancy in Denver varies depending on what part of the city you live in

MHA Professor and founding MHA Program Director, Dr. Amy Dore, speaks to why the differences in life expectancy are so stark in Denver.


Health Professions Professor

COVID in Colorado: Stride Community Health Expands Vaccination Program

Professor Allison Draayer is leading the vaccine effort in the Denver Metro area in this CBS News Denver Article.


Health Professions Professor

Cost of Care: Purchasing alliances for more affordable health care

Professor Chris Looby speaks to the importance of affordable health care in this Denver7 News story.


MHA Professor

Families picking cost-sharing companies to save on health care

MHA Professor Jeff Helton, PHD speaks to the cost of health care in this 9 News Interview.