There is a time to hit the books, and then there is a time to hit the open road. Universities offering the in-demand master’s in health informatics (MIH) degree occupy some picturesque areas of the U.S., making these higher-ed locales unique places to live while studying for your MIH degree. Here are four schools with MIH programs in areas of the country you may not have ever traveled to.

1. Dakota State University

Nestled in scenic Madison, South Dakota, Dakota State University’s MIH program attracts students from diverse educational and professional backgrounds. The program aims to prepare students for executive-level health informatics positions upon graduation, such as chief information officers and data mining specialists.

When you’ve closed your books for the weekend, get out and explore this Great Plains state. Mount Rushmore and Badlands are must-see national park destinations in the state.

2. Adelphi University

Adelphi University’s master’s in health informatics program is geared toward established healthcare professionals and those in careers such as IT or business who wish to switch careers. While the program is an online-based course of study, the university’s Garden City location, on Long Island, is perfect for students who want easy access to Manhattan, where internship opportunities and health informatics jobs are obtainable.

A town of a little more than 20,000 residents, Garden City is home to quaint shops, museums, and dining establishments.

3. The University of Mississippi Medical Center

Masters in health informatics
Image via Flickr by Ron Cogswell

Located in Jackson, Mississippi, The University of Mississippi Medical Center hosts a thriving Master of Health Informatics and Information Management degree program in the southern U.S. The online-based program provides students two separate career tracks based on their career goals: health informatics or health information management.

Jackson, the “City with Soul,” blends history, arts, and culture inside the largest city in the state. Whether it’s shopping, dining, or doing you’re interested in, Jackson certainly doesn’t lack things to do throughout the year.

4. American Sentinel University

Aurora, Colorado, is home to American Sentinel University and its Master of Healthcare Informatics program. The online-based program’s 36-credit hour course of study covers topics ranging from interpreting health data analytics to using data to enhance the quality of patient care across the healthcare continuum. The program aims to arm students with the data analytics knowledge necessary for success in today’s environment and tomorrow’s challenges in healthcare.

Aurora is ranked among the top ten cities for healthcare in the country, with its cornerstone Anschutz Medical Campus serving as a major hub. Sports lovers will appreciate the diverse activities Aurora offers, including breathtaking golf courses and a massive sports park boasting 23 full-size soccer fields and a dozen baseball and softball fields.

Why Is an MIH Degree In Such Demand Anyway?

Digitizing patient care data is happening at a rapid rate, and the healthcare field is in great need of information specialists to set up, operate, and manage health information technology (HIT) and Electronic Health Records (EHR) systems. Colleges and universities have responded by creating MIH programs to keep up with current demand.


Stress has very real negative effects on our bodies. As we stress, our bodies tense up, especially our backs and shoulders. This can even happen in our sleep. Working out is a great way to relieve stress, but it too can cause our muscles to tighten and our bodies to be sore. Toxins can build up in our bodies and stress can actually make us sick. Many aliments are brought on by stress, like shingles, or fibromyalgia. Stress drains our immune system down making us susceptible to other viruses and infections. Blogs offer tips on avoiding stress, but what if we are feeling those body aliments already?

Regular massages can help us combat all of these problems. According to the Huffington Post and Mayo Clinic, it actually affects your body’s chemistry. Your serotonin and dopamine levels increase, helping reduce depression and anxiety and studies show it can actually lower stress hormones like cortisol, a hormone that increases blood pressure and blood sugar while suppressing your immune system.

Your options for a massage are endless. From a pampering day at your local spa, a quick pop-in to your local massage therapist’s home to relax in massage chair, or even a wellness trip to the African Safari–which is very trendy according to CNN–the end result can be the same: peace, restfulness, and relief. After your massage, toxins will be released out of your body. So not only do your muscles feel better, but you will experience an overall improvement in health.

Your options for what type of massage you receive are also endless. Swedish massages are the typical and are gentle, kneading massages, while deep tissue focuses on the deeper muscles of the body and is more vigorous. It can help those with injuries to the body. Thai, Japanese (Shiatsu), and Hawaiian massage (Lomilomi) are also common styles of massage. Many massage therapists are also trained in the art of Rieki, the Japanese art of healing by passing good energy to the client by the laying on of hands. There are massage practices designed for pregnant women, sports massage, hot stone therapy, and reflexology, which focuses on the hands and feet. There are even techniques to help with various ailments like infertility, arthritis, migraine, digestive problems, and breathing difficulties.

Massage therapists are trained to expertly knead your tight and knotted muscles into submission in a way that somehow feels heavenly. As they work your body, you can lie there and listen to the typical restful music and feel good about taking a brief moment out of your day for yourself. Massages usually involves aromatherapy oils and flavored antioxidant-rich teas or water as well offering a complete sensory experience through touching, hearing, smelling, and tasting. If you’re getting a massage from a friend who doesn’t have these accessories, you can always purchase them yourself from an online vendor. It may also be a good idea to have a portable massage chair yourself, in case a friend or loved one can provide therapy. Earthlite lists a variety of portable, stationary and electric massage tables, if you want to take a look at what’s on the market.

You can expect to develop a connection to your massage therapists as your massages become more frequent. Their power to heal you and their touch actually releases a trust hormone. This connection and healing power is what entices many people to seek a career in massage therapy. The idea of working from home is also a great benefit for many people, especially mothers with small children. For those who work out of the home, what better place to work than a serene spa environment with calming sounds and lighting rather than a noisy office with fluorescents? Massage therapy programs can be completed in as little time as one year. Many credible schools are found throughout all of the US and offer many different programs.

You never think about accidents when you’re at work. Instead, you blithely wander around until one day, BOOM, a loose wire trips you and you feel your tendons snap like uncooked spaghetti as you crumple to the floor.

You probably walk around your workplace assuming that that kind of thing would never happen to you. But here are the facts – more than 78,000 people were injured in the workplace last year. Out of those 78,000 injuries, 133 were fatal.

As startling as those figures might be, they don’t guarantee that you’ll eventually fall foul of them.

Provided you have a boss who’s on the level – as opposed to some cigar-chewing villain who shirks health and safety with a shrug – you can figure out ways to keep the safety of your workplace in check.

Here are just a few.

Call the professionals

If you know your workplace is unsafe but can’t quite put your finger on how, then call UK claim lawyers to give you a helping hand. Providing stellar advice on all forms of accident, they’ll know exactly what improvements your workplace can make to keep your health on track.

Alternatively, bring an accident expert into your workplace. They can check off places that need improvement and let your boss know how to avoid a costly claims process in the future.

The power of the union

Back in the 70s, the trade unions were at their peak. They could whisper into the government’s ear make change possible for people. Then came Tory party prime minister Margaret Thatcher, who diluted the strength of the unions to the point that they, nowadays, struggle to even authorise strike action.

That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take a leaf out of the union’s book.

Whether you’re unionised or not, look to the rest of your workforce for their backup whenever you have a complaint about health and safety at work.

Your boss can easily shoo away one employee complaint – but when 20 come knocking at their door to say the same thing, they’ll have to sit up and listen.

Cuddle up to your employer

Your boss might be a nightmare. They might make casually sexist remarks, cackle at offensive jokes and be about as likeable as an evil dictator tribute act – but you still have to find some common ground.

You don’t have to be best buddies with your boss, but having a solid professional relationship will come in handy if you want to see improvements in your workplace.

The more you’re on your boss’s wavelength, the higher the likelihood of making positive changes for your workplace. So you better start cultivating friendships.

Aging causes a lot of changes to the body and mind. Some of the changes we experience are noticeable, and others are not as obvious. People also age at different rates, with some people suffering some of the effects of advanced aging at a young age, and other people maintaining youthful vitality well into their twilight years.

Factors that Affect How We Age

There are several factors that affect how we age. Some of these factors are within our control, and some are not:

Heredity. You can take cues on your own aging by observing the elderly people in your immediate family. If your parents and grandparents are fairly healthy and active, chances are that you will also age well. If you have a family history of age-related diseases like type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and osteoporosis, then you are also more likely to be at risk.

Environment.Where you live can have a profound effect on your health. There are certain regions of the United States that are considered healthier than others for a variety of reasons, from climate and pollution to stress levels and poverty rates. People who live in areas that are considered unhealthy often have higher poverty rates and also tend to be industrial areas that have higher rates of air or water pollution.

Lifestyle Factors.Dietary and exercise habits, the amount and quality of sleep, stress levels, smoking, and alcohol consumption all affect how well we age. For example, men who are chronically sleep-deprived often show signs of accelerated aging in the brain.

Health Status.There are certain diseases that can accelerate aging, especially if they go untreated or are not managed properly. For example, type 2 diabetes damages blood vessels, making patients more prone to hypertension and kidney disease. There is also a strong link between poorly controlled diabetes and dementia.

The Effects of Aging on Lifestyle

The physical and mental effects of aging have a strong influence on our lifestyles as we age. Individuals who remain fairly healthy could live independently, and continue performing activities of daily living indefinitely. However, those who develop age-related diseases could find it increasingly difficult to manage their own care.

Often, these individuals have no choice but to seek help from others. For some, this could mean moving in with adult children, and even grandchildren, and for others it could mean transitioning into an assisted living facility, or nursing home.

Unfortunately, nursing homes often get a bad rap due to reports of abuse and neglect; and as the elderly population continues to grow, instances of abuse could become more frequent.  According to Michael Pines, a nursing home abuse lawyer in California, a survey published by the National Center on Elder Abuse revealed that 7.6 to 10 percent of elderly respondents experienced some form of abuse in a nursing home setting. Additionally, only 1 in 14 cases is ever reported.

This is not to say that assisted living facilities and nursing homes are terrible places, only that we need to take precautions when deciding on care.

Choosing the Right Care

Not every elderly person needs to go to a nursing home. Many individuals could do quite well living at home with at-home nursing care, or attending an adult daycare. However, regardless of the option you choose, here are some steps for finding a good program.

Find a Reputable Referral Service.You don’t have to look far to find an eldercare facility or program. In fact, many of them advertise on television and radio during the times of day when the elderly are watching. However, the production values in the commercials don’t tell you the whole story. Before you call the number on your screen, check with reputable agencies to find good facilities in your area. These agencies include:

  • Your local council on aging;
  • The National Association of Area Agencies on Aging, which can give you a listing of agencies in your area;
  • The U.S. Administration on Aging’s Eldercare Locator, which can help you find facilities all over the United States;
  • The Medicare Administration’s Nursing Home Compare, which gives detailed information on every Medicare- and Medicaid-certified nursing home across the country.

Many of these organizations can tell you if a given facility has had any complaints of abuse, or has had any other issues, such as problems with cleanliness.

Online research and phone calls are only part of the process. You will also need to visit the facility to see what it is really like. If you know someone who lives in the facility, consider visiting them, and asking for their take, before you schedule a tour. You might find that they tell and show you things that are not included on the standard tour.