Mother who returned to college for Medical Healthcare Management degree encourages her children to attend Westmoreland

Date Published: June 12, 2018

Kristin BeddickKristin Beddick of Latrobe was raising her family and working at her husband’s insurance company when she decided to go back to school.

“I had thought about it for years, but I was kind of afraid,” Beddick said.

Beddick knew she was interested in medical coding or billing and needed a program that was affordable and convenient. She chose Westmoreland County Community College’s program in Medical Healthcare Management, which also includes coursework in medical terminology, ethics and management.

“It gave me a much more well-rounded education compared to just going for coding or billing,” Beddick said.

She graduated with an associate degree in May and had several job offers before accepting a position with Healthcare Solutions, a durable medical equipment company in Latrobe. Beddick handles Medicare denials and appeals in the billing department. She felt very well prepared for her interviews.

“The program director, Cheryl Miller, was adamant that we have a resume. It was one of our assignments,” Beddick said. “Plus, I have the knowledge of healthcare in general.”

Prior to graduation, Beddick passed the rigorous Certified Professional Coder exam.

“She definitely prepares you for it,” Beddick said about Miller.

Beddick completed her degree requirements, which included an internship with Excela Health, in about a year and a half through a combination of online and on-campus classes. The college accepted several credits from a bachelor’s degree in criminology she had earned years earlier at Indiana State University.

“I was very nervous when I came because I was an older student,” Beddick said. “But there were a couple of us that it seemed like we were in every class together. We were all moms, which helped.”

Now, she is encouraging her teenage children to attend Westmoreland and is spreading the word to other parents.

“It’s the best option for our kids,” Beddick said.  “It was a wonderful experience. Look into it. It’s more than a community college. It has a lot to offer.”

Medical Healthcare Management is the Program of the Month for June. Learn more HERE.