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Innovation Shines Through Pandemic Clouds

The challenges aren’t getting smaller, but I continue to be impressed with the energy people in our region bring to work every day.

Earnings may be down, and in some cases survival is at stake, yet businesses in town and around the world are using their resources and ideas to generate innovative new devices and apps, hand sanitizer, PPE, and more. What a tremendous thing to see business giving back, and to witness our society benefiting from the entrepreneurial and innovative business methods we teach.

That is why I am excited to share what MHC’s School of Business & Continuing Studies has been doing to meet community needs. There are many examples.

Recently, two of our business instructors shared their knowledge through a workshop for staff and administration from Prairie Rose School District on managing during the pandemic.

Our Continuing Studies team continues to break pandemic barriers by ensuring coursework is accessible in physically-distant settings, sanitary settings.

MHC students are at the forefront too, developing the fifth annual campaign to raise awareness around the need for feminine hygiene products.

Presented to benefit the Medicine Hat Food Bank, “Prevent the Spill, Help End Period Poverty” was a great success.

Another intriguing project emerged bringing marketing research concepts to mental health problems in Medicine Hat.

Our marketing students used the skills they were learning in “Evidence-Based Marketing” to complete a map of the mental health system in Medicine Hat, focusing on each of the players in the structure, the external environment, and the relationship between them. Groups of students focused on either men aged 30 – 45, or on adolescents.

They learned that those who require services have many touchpoints and that every support person along the way is vital to success. Moreover, there are a number of agencies, and success requires all of the agencies working collaboratively. The students also discovered that accessing supports can be expensive, and the hours generally make it difficult for those who work during the day.

At the same time, there is enormous pressure on untrained family members and loved ones to help others find the mental health supports they need. Best of all, students had the opportunity to share their findings with a local psychologist to implement some of their recommendations.

It is rewarding to see the skills and techniques taught in our School of Business & Continuing Studies can be applied to challenges that transcend the bottom line. Now, more than ever, those skills are needed in a world that is changing… will have changed… forever.

About the Author: Rick Robinson is the Interim Dean of Business and Continuing Studies at Medicine Hat College. Please feel free to contact me to engage, Rick Robinson

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