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Texas State University

Healthcare administration senior wins national essay contest on improving healthcare

Student Achievements

Julie Cooper | March 9, 2021

Callie Ball, a Texas State senior majoring in healthcare administration, recently won the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE) Richard Stull Essay competition and will see her research published in the Journal of Healthcare Management.  

The essay is titled “Improving healthcare cost, quality, and access through artificial intelligence and machine learning applications.” Ball’s research is on Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) applications in healthcare, specifically in the diagnostic imaging setting. The paper delves into the effects AI has on healthcare cost, quality, and access. It includes a brief overview of what AI/ML/Natural Language Processing is, how it works, and how it's used as well as legal and ethical implications of such technology on patient autonomy and preferences.“This undergraduate research opportunity has been such a challenging and gratifying experience. I had been working on this research project for about a year before it was submitted to the TXST faculty for review to send to the American College of Healthcare Executives,” Ball said.

woman smiling
Callie Ball

A senior Healthcare Administration major with a minor in Biology, Ball has worked with the program director, Dr. Larry Fulton, on the AI/ML research.  In October, she participated in the Big Ideas Virtual Week, along with Fulton. The video about Harnessing Big Data, was moderated by Dr. Alessandro De Nadai.

Ball is also the Quantitative Sciences Supervising Lead Tutor for the Student Learning Assistance Center (SLAC) at Texas State. This past year, she was nominated for the AUPHA Foster G. McGaw Scholarship as well as the TXST Honors College Merry Kone FitzPatrick Endowed Scholarship for continued academic excellence. She is also a student associate in the Central Texas Chapter of ACHE and an active member of the Alpha Eta Honors Society. 

“I hope to carry these skills of project management, data collection, and information analysis into my future work environment. I enjoyed immensely the opportunity to research more about Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning applications in healthcare. It’s truly fascinating to see what modern technology has become capable of and how it can potentially change the dynamic of healthcare in a way that benefits all users.

“I am a big advocate for lifelong learning and would consider myself a lifelong student, so the work does not stop upon graduation. I am looking forward to seeing what post-graduate opportunities arise and how I can contribute what I have learned in my undergraduate experience, especially with research, to better the future of healthcare,” Ball said.

For more information, contact University Communications:

Jayme Blaschke, 512-245-2555

Sandy Pantlik, 512-245-2922