Linda Galocy understands college students and the impact that higher education has on people’s lives. Attending college and getting at least one degree were part of her parents’ expectations, the Dyer native and current Schererville resident says.
“My father, Davie Rietman, has an MBA,” she says. “When I was a senior at Lake Central High School, my mom, Margaret Rietman, sat down with me to talk about my future. She guided me into what has become my career.”
After high school graduation, Galocy enrolled at Indiana University Northwest to major in health information services and received an associate’s degree. She completed her bachelor’s degree in this field in 1992 at Indiana University/Purdue University in Indianapolis. Marriage and children came next. Galocy and her husband, Matt, lived in Chicago for a while, but when they had their first child, Max now 9, they opted to move back to Northwest Indiana. Max’s sister, Lauren now 6, came along three years later.
The Galocy family has made the health care field their focus. Matt is a nurse practitioner while Linda Galocy is clinical coordinator and lecturer at IUN in the Health Information Management program. This two-year program prepares students to be medical coders and to work in the management of health information and with medical records.
“The students need 300 clinical hours of in-class lab and hands-on experience,” Galocy says. “In-class experience and hands-on experience are very different types.” Gaining real world experience takes students into healthcare settings where electronic medical records (EMRS) are now the norm, she says.
“EMRs are making a difference in the way students learn about this profession,” she said. Yet, Galocy adds, students continue to need exposure to the “paper world” of medical information.
Clinical Coordinator & Lecturer
IHIMA (Indiana Health Information Management Program) at Indiana University Northwest
3400 Broadway, Gary
As the program’s clinical coordinator and lecturer, Galocy devotes time to her students’ learning experiences and provides in-services in medical records for area healthcare providers. While she’s guiding her students through their degree program, Galocy is also completing coursework for her master’s degree in adult continuing education at IUPUI and will receive her degree in May 2011.
All of that while working full-time, raising two children with Matt and managing a household, says Margaret Skurka, director of the Health Information Management program at IUN. Galocy’s “contribution to the local and state in the profession of Health Information Management is significant,” says Skurka, who nominated the 37-year old for the 2010 Class of 20 Under 40. In addition, Galocy is the 2011 president of the Indiana Health Information Management Association.
“This is a significant honor in that she was elected by the 3,000 members of the state association,” Skurka says. “She is a consultant, author and an accomplished educator. She consults within the state and nationally.” A member of the IHIMA for nine years, Galocy says she’s honored to be the state organization’s leader, which gives her a chance to travel around Indiana.
Galocy says role models and mentors in her life certainly include her parents, while others also helped shape the person she is today.
“There have been a whole lot of professionals who have helped me. Each one has had different qualities. I have taken those qualities and made them part of my own life, to become my own.”
Giving back to the community is one of those life lessons Galocy says she learned from all her role models and mentors. Much of that community involvement centers on her two children.
“I volunteer as a room mom at my kids’ school and teach CCD classes at St. Mary Church in Griffith, where my son is in religious education classes,” she says.“I try as much as I can to be physically present in my children’s lives.”