Alumni Stories

Our graduates are entrepreneurs and employees in organizations large and small. They work across all sectors of society from nurses in community clinics, to health information managers in large urban hospitals, to restorative dental hygienists in family-operated clinics. The thread that joins them is how their George Brown education prepared them for career success.


A Healthy Career

Image of Teresa Buchanan

When Teresa Buchanan graduated university in 2000, she wasn’t sure where she fit into the Ontario health system or what her next step should be. “I did know that I didn’t want to be a clinician,” remembers Teresa. “I wanted a job that bridged the gap between clinical practice and the business side of health care. When I discovered George Brown’s Health Information Management (HIM) Program it seemed to offer the perfect balance of clinical, business and technical skills that I was looking for.”

Teresa points to the diversity of the HIM program content and its extensive focus on real work scenarios as key to her development. “The combination of intensive classroom work and clinical placement opportunities gave me the exact experience that employers were looking for,” she explains. “I was able to secure full-time work in a HIM position straight after graduating in 2002.”

After two years work in the industry, in 2004, Teresa decided to enrol in law school to build on the foundation of her George Brown skills and take her career in health to the next level. She currently has a lead role in the development of health policy at the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, where she uses her legal training and health information background to help design the province’s health funding strategy. Last year, Teresa was nominated in the category of Health Sciences for a Premiers Award, given by the Ontario government to college graduates who make significant economic and social contributions to the province.

Throughout her career, Teresa has maintained a strong connection to George Brown, and she regularly returns to the college where she teaches Introduction to Law to a new generation of Health Information Management professionals.

“George Brown is where future leaders in the field will begin their career journey, and I advise my students to think about themselves, their interests and their education and create a story that they can tell to employers,” says Teresa. “Each person brings a unique blend of skills and experience to the table, and employers are looking for a full picture. When you have a compelling story, it becomes easy to promote yourself and fully realize your potential.”

Alumnus Alison Hepburn

Health Information Management
Graduated 2007

Alison Hepburn

As Health Records and Privacy Team Lead at the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute, Alison Hepburn has a weighty responsibility on her hands: ensuring the integrity, confidentiality, and security of the information of thousands of former and current patients at the organization’s five sites and six buildings across the city. Working out of Toronto Rehab’s University Avenue site, Hepburn, with the support of nine staff members whom she oversees, ensures proper protocols and guidelines are followed when handling patient information, such as when health information is transferred between hospital departments, or is provided to outside parties such as insurers or lawyers. As well, she’s helping to facilitate the organization’s transition from hard copy to electronic patient records. “Ultimately, I work on behalf of the patient to make sure their information is handled properly and respectfully. Without our department, there would be no one to manage the information on patients and how to care for them – and what do you have without that?” Hepburn says.


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