Erik Hollander, EdD, talks with a CUW student about the healthcare advocates program and its opportunities.

What’s up, doc?

The line, made famous by the beloved cartoon Bugs Bunny, is also a question being asked by many patients these days as they navigate what some believe is a health care system that needs some changes. At Concordia University, one of the many topics discussed is how can we best serve the industries of the future? What programs and classes need to be developed to meet the needs of employers for decades to come? Often it is because of philanthropic support that we are able to create new offerings at Concordia. Certainly health care is one of those industries that is thirsting for an innovative approach.

With the opening of the Robert W. Plaster Free Enterprise Center in 2019, CUW’s Batterman School of Business and School of Health Professions have been working in collaboration to find solutions that will serve the general population.

The healthcare advocates program, one of our newer programs, has found success and is producing results, thanks in large part to the generosity and vision of Peter Grimes, president of Aur Enterprises, along with Concordia’s Dan Sem, PhD, and Erik Hollander, EdD. Not only has a curriculum been developed, with Hollander spearheading the efforts in collaboration with Dr. Bill Hennessey, CEO of Pratter, Inc., but Concordia students are being trained to help future patients as advocates for individual’s health care through internships and, in some cases, landing jobs in the industry.

“We wanted to work with a high-quality academic institution that upholds the values of our companies,” said Grimes. “Concordia’s students have exceeded all
our expectations, and we look forward to expanding our program. We have found Concordia students to be intelligent, hardworking, and dedicated individuals who are eager to serve others. With these valuable attributes, we believe these are the young men and women who will someday lead our country’s economy.”

This is just one example of an entrepreneur bringing an idea to Concordia University where it has turned into a successful program. We welcome other opportunities to work together with businesses and organizations to help us serve the public, and produce students ready to take on industry challenges.

Editor’s note: This story first appeared in the spring 2022 issue of Hearts Together, a Concordia University Wisconsin and Ann Arbor Special Magazine edition. The fall/winter issue hit mailboxes in early October. View a PDF version of the magazine here. If you are not on our mailing list, but are interested in receiving a free copy, email

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