Alumni Spotlight: Summerpal Kahlon ’11 ’13
Summerpal Kahlon is the Director of Care Innovation at Oracle Health Sciences. He received his master’s degree online in Health Care Informatics. The Health Care Informatics program is unique in that it focuses on providing students with a thorough grounding in the clinical, management and business aspects of the health informatics field. Catch up with this busy Knight:
ALL ABOUT YOUR CAREER
What do you do? I am Director of Care Innovation at Oracle Health Sciences. I work on our strategy and business development team to assess how we can enhance and expand our capabilities in health information management to support data-driven translational research and care.
Why do you do what you do? It’s a dynamic time in health care, with incredible opportunity to transform through technology the way we deliver health care. In order to do it correctly, we need to create the foundational infrastructure to make technology-enhanced care a reality for everyone in every stage of health.
What do you like most about your job? I have an opportunity to work with incredible people around the world who are leaders in the fields of health care and technology.
What is your most memorable experience on the job? I’ve always had an interest in mHealth, so it was rewarding for one of my first tasks at Oracle to be the creation of an IoT concept to support seamless multi-device integration into the patient’s record for analysis.
ALL ABOUT YOU
What do you do for fun? I spend a lot of time with my kids, and like to get out for a run whenever I can. I’m also a season ticket holder for Orlando City and enjoy getting out to the games as often as possible.
What makes you laugh out loud? The funny things little kids say and do.
What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? My college degree is in economics, and I’ve always thought it might be fun to go deeper on economics and finance one day.
What is the last thing you Googled? Restaurants in Paris while I was there for work recently.
What has been your favorite city or country to visit? There’s no place like home, I love living in Florida. Outside the US, Australia is a beautiful country and I always feel like I could spend more time there exploring something new every time I visit.
If someone wrote a book about you, what would the title be? “What’s Next?”
What has been the best meal of your life so far? My first date with my wife. The food was OK and the restaurant isn’t even open anymore, but still the best dinner in my life.
What songs would make up the soundtrack of your life? My personal theme song has always been Summertime by DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince (for obvious reasons). The song that’s most like my life right now is the old Steve Miller Band song Jet Airliner.
What is the happiest and/or proudest moment of your life? When my 2 kids were born.
What is your favorite quote? “I, I took the road less traveled by, and that has made all the difference” – Robert Frost
If you were on an island and you could only bring 3 things, what would you bring? A satellite phone, sunglasses, and a snack. The phone to call someone to get me off the island and the sunglasses and snack to relax while I wait. I’d get bored too easily if I sat there too long!
What superhero would you be and why? Superman. No gadgets or tricks, just strong body and moral compass.
What is the last book you read? Positive by Dr. Michael Saag
ALL ABOUT YOUR CONNECTION TO UCF
Why did you choose to attend UCF? I looked at a variety of options to complete my Masters in Health Care Informatics, and ultimately chose UCF because it’s a strong program with convenient options to suit my career (took online courses), and faculty who are open to spending time with students and teaching beyond the classroom – even the virtual classroom!
How has your UCF degree helped in your career? I was already in the informatics field, but getting the degree helped me solidify my credentials and strengthen my foundational knowledge of the core elements of the field, like databases and data standards. In particular, some of that knowledge directly translates to my current role at Oracle, where I bridge the conversation between deep experts in technology and functional users who are pursuing different health-related projects.
What extracurricular activities were you involved in at UCF? None, did my degree online
What is your favorite UCF memory? Getting to know a variety of faculty members in person despite doing the courses online
What’s the most important piece of advice you would give to your fellow Knights? The courses are important, but take advantage of the knowledge of the faculty outside the classroom as well. In my experience, they’re always willing to teach and help you build a successful career. There’s a lot more to learn beyond just the course curriculum.