Dream come true: CHC/SEK staffer gets opportunity to play softball, study for healthcare administration   

Hannah Burnett always dreamed of playing college softball. Now, her dream has come true: She plays for Pittsburg State University while studying for a master’s in business administration, emphasizing in healthcare.   

While she steals bases and hits home runs, Burnett also works as an administrative assistant for corporate compliance at the Community Health Center of Southeast Kansas.  

You can find her at the front desk of CHC/SEK’s North System Building, coordinating and managing external meetings for the organization’s leadership team. Additionally, she manages Senior Vice President and Chief Compliance Officer Daniel Creitz’s calendar and assists with scanning and organizing documents and light research.   

“I do whatever I can to help him stay organized so he can be as efficient as possible,” Burnett says.  

Burnett was already working at CHC/SEK when she learned of an opportunity to play softball. Her supervisors supported her decision, saying, “Absolutely.”  

“I’m really thankful that I have Delina Stewart [CHC/SEK Director of Administrative Services] and Daniel, who were willing to let me continue my dream of playing college softball,” Burnett says. “It’s something I always wanted to do growing up.”  

Burnett, originally from Independence, KS, is an avid softball player who has participated in sports her whole life. It’s a family thing. Her dad played baseball at Coffeyville Community College. Her siblings played softball and baseball. 

“For as long as I can remember, I was always at a softball or a wrestling tournament,” she says, adding that sports are the source of many special memories and life-long friendships.   

Like softball, studying at PittState runs in the family. Her grandmother, mother, brother, and sister all studied at the university.  

“I’m finally a Gorilla; it was my destiny,” Burnett says.   

Besides being a left-handed slapper, Burnett is unique because she’s one of the oldest on her team. She’s 24, and her friends and team call her “Granny.” This came about because she played softball while studying at NEO in Miami, OK, where she completed an associate degree in business administration. She was allotted additional eligibility years because of the pandemic. She went on to study business at Grand Canyon University, Phoenix, AZ, where she also played softball.   

“I’m learning all the time from everybody here, and then when I go out on the field, I get to be that person who has wisdom,” she says, adding that she tries to let the younger athletes know that it’s okay to fail when you strike out or make errors. “Softball is not just about how you perform; it’s also about how you respond to how you perform.”  

Regarding her classes, Burnett looks forward to taking courses from CHC/SEK President and Chief Strategy Officer Jason Wesco and CFO Ross Turney, who recently began teaching business courses this year, creating a complete circle for her.   

“This is a fantastic opportunity to partner with Pitt State on their new Healthcare Administration MBA focus program, especially when one of our own is able to move through the program and be one of the first graduates with this emphasis,” says Turney, who teaches the course Healthcare Financial Management.

Burnett wanted to study business to eventually become a project manager, knowing it would open her up to many opportunities. Working at CHC/SEK gave her the idea of emphasizing healthcare.   

“I want to stay in Pittsburg,” she says. “I love the community support. It’s incredible, especially with Pitt State. You see Gorillas everywhere.   

“You see businesses and people come out to support student-athletes. Not just financially supporting, but they come to the games and truly want to see us succeed.” 

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