What is your current role in health care?
“I am a program manager on the product development team at Cleveland Clinic. Our team falls under Finance and is primarily a payer/employer facing team. We develop and implement products and programs that meet the expanding needs of employers, leveraging the high quality care Cleveland Clinic is known for. We are also responsible for our narrow network insurance products, which provides us an opportunity to work closely with a select number of payers to define and implement the ideal payer/provider partnership. These products serve as vehicles to expand the number of lives we touch and to enhance our risk capabilities.”
What stands out as a favorite memory during your time as an MHA student?
“I think one of my favorite memories that may be considered slightly academic, because it involved a professor, was with my classmate Jesse. It was very last minute, but we ended up going to the Phillips Neighborhood Clinic annual fundraiser. I’m not ashamed to admit that Jesse and I were most excited about the free food and drinks.
Part way through the evening, we struck up a conversation with Dr. Potthoff, who was our professor at the time. We ended up chatting for more than an hour, learning about her background, her story, and a bit of gossiping. When the evening wrapped up, she offered to give Jesse and I a ride to Stub & Herbs ended to meet up with the rest of our classmates. This was another excuse for some more stories from Dr. Potthoff’s past, which included some of her own fun memories of Stub & Herbs. It was a really fun time to just get to know the woman behind the podium and what fueled her passion for healthcare.”
How has the MHA Program helped prepare you for your career?
“I’d say the biggest asset that got me to where I am, and I still leverage now, is the alumni network. Being able to tap that at any given time, especially during my internships, was a huge asset. I went into my first summer internship at Summit Orthopedics knowing only what we had learned in the program. I was able to leverage the alumni network to identify individuals in similar roles at institutions across the country. I was honestly surprised at just how willing and available alumni were when I asked to meet with them. Within a week, I had obtained very helpful perspective and insights from three senior leaders across three different health systems.”
What challenges and opportunities will healthcare leaders encounter in the next 5-15 years? What skills will leaders need to be successful in light of these challenges and opportunities?
“In my role, we are constantly pushing our clinical and operational leaders to be mindful of the external market dynamics. The way care is delivered has been changing a lot and I think this trend will continue. This goes beyond the fast growth in digital health. I think the rise of intermediaries like ChenMed and Oak Street Health, and hundreds of other startups who are putting themselves between us and the patient, will be trend that continues to increase. Patients are seeking care through non-traditional channels because of better experience, more transparency, more convenience, and better technology, to name a few. The rise in consumerism has been happening for a while and I think we’re really finally seeing it hit a breaking point. If large health systems such as the Cleveland Clinic don’t respond, the traditional role we play in our patient’s lives will continue to shift.
Being adaptable, being able to embrace the change, and acknowledge patient needs is crucial in light of these changes.”
If you could give one piece of advice to a current student, what would it be?
“Before starting the interview process for internships, fellowships, and jobs, understand the importance of who you work for. Coming out of the program, everyone has their plan, such as I want to be CEO in 10 years, and you do what you have to do to check those boxes and get to that point. You may not prioritize your own happiness and well-being in what you’re doing. I see a lot of this in my colleagues. If you have a not-so-great boss who’s not going to advocate for you or not invest time and energy on developing you, it doesn’t matter what you’re doing or how much you love that topic or that area of health care. If you don’t have an advocate in your corner, you’re not going to be very successful. I am so grateful to my mentors for instilling this in me.”
Why is your class the best class ever?
“I am going to throw a curveball and say that my class was not the best class ever. I was a dual degree student, so I started with the class of 2016 but graduated with the class of 2017. Now the class of 2016 is hands down the best class ever. We were known to be a bit rambunctious and may have prioritized extracurriculars over coursework a bit more than we should have. That said, everyone ended up in great roles and it has been so exciting to see them advance in their careers over the years.”