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peg van bree

Peg Van Bree

Class of 1986

What is your current role in health care?

“My career has primarily been running complex teaching hospitals, those typically affiliated with academic health centers. Most recently, I was the president of Rhode Island Hospital and Hasbro Children’s Hospital. I left that position in 2020 and now I’m working part-time consulting and acting as a senior advisor and clinical professor for an MHA program in the South.”

What stands out as a favorite memory during your time as an MHA student?

“My classmates stand out as my favorite memory. They came from such rich and varied backgrounds. I just remember being so impressed how we came together, gelled as a team, and were supportive of each other. I must add that we did have a championship coed intramural softball team. We were fierce. I think anytime you could have activities with both classes, it is more fun and expands your friendship and network base.”

How has the MHA Program helped prepare you for your career?

“Aside from the foundational classes, I was humbled by how much I didn’t know, and it forced me to be a lifelong learner. It is essential to continually read, keep up with the field, and understand what’s going on.”

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?

“​I think they are very similar to the ones that have been in the past. It’s about access, equity, and labor. I think of this in terms of, are we going to have the right kind of healthcare professionals and be able to provide services in a meaningful way.

More and more, I focus on courage, compassion, and kindness as the things that will really distinguish leaders, and how these attributes are demonstrated in the work setting to create programs and services that make a difference to our community.”

If you could give one piece of advice to a current student, what would it be?

“Pay attention in class. It is such a luxury to spend two years totally focused on your studies. Appreciate that you’re hearing the most contemporary information on a particular topic, and it’s much harder to stay current once you graduate and you’re working in a full-time job. Enjoy your classes and pay attention, because you have faculty, staff, and preceptors who are working hard to make sure you have a great experience.”

Why is your class the best class ever?

“Can’t we all be the best class ever?”

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