Over the coming weeks you will meet some of our alumni and learn about the important work they are doing to create a healthier nation and world.
Employer: Community Health Network
Current position: Executive Director of Operations
Degree(s): Bachelor of Science in Health Administration (IU Bloomington); MHA (IUPUI)
Why did you choose your major/program?
In undergraduate school at IU Bloomington, I completed an internship in the Indiana University Washington Leadership Program where I spent an entire semester working for America’s Health Insurance Plans in Washington, D.C. I was fascinated by the policy and business side of healthcare, and knew I wanted to pursue a business degree in healthcare post undergrad.
When applying to graduate schools, I had a conversation with David Handel, who was the MHA director at the time. The wealth of internship opportunities and knowledge that David brought to the program was very appealing to me. I was sold on the education and internship opportunity that the MHA program provided.
Do you have any research interests?
In my current position, I help health systems apply for and successfully operate Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) through CMS. ACOs are at the forefront of healthcare change and a lot of the tools that CMS allows through ACOs are experimental. It’s fun discovering different ways to be successful with launching various benefit enhancements that CMS allows in these models.
Briefly describe your career path.
After I obtained my MHA, I worked for Deaconess Health System in Evansville, IN and obtained experience in service line management. During this time I also obtained certification in Lean Six Sigma. It was this experience in running a service line and having training in process improvement that got me into helping health systems launch and operationalize ACOs.
In five sentences or less, describe what an average day for you might be like.
To be successful in running an ACO you must always maintain a triple aim: 1) improve the patient experience, 2) improve the health of populations, and 3) reduce the per capita cost of healthcare. This approach requires me on a regular basis to work with clinical RN care managers, health system physician providers, service line leaders, government officials, and healthcare executives. I might be participating in a clinical process improvement discussion in one meeting, a physician provider steering committee, or participating in a call with CMS liaisons. Sometimes it can feel like it takes a village.
What advice would you give your college self about pursuing work in your current industry?
Continue to get certifications and training, even if it is outside of your specific job duties. Additional skill sets can open doors and lead to new opportunities. Examples are training offered through programs like ACHE, Lean Certification or Six Sigma Certification.
What is a lesson learned at FSPH that you have been able to apply to your career?
FSPH helped push me to network and make contacts at every level in healthcare. In addition to my internship at Suburban Health Organization, I also did an internship at Deaconess Health System during the summer, and then had a mentorship with the COO of Ortho Indy. There are so many different components to healthcare. In my current profession I work in a wide array of areas such as provider engagement, clinical operations, post acute care, payer contracting, etc. FSPH helped me learn to always be curious and not pigeon-hole myself to one aspect of healthcare.
What is the most significant thing that’s happened to you since graduating?
Since graduating, I got married and started a wonderful family with a wife and three children. In high school I loved playing golf, but lost interest after graduate school. Now that my children are older I have rekindled that passion and love playing the sport with my three children.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years? What’s next for you?
How we deliver healthcare continues to change and evolve. I plan to always stay at the forefront of this change and help shape healthcare where I can. In my current profession I found a way to successfully implement a CMS ACO benefit enhancement post discharge home visit waiver. We were so successful, I was able to hop on a nationwide call and share our story and work flows; it was a lot of fun. I hope I’m still doing activities and calls like that in 10 years!
What is your favorite IUPUI/FSPH memory?
When I was in the MHA program, we started what I think was the first MHA Student Association. In addition to getting guest speakers come talk to our group (Sam Odle from IU Health for example) we also did a lot of fun social activities. From Pacers games to Indians games, I loved socializing with my fellow students. There used to be a restaurant/bar near campus called Bourbon Street. I remember many times getting together after classes had ended for the day there with my fellow students.