MHA Career Opportunities
Where will an MHA take you?
Graduate Development Program (GDP) Associate, CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield
On a normal day in my position: Lots of learning and interactive projects! I am currently in an 18-month rotation at CareFirst Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS), where I will be working on various projects within three business areas of the company under the leadership of the business owners. My rotations include Medical Affairs, Strategic Marketing and IT Application. On a normal day, I work closely with the Program Manager and Senior Director of Post Acute and Home-Based Services to manage provider and member contractual relationships among four programs (Sleep Management, Skilled Nursing Facilities, Hospice and Home Based Services). I also have the opportunity to enhance ongoing education, communication and process improvement tools with all program managers and directors in Medical Affairs.
The most surprising thing about my work: Every day is a learning opportunity for me. The health plan industry is very large, complex and unique based on member and employer needs. I enjoy learning about the successes and challenges faced by the payor when reducing access gaps in healthcare, and being on the forefront of change. I was surprised to learn how closely the health plan works with CMS and legislators in workgroup sessions on a routine basis to promote effective change at Capitol Hill for health equity and access for all members.
The thing I love most about my work: I appreciate the numerous opportunities offered in the development program to meet leaders, internal and external to CareFirst. I most appreciate visiting our community partners on-site and touring the facilities. This helps me see where our work as a payor is most effective at a member/patient level, and is helping me better learn of changes needed to improve access to care.
My future career goals include: Since the start of my program, I have realized there is so much opportunity to select a specific job category. However, I have recognized my strengths are in project management, change management and business development. It is my hope to also develop into a business owner and advance in the long term to a division leader within CareFirst.
One example of how I use my UNTHSC education in my role is: The operations, health insurance, law and leadership courses have definitely been beneficial to my current job role. When I started my role here in July 2018, the new CEO was also announced. This has since led to a redirection of our organization in preparation for new changes effective in 2019. The operations course I took at UNTHSC has also been beneficial with regard to developing reporting tools, synthesizing large amounts of data and developing performance reports for my department. The UNTHSC health insurance and law courses introduced me to the insurance industry, where I am currently working today.
Thinking back on my time at UNTHSC, I really appreciated: I really appreciated the friends and relationships I developed within my cohort and the School of Public Health. In addition, I also appreciate the numerous doors that were opened during my time at UNTHSC, such as my internship experience, participation in case competitions and participation in professional organizations like ACHE, HFMA, NAHSE, all of which supported and contributed to my invaluable real-world education and experience.
Jessica Allen, MHA ’16
Manager of External Affairs at North Tx Area Community Health Center, Inc.
On a normal day in my position: I lead a team that develops marketing strategies. I cultivate relationships with outside organizations and other potential partnerships. I assist with the strategic planning process in regards to the expansion of the NTACHC clinics, and manage numerous health education programs.
The most surprising thing about my work: Each day is drastically different.
The thing I love most about my work: I love that I see each day how appreciative our patients are that they have a place to come receive compassionate, quality health care regardless of their specific medical issue or ability to pay. NTACHC really makes a difference in the Fort Worth community!
My future career goals include: I hope to one day work in business development at a children’s hospital.
One example of how I use my UNTHSC education in my role is: I utilize process improvement and program management techniques every day. These are skills that were learned through coursework at UNTHSC.
Thinking back on my time at UNTHSC, I really appreciated: I really appreciated the small class sizes that allowed me to really get to know and form relationships with my classmates and professors.
On a normal day in my position: I coordinate with Practice Administrator and Assistant Practice Administrator in managing the growing practice that includes 2 locations, 10 providers, and 65 employees.
The most surprising thing about my work: Things are lot different when working for an independent physician practice because you are a small team and rely on each other to run the business. There is no external or central organization governing you and doing work on your behalf.
The thing I love most about my work: Learning something new about health care every day, working on new projects and solving healthcare challenges.
My future career goals include: To become board certified and lead physician practices as a Practice Manager/ Practice Administrator/ Chief Officer.
One example of how I use my UNTHSC education in my role is: I apply my learned financial and analytical skills towards forecasting budget, cost-benefit analysis, calculating opportunity loss, monitoring profit margins etc.
Thinking back on my time at UNTHSC, I really appreciated: I appreciated how my advisor and professors mentored me for my academic and professional growth. Furthermore, the MHA course structure laid a heavy emphasis on application exercises, group projects, article reviews, and presentations. These activities prepared me to take a challenging role in my career.
On a normal day in my position: Facilitate process improvement teams. Manage the hospital quality committee. Oversee the selection of, and actions related to our hospital quality priorities. Lead disease-specific readmissions taskforces. Oversee the contract evaluation process. Develop and maintain scorecards/dashboards. Perform chart reviews & audits. Coordinate the Physician Peer Review Process.
The most surprising thing about my work: Now I am not as surprised, but when I first started as a data analyst (4 or so years ago), I was surprised at the amount of ownership and responsibility I was given… but I was glad 🙂
The thing I love most about my work: Enjoy solving problems; investigative epidemiology; search for root cause; putting things in context; Impact people’s lives on a large scale.
My future career goals include: Continue to grow as a leader in Quality, Strategy, and Service Line development.
One example of how I use my UNTHSC education in my role is: I would not last 5 minutes in my current role if not for what I learned while at the UNTHSC MHA program. Especially classes related to process improvement, strategy, measurement & reporting, capstone… heck pretty much all of them.
Thinking back on my time at UNTHSC, I really appreciated: Really like the classes that shifted from pure theory to practical application.
On a normal day in my position: My days normally revolve around team meetings, project work, reading, and random ad-hoc tasks. Depending on the work I have going on, my team meetings consist of reviewing any deliverables and updating our analyses based on stakeholder needs and group discussion. Actual project work can vary greatly, but our team focuses mostly on market analyses, business planning, financial analyses, physician recruitment, and other studies that help drive business at the hospital and satellite clinics.
The thing I love most about my work: The people and the variation of projects. The people you work with can either make your job easy or much more difficult, and I’m excited to work with my fellow colleagues each day due to their intelligence, energy, and creativity. Project variation keeps things new, exciting, and challenging. I’m lucky to be in a position where we get a variety of projects from all departments that involve different levels of leadership on both the clinical and administration fronts.
My future career goals include: Gain more knowledge and experience in health system strategy and operations. I aspire to serve in a senior leadership position where I can focus my efforts on providing the people I work with the resources to serve the patients that seek our care. I hope that my experience in provider/payer partnerships, population health management, business innovation and strategy, and new service line development can help support the organization to serve those patients.
Thinking back on my time at UNTHSC, I really appreciated: My fellow students. We relied on each other in school and certainly now in the current market. I’ve reached out to old friends for advice, jobs, or just to go get a drink after work. Relationships with people are most important to me. I find it to be a necessity to stay in touch with people while also creating new contacts throughout my career.
Payal Rana, MHA ‘13
Senior Account Executive at the Joint Commission (JCAHO)
On a normal day in my position: I manage over 400 organization accounts to guarantee compliance with Joint Commission standards. I assist organizations with updating legal documents including any CMS forms or Change of Ownership forms. I conduct report reviews for any Corrective Action Plans submitted by organizations once they have passed an inspection. I assist organizations with any interim submissions of application or compliance attestations during the accreditation cycle.
The most surprising thing about my work: Every day is something different- I talked to dozens of organizations on a daily basis and every day I learn something different.
The thing I love most about my work: The mission and vision of my organization! Our goal is to help organizations provide safe and quality healthcare to everyone. Every day I feel that I am working towards our mission/vision.
My future career goals include: Leading Process Improvement initiatives in healthcare organizations.
One example of how I use my UNTHSC education in my role is: Through collaboration with TCU I was able to obtain my Six Sigma Green Belt certification. This has really helped me work on process improvement strategies within my current department and even in some areas across my division.
Thinking back on my time at UNTHSC, I really appreciated: The small cohort – we learned a lot from each other and got to know one another on a personal level. I still keep in touch with many of my classmates and I know I can reach out to them for both personal and professional matters.
Nandini Shankaran, MHA ’11
Product Manager at Azveston Healthcare
On a normal day in my position: I take care of branding and communication of pediatric nutritional products. We promote our prescription products to Pediatricians and Physicians, OTC products to Parents and Children. I plan and execute marketing campaigns to promote various brands. I am also involved in market research and launch of new products.
The most surprising thing about my work: We constantly strive to innovate with our marketing and promotional activities.
The thing I love most about my work: Since I work for a startup healthcare company I have the freedom to come up with new creative ideas.
My future career goals include: To improve my marketing and communication skills and to do great in the Healthcare/Pharma industry.
One example of how I use my UNTHSC education in my role is: Apart from knowledge, MHA degree thought be to be very professional, sincere and hard working. The marketing courses were very useful. I wish we had more courses on marketing and communication.
Thinking back on my time at UNTHSC, I really appreciated: The support of the faculty, curriculum adviser, professors. I am so grateful to all of them. Everyone was so kind and helpful.