On-Campus MHSA Perspectives

Georgetown's top-25 master's program in health systems administration prepares students to be innovators and leaders within this growing and vibrant industry. 

Upon graduation, our alumni pursue diverse career paths in the health care industry. The most recent alumni employment information is available here.

Alumni Perspectives

Several alumni perspectives on Georgetown's full-time, on-campus MHSA program are featured below. Current or prospective students should feel free to contact these MHSA alumni with questions. Profiles compiled by Julia McSorley (G’16) in February 2015.

Daniel Bitman (G’13)

Contact Daniel

What are you currently doing?

I am a practice administrator at Virginia Hospital Center.

What path have you taken to get there?

I completed a fellowship at Henry Ford Health System immediately after my graduation. It was roughly one year in length. I was promoted to a practice and a project manager after that and was in that role for roughly six months when I decided I wanted to move back to the East Coast and settle down in the great DC metro area.

How did the program prepare you for your current work?

The coursework in finance, strategy and law is highly relevant, as I apply the content of these courses every day in my role. But some of the harder-to-measure areas like organizational theory and emotional intelligence that we learned made me feel like I was ahead of the curve as a lot of health systems are just now rolling out some of these programs to educate employees on how to communicate with each other better and how it ultimately benefits the patient.

Is there anything about the program you’d like to highlight?

This may sound like a cliché, but the more you put into it, the more you get out of it. I had several experiences within supply chain, policy consulting, and other operational internships that gave me a unique perspective in each of those different areas. I felt empowered because I really believed I had a better understanding of the entire health care market and didn’t feel limited by my options after graduation.

What advice would you give current and future students?

Don’t be afraid to say yes to things. A great professor advised us to “network, network, network.” I made acquaintances and professional relationships with folks in different programs that I gained through educational collaborations. I still keep in touch with all of these individuals, and I think my professional career is better served for it. I think Georgetown is a great educational platform to start your career.

Elliott Brown (G’12)

Contact Elliott

What are you currently doing?

I’m the business operations manager of the MedStar Heart and Vascular Institute at MedStar Washington Hospital Center. In this role, I’m responsible for executing the strategy and operations of the outpatient cardiology and cardiac surgery practices at MedStar Washington Hospital Center. Additionally, I perform a variety of financial and productivity-related analytics on the Heart and Vascular service line, manage a variety of external relationships and focus on new program development.

What path have you taken to get there?

After graduating from Georgetown, I accepted a one-year, post-graduate administrative fellowship at MedStar Washington Hospital Center. The position allowed me the opportunity to function at the highest level of the organization for an entire year, working directly for the executive leadership of the hospital. It was a tremendous learning experience. After my fellowship, I was hired onto the Heart and Vascular service line, where I managed MWHC’s new Alliance relationship with the Cleveland Clinic for a year before accepting my current position.

How did the program prepare you for your current work?

The Georgetown MHSA Program gave me the framework I needed to be able to think critically about the tough issues that are encountered in health care on a daily basis. Frequently, I run into people who are unable to problem-solve because they haven’t been given the qualitative and/or quantitative skills necessary to develop a quick but comprehensive solution to a problem. Georgetown gave me just that through its well-designed and thoughtful curriculum.

Is there anything about the program you’d like to highlight?

I would say the Georgetown program’s proximity not only to MedStar Georgetown University Hospital, but also to the entire DC Metropolitan area, provides a huge advantage in that it allows for students to take advantage of a plethora of prestigious institutions within a relatively small geographic area.

What advice would you give current and future students?

I would encourage all current and future students to embrace change in their professional careers, as there’s not a day in health care where change isn’t fully present. Taking chances and pushing your comfort and knowledge levels will only help to accelerate the pace of your learning and, advertently or inadvertently, your career.

Megan Holzman (G’10)

Contact Megan

What are you currently doing?

I am a lecturer in Health Management and Policy at the School of Public and Environmental Affairs (SPEA) at Indiana University.

What path have you taken to get there?

I have an undergraduate degree in finance from Virginia Tech. Upon graduation I worked for the Department of Defense in cost analysis; but after four years, chose to start my transition into the health care industry. After earning my degree at Georgetown, I joined Inova Fairfax Hospital as the residency coordinator in the Department of Medicine. From there, I moved to the business development group, specifically in adult services. I worked with clinical leadership from the neurosciences, orthopedics, medicine and surgical departments to develop their service lines and grow volumes. After a few years at Inova, my family moved to Indiana, where I began my career at IU Health. I started as the manager of managed care, negotiating contracts with insurance companies, and then moved into an office manager role for physician offices.  My business development experience at Inova gave me the basic knowledge to build and manage physician offices in the specialties of Orthopedic Joint Replacement, Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, and Neurology.  When we decided to start a family, I began teaching at IU part-time. My goal is to get students excited about their potential careers in health care management and administration.

How did the program prepare you for your current role?

The program provided me the opportunity to better understand issues in the health care industry — past, present, and future. I have been able to apply my classroom knowledge to my various positions within health care administration, and ultimately bring it back to the classroom.  I feel I can share real experiences with my students, which brings the basic concepts to life.

Is there anything else about the program you’d like to highlight?

There are many advantages to the program at Georgetown. The program has a great network with the local health systems, which helped to jumpstart my health care career. It also provided me the tools and foundation to stay abreast of health care reform and the latest industry trends that affect the health care industry and hospitals every day.

What advice would you give current and future students?

From the beginning, build a network of friends and colleagues and utilize every opportunity the program has to offer. It can open doors you never knew existed!

Steve Miller (G’14)

Contact Steve

What are you currently doing?

I’m currently an administrative fellow at City of Hope, a comprehensive cancer center and research hospital located in Duarte, CA. I’ve had the opportunity to work on several major projects throughout various departments of the organization. Following the fellowship, I’m looking to obtain a position in hospital operations.

What path have you taken to get there?

My first exposure to health care came in high school, where I volunteered in the operating room at the Good Samaritan Health System in Lebanon, PA, which eventually led to a part-time job. I was a business major at the University of Richmond, where I volunteered at World Pediatric Project, a non-profit that provides diagnostic and surgical care to children in the Caribbean and Central America. Following undergrad, I worked at The Advisory Board Company for a year before enrolling in Georgetown’s MHSA Program.

While in graduate school, I interned with the Department of Community Pediatrics at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital for a year and a half, and also interned at America’s Essential Hospitals for a semester. I completed my residency at Inova Alexandria Hospital, with former-CEO Christine Candio as my preceptor.

How did the program prepare you for your current work?

Throughout my fellowship, I’ve worked in many departments and held different roles in various projects. Because of the comprehensive nature of the program’s coursework, I’ve felt prepared for each of these areas, from strategic planning to performance improvement, to finance. In addition to the technical skills, the program provided me with the necessary “soft skills” needed to communicate effectively, engage with others and diagnose the complexities within an organization.
Furthermore, because of the strong emphasis on group projects, I improved my ability to collaborate within a team and strengthened my presentation skills. This has been extremely valuable, as much of my fellowship work has been working with groups on large initiatives.

Is there anything about the program you’d like to highlight?

Georgetown’s faculty was always extremely accessible throughout the program, whether it was answering a question about an assignment or providing introductions to other health care professionals. They are all extremely invested in the success of all the students in the program. This was extremely helpful in getting internships, preparing job applications and overall professional development.

What advice would you give current and future students?

The most important piece of advice that I would give current and future students is to get involved! The course schedule is structured in a manner that allows for large chunks of time to be dedicated to internships, volunteer work, and professional organizations—and this involvement definitely helped in developing a deeper understanding of health care, in addition to providing networking opportunities and strengthening job applications. Two of my favorite experiences were competing in the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s MHSA Case Competition and attending ACHE’s Congress.

Elizabeth Moroni (G’13)

Contact Elizabeth

What are you currently doing?

I am a medical student at Georgetown University School of Medicine.

What path have you taken to get there?

After my administrative residency experience, I was lucky enough to be offered a position within the organization while I applied to medical school. I spent the year after graduating from the program working in MedStar Georgetown University Hospital's Center for Patient Safety, where I focused on patient safety analytics and informed large-scale quality improvement initiatives. This experience enabled me to hone the skills that I learned in the program and gain first-hand insight into the patient safety arena before beginning my clinical training.

How did the program prepare you for your current work?

My understanding of the health care system allows me to think more analytically about benefits and costs of interventions and the effect that they have on the population as a whole. Having a background in health care administration helps me to bring a more well-rounded, broad perspective to the classroom, a perspective that will someday help me to deliver the best care to my patients and my community.

During my time in medical school, I am serving as a clinic coordinator at HOYA Clinic, a student-driven free medical clinic in southeast Washington, DC. This position allows me to combine my clinical and administrative skills to give back to the DC community in a meaningful way.

Is there anything about the program you’d like to highlight?

The IHI Open School Chapter at Georgetown introduced me to the world of patient safety and quality improvement and enabled me to gain hands-on experience in the field during my time as a student. This immersive experience was absolutely invaluable to me. I refined skills that I learned in the classroom while completing projects, gained experience presenting my findings at national conferences, and built a network at the hospital that helped me to get a job after graduation and continues to help guide me through medical school.

What advice would you give current and future students?

My advice to current students would be to get your hands dirty! Reach out to alumni, faculty, and leaders in the field to gain perspective and advice. You will be shocked by who returns your emails/calls; and if you prove that you are capable, they will give you incredible opportunities to learn and grow.

Artair J. Rogers (G’13)

Contact Artair

What are you currently doing?

I am currently concluding my fellowship at Kaiser Permanente in Southern California. Although Southern California, primarily Los Angeles, is drastically different than D.C. and my home state of Mississippi, I enjoy my time and work in Southern California and Kaiser Permanente. Kaiser Permanente is an integrated system and is often referenced as the model of the Accountable Care Organization (ACO). A deep history and partnership really drives the organization’s success and the collaborative nature pushes everyone to think of the next innovative space of health care. My fellowship at Kaiser Permanente has continued to push me to be innovative by providing me with access to the major components of our health care system: the health plan, hospital and medical group. In my first rotation, I worked with the hospital/health plan operations at a local medical center to develop a geriatric care model to address the needs of the frail elderly. My second rotation allowed me to understand hospital/health plan operations further at the regional offices. Here I worked with medical centers to develop intense case management models for high-risk patients and began an initiative to address social determinants of health. Seeing this work replicated throughout multiple medical centers has truly been a worthwhile experience. My last rotation brought me to the medical group at a local medical center. I help manage a clinic, assist in the launch of a telederm initiative in the department, and collaborate with others to improve access in our clinic. As I am in the midst of the placement process for Kaiser Permanente following the fellowship, I am looking for a position that combines my interest in social determinants, clinical operations, and research. The great thing for me is that roles like this exist in Kaiser Permanente.

What path have you taken to get there?

Fellowships are an opportunity only given to new graduates. I encourage everyone to explore this option. Fellowships provide a unique perspective as you are exposed to the highest leaders and multiple facets of the health care system. They also grant young talent a great launching pad. Of course, I am extremely partial to the Kaiser Permanente fellowship program, but I believe that fellowships, in general, provide amazing experiences for new graduates.

How did the program prepare you for your current work?

Georgetown afforded me a great educational and practical learning experience. I truly appreciate all the professors I had in the program. I wish I could take Professor Kraemer’s epidemiology class again; it was my favorite class and provided the framework for me to understand how public health and health care operations merge together. Professor Mastorovich, Dr. Suh, and Dr. Ormsby’s classes were amazing as well; they continuously challenge students to apply principles learned in the classroom to a practical, real-world setting. I have never been a statistics guy, but I am so thankful for Dr. Friedland’s classes, as well. He ensures you learn the subject, and I have honestly used everything I have learned from his classes.  The educational experience culminates in my ability to bridge my passion of social determinants of health with clinical operations and research.

Is there anything about the program you’d like to highlight?

The practical experience I obtained is indescribable. I was able to serve as the administrative coordinator for a diabetes education program in southeast DC. I believe that we are called to use our skills and talents to serve. Working with Dr. Montero, a hospitalist at Georgetown, to address the needs of an underserved community was the biggest highlight for me. The performance improvement and IHI projects allowed me to work with Dr. Wolk and prompted my interest in research. We were able to present at a Georgetown Research Day. I have an interest in policy, as well, and Dr. Ormsby always provided outlets to engage within this particular interest. I enjoyed the Winston Scholarship Symposium and the class visits to Capitol Hill. I also could not fail to mention the Quality Symposium, which featured Dr. Donald Berwick, the networking events throughout D.C., and the amazing alumni network.

What advice would you give current and future students?

Let your passion guide what you do. Explore many options while you can, but truly try to formulate and understand your mission/passion within the health care sector. Don’t allow a title or position to define who you are in the health care industry. Many people look to follow traditional paths in the health care sector to emulate another individual. I don’t believe there is anything wrong with that, but health care is looking for trailblazers, too. Don’t be afraid to be a trailblazer. We need them in health care.

Naila Wahid (G’13)

Contact Naila

What are you currently doing?

I work at The Lewin Group, a health policy consulting firm just outside of Washington, DC. I perform policy research and data analysis for the federal government, and one of our main clients is the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). Although many of my projects focus on Medicare beneficiaries, I’ve also had the opportunity to work on projects related to health IT, network adequacy of insurance plans, and quality measure reporting.

What path have you taken to get there?

In college, I spent my summers working at the Center for Patient and Professional Advocacy (CPPA). A core component of my work involved analyzing patient feedback and complaints. Prior to that experience, I had no idea how frightening it could be to navigate the U.S. health system. Around the same time, debate over the Affordable Care Act shed light on the systemic problems that contributed to many of the complaints I observed at the CPPA. However, it seemed that there was still a disconnect between policymakers and providers, so I wanted to understand the health system from the inside out. I decided to pursue a Masters in Health Administration to gain a managerial perspective. My ultimate goal was to inform health care policy with realistic solutions that take into account the many constraints that health organizations face. Since policy was an interest of mine, I considered programs in the DC area. Georgetown stood out to me because of the faculty, alumni network, and comprehensive curriculum.

How did the program prepare you for your current work?

Georgetown’s Health Systems Administration Program prepared me in so many different ways! After joining the workforce, I can fully appreciate how Georgetown’s professors taught the fundamentals of the coursework while also incorporating current events. For that reason, no two cohorts will experience the exact same program. Being aware of health care innovations, pilot programs and recent developments throughout the industry helped me understand my post-graduate options, and it was also advantageous during networking and interview situations.

As I mentioned, my projects at Lewin cover a wide range of topics, yet I am able to draw on experiences from Georgetown. For example, the emphasis on quality has helped me with one of my current projects for which I am the measure steward for two Hospital Outpatient Quality Reporting clinical measures. For another project, I evaluated the feasibility of Meaningful Use objectives, which was a frequent topic in our Health Information Technology (HIT) class.

Most importantly, Georgetown has helped me develop as a professional. I joined the program with limited work experience, so understanding corporate culture before joining the workforce has been a huge advantage. The general business knowledge and leadership skills I’ve gained at Georgetown are widely applicable in any setting.  For example, I gained event-planning experience as the internal relations chair of HEGU, which is helpful in my current role as the site coordinator for our employee appreciation day events.

Is there anything about the program you’d like to highlight?

Georgetown offers many opportunities for clinical experience, through informal internships or through the semester-long residency program. In my two years at Georgetown, I had projects in the department of surgery, perioperative materials management, internal medicine and the laboratory; and I completed my residency at MedStar Washington Hospital Center. The close relationship between the MHSA Program and MedStar Georgetown University Hospital offers students unparalleled access to one of the region’s largest health systems.

What advice would you give current and future students?

Use your time at Georgetown to develop relationships with your professors and classmates. You will learn as much from the discussions as you will from textbooks (but don’t skip the readings!). I have made lifelong friends while at Georgetown, and we still get excited talking about health care over dinner!

Ken West (G’09)

Contact Ken

What are you currently doing?

I currently serve as the chief operating officer and ethics and compliance officer for Medical Center of Trinity, which is an affiliate hospital of HCA, Inc.

What path have you taken to get there?

I started with HCA as an administrative resident; Johns Hopkins as an operations integration administrative intern; and HCA as an assistant administrator, associate COO I, associate COO II and now COO. 

How did the program prepare you for your current work?

The program provided me with a broad educational foundation of the industry and exposure to people, concepts and principles that continue to shape my leadership style today. 

Is there anything about the program you’d like to highlight?

The faculty is truly the strongest asset of the program. More subtle to the less observant, but equally important in my opinion, is the infusion of Jesuit principles into the curriculum and the learning construct of the program. My appreciation for this continues to grow as my career evolves.    

What advice would you give current and future students?

Take advantage of every opportunity for exposure inside and outside of the program to expand your knowledge, skill set and network. Your future employment opportunities and progression start the first day of class and not the last semester. How you carry yourself, interact with peers and professors, and approach the work of the program is likely the same manner in which you’ll approach your career and professional relationships five, 10 and 20 years from now.  

Jade Wood (G’14)

Contact Jade

What are you currently doing?

Working for the Gallup Organization managing the Well-Being Consulting Division, which helps organizations create cultures of well-being.

What path have you taken to get there?

I am a licensed psychotherapist specializing in health psychology, which led me to pursue population health management focusing on prevention and well-being.

How did the program prepare you for your current work?

It is critical that I am able to apply strategic thinking, business-development skills and project management to our client engagements. In addition, I utilize my knowledge regarding health care operations and policy with all of our health care clients.  

Is there anything about the program you’d like to highlight?

The accessibility to leaders in health care operations and policy across DC is unparalleled, as well as the opportunities for internships/jobs to apply classroom learning. 

What advice would you give current and future students?

Organize your career around the topic in health care you can't get enough of – pursue what you love.