Student Focuses on Performance and Quality

FEBRUARY 7, 2013 - Alya Ibrahim (G’14) says that Georgetown University’s location in Washington, D.C., has presented significant opportunities for professional growth.

Originally from Dubai, Ibrahim is currently earning her master’s degree in health systems administration at the School of Nursing & Health Studies.

“The opportunity to network in D.C. with people in my area of interest allows me to see career options and my academic interest in practice,” she says.

Quality Improvement

At a recent event, for example, Ibrahim had a chance meeting with M. Rashad Massoud, MD, MPH, FACP, director of the USAID Health Care Improvement Project.

Massoud later invited Ibrahim to attend a project review meeting, where she met representatives from national and international health organizations, as well as learned about ongoing quality improvement projects in several countries.

“It was all very impressive,” she says. “The experience definitely opened my eyes to the industry and showed me what quality and performance improvement could include in addition to hospital operations. I did more research to find out how I could pursue quality and performance improvement on an international level.”

Applying Her Education

Ibrahim says the meeting also highlighted how much she has learned so far in the program.

“My classes in statistics, data analysis, and epidemiology were very important as I was able to read the graphs and charts and understand the improvement efforts carried out by the community members,” she says. “The program does a really good job in applying what we’re learning to case studies and really emphasizes critical thinking.”

She notes that the faculty members bring a great deal to the learning experience.

“We’re learning from professors who have been in the field for a long time,” she says. “That’s so important – to hear from professors who have been involved in policy changes, have opened their own health consulting firms, and have been hospital administrators. They’re able to teach us from their experience because they’ve been there.”

Next Steps

Through the master’s program, Ibrahim is currently participating in the university’s chapter of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement Open School and looking forward to pursuing the Lean Six Sigma Green Belt.

In addition, she is working with executive mentor Siew Lee Grand-Clément, MSN, RN, CPHQ, who is the center solutions development director at the Joint Commission Center for Transforming Healthcare.

Her ultimate goal, she says, is to support quality and performance improvement in the Middle East.

“I want to put what I learn into practice here in the United States and then eventually go back to the Middle East,” she says. “If I could bring all of the skills I’ve learned here back there, that’d be the ideal work arrangement for me.”

By Bill Cessato