MHSA Students Recognized in NCHE Essay Contest

NOVEMBER 20, 2013 – Two Georgetown University graduate students received awards through an essay contest sponsored by the National Capital Healthcare Executives.

Megan Graves (G’14) and Stephen Miller (G’14) – who are earning a master’s degree in health systems administration (MHSA) at the School of Nursing & Health Studies – were named runner-up and second runner-up, respectively.

The awardees were announced November 8 during the organization’s annual C-Suite Roundtable, held this year at George Washington University.

Essay Contest

According to NHCE, the essay competition “challenges graduate students to apply critical and creative thinking to real-life health system complexities.”

Students were asked to submit an essay describing how – as health care leaders – they would use a donation to implement a health-oriented program that would result in positive change in their community, as well as a description of the area of community health that would be improved and its importance.

Mental Health

The focus of Graves’ essay was mental health in Rhode Island, specifically on raising awareness of mental health and the education of children through a pilot program in Providence public middle and high schools.  The program would educate teachers and administrators to become mental health wellness coaches.

“It was great to know that the scholarship committee recognized mental health as a serious problem in the nation, especially at this point and time given the state of the recovering economy,” Graves says.  “I was proud to help represent Georgetown University.”

Walking and Biking

Miller proposed establishing safe walking and biking paths throughout the city with the hospital as a center point to improve community health by increasing physical activity among community members and employees.

“It was great to be recognized for this,” Miller says. “The essay topic challenged us to pull lessons from many different classes we've taken throughout the program and to think outside of the box and be innovative, like a real CEO must do.”

Patient-Centered Care

In addition to the announcement of the essay contest winners, the evening included a panel discussion with health care leaders who discussed integrating the principles of patient-centered care.

Speakers included Gary E. Vogan, MBA, president of Holy Cross Health Network; Douglas Grimm, LLM, JD, MHA, FACHE, chair of the Health Care Practice at Stradley Ronon; and Christopher Khoury, MBA, MS, senior Manager in PricewaterhouseCoopers’ Health Research Institute.

Tammie Jones, FACHE, chief of staff and chief operating officer at Fort Meade Medical Activity, moderated the panel.

Real-World Applications

Master’s program director Bernard Horak, PhD, FACHE, professor of health systems administration, says the roundtable is a highlight of the academic year.

“This was a wonderful opportunity for our students to network with health care executives and students from other programs,” he says.  “The panel provided excellent insights on the concepts and approaches in patient-centered care, and all of the students took away a number of real-world applications that greatly supplemented what they have learned in the classroom.”

By Emily Berdy (G'14) and Rebecca Warren