Recent Healthcare Management master's graduate, Christy Hughes took time out of her schedule to speak with us about her educational and professional journey:
Why did you choose to pursue your master’s in Healthcare Management?
In order to advance in my career, I knew I needed to gain a better understanding of the healthcare industry, especially in terms of patient safety and quality management. The state of Maryland is very unique in terms of the changes impacting our healthcare system; the state is facing many changes and challenges and I felt it was important to obtain as much knowledge as possible. To navigate the operational aspect of Healthcare Management, I decided to pursue the Project Management concentration.
How is this degree helping you with your current career?
There is a demand for higher-level thinking and analysis; because of my experience at Stevenson, I am able to approach the complex situations within the system with confidence. I have gained a better understanding of Healthcare Management overall and am able to navigate change and support our most precious resource – our associates. The courses that I participated in at Stevenson gave me a comprehensive overview of what potential challenges I may face in my career. I was forced to think outside of the box and it has aided me in the ability to think on my feet on the job.
What are some examples of how the coursework you are completing has immediately applied to your job?
Through my previous work at MedStar Health, I participated in Lean Six Sigma training; this is a method of using statistical analysis to improve organizations. A project I worked on requires me to manage my time and learn new information in areas I am not familiar with. The current project requires that we utilize the Lean Sigma Six methodology of Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, and Control. I have been able to use the knowledge gained from the Project Management concentration to better understand the concepts and tools needed to complete this project.
This is a high-level process (similar to the case study analysis with the analytical thought process I learned at Stevenson) and requires complete adherence to the stated guidelines. After the completion of the project, I must defend my statistical analysis. This project and certification course is similar to the Capstone course and presentation I completed at Stevenson. I feel very prepared.
How did the faculty and staff helping you reach your education or career goals?
Our Program Coordinator, Dr. Sharon Buchbinder provided the students with frequent updates regarding academic and professional opportunities. She coordinated sessions with the Office of Career Services to support us as we approached graduation and checked in as we began new career paths or advanced in our current roles. She has been my mentor and has taught me many valuable lessons.
Professor Casciani guided me throughout my time in the program by helping me identify my strengths and weaknesses. She gave me advice that has continued to help me today. She remained consistent and provided direction. The faculty in the Healthcare Management program are supportive and understanding; I had great experiences with all my professors and am forever grateful for their guidance.
What is the most important lesson you have learned from your experience at Stevenson?
Things change and you have no choice but to accept it and determine how to effectively move forward. There is no guide to make decisions for us. We should be confident and understand that we have been given the most important gift of all – knowledge. It is up to us to determine how we will use it.
How has your job impacted your life and lives of other?
I have learned to look at the big picture. We are all unique and with that we provide a different service to all. I have a wonderful team working with me and while some perform the same tasks, they complete them in different ways and at different speeds. At first glance, one may feel that one way is better than the other but after truly observing over time it has become apparent that in the bigger picture we wouldn’t be able to function effectively any other way. We all bring something else to the table, but we must all see the value.