When Katie McGuire completed her Master’s degree in Healthcare Management, she learned as much about herself as she did the healthcare industry. As a full-time employee and student (and planning a wedding!), Katie is aware of how confidence, dedication, and passion has benefited her as she advances in her career. Katie says, “When someone makes a comment or tries to speak over me, I hold my ground. Instead of becoming frustrated, I back my suggestions up with proven research and data.”

Due to the knowledge and skills that she developed at Stevenson University Online, Katie was promoted to Quality Analyst at Mercy Medical Center. She now works on several programs, including the Maryland Primary Care Program (MDPCP) to link patients with primary care and special projects focused on quality and patient experience.

Katie’s Background:

A Stevenson University alum, Katie studied Business Administration and continued into her graduate program with the Bachelor’s to Master’s option. Stevenson’s BS to MS program allows students to begin taking graduate-level courses during their junior and senior years. Katie completed her Master’s degree while working as a Medication/Data Delivery Coordinator for Mercy Medical Center.

With a concentration of Quality Management and Patient Safety in the Healthcare Management program, Katie developed skills that benefited her in previous and current positions. Katie says, “Within the Quality track, you take a Quality Management class and a Patient Satisfaction for Quality Improvement class. The latter is applicable to my every day work with Patient Experience. One of the most influential classes in my opinion was the Patient Advocacy class. You learn about vouching for vulnerable populations. When I was a coordinator, I would work with patients who were not able to afford their medications. Through the case studies, you learn to handle real-life situations.”

Why Healthcare Management:

Katie was inspired by her mother – a single mom who paid for medical school by herself and became an Anesthesiologist. A successful physician and business owner, Katie’s mom raised her work hard for what she wanted. Says Katie, “After seeing my mom flourish in health care as well as having some personal family tragedies linked to quality issues, my mind was set.”

A passion for healthcare drove her to pursue a degree for a career in the industry. She states, “In my position as a coordinator, I had very high levels of patient interaction. It was very fulfilling being able to assist patients who need financial assistance with their medications. In my current position, I do more of the back-end data reporting. Now, it is satisfying seeing the efforts of the coordinators really make a difference in the data that we report back to Medicare. It really is fully circle for me to see, because I did not realize the impact I was making as a coordinator. Now, I see the bigger picture and am able to appreciate the hard work that I put in before I moved into my new role.”

Advice for students considering a Master’s in Healthcare Management:

Katie chose to complete her Master’s degree with Stevenson University online because of the flexibility it gave her. She remarks, “This gave me the freedom to work full time, handle life, and still complete my degree in only one year after I graduated with my BS. Stevenson treated me well during undergrad, so I knew I would get the same level of dedication and experience from my graduate professors.”

For students considering pursuing the Healthcare Management programs, she recommends asking the following questions, “Think about your long term goal. What will you do with the degree? Will your current employer value you more once you have it? Will this shine a light on your employer if they do not value it? The program can be tailored to fit YOUR career goals, not what an employer expects of you.”

Stevenson University Online’s Healthcare Management Master’s degree program offers concentrations in Quality Management and Patient Safety and Project Management in Healthcare. For working professionals either in the healthcare management field or looking to move into that field, achieving an advanced degree often is the best way to expand their skills and advance in a career. Courses in Stevenson University Online’s Master’s in Healthcare Management program are taught by practicing healthcare managers who combine theory with applied skills and expertise to expand their skill-sets.