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Healthcare Management Master's Enables Alumna to Stand Out in Job Market

group of healthcare management graduates

After graduating in 2016, Healthcare Management alumna, Paige Stella (pictured far left) accepted a position at Howard County General Hospital as the Administrative Manager for Johns Hopkins Emergency Medical Services. Paige credits her success to Stevenson University’s career-driven curriculum, dedicated faculty, as well as real world applications of classroom knowledge. After reaching out to Sharon Buchbinder, Ph.D. about her recent success, our School of Graduate and Professional Studies was able to speak with Paige regarding her career advancement. 

Why did you choose to pursue your master's in Healthcare Management?

I have always been interested in the healthcare field, but it was my original goal when I started my undergraduate degree to be clinical, specifically a physician’s assistant. However, as I went through my undergrad courses and completed my capstone experience with an orthopedic surgeon and his physician’s assistant, I realized there was a huge disconnect between the administrative side of healthcare (policy, billing, compliance) and the actual clinical and treatment side of the business. I could help patients as a provider, but I couldn’t make necessary changes in the field. At that point, I decided to pursue a master’s in Healthcare Management with hopes of one day being able to fill that gap and help physicians really do their job; save lives.

How did this degree prepare you for your career?

The curriculum at Stevenson is career driven. They apply fundamentals and lessons to real-world problems to help prepare you for what the healthcare industry is really like. I especially thought that my capstone experience is what drove me to my current position, Senior Administrative Manager for Johns Hopkins Emergency Medicine Services at Howard County General Hospital. The capstone gave me real experience within the management circuit at a hospital. I was able to see day-to-day operations and initiatives that prepared me for what it is like to work in such a fast-paced environment, especially within the Emergency Department. I gained knowledge and fostered connections in the field which would not have been possible without the Healthcare Management program at Stevenson.

How did the faculty and staff help you reach your education or career goals?

Dr. Sharon Buchbinder is so dedicated to each and every one of her students, you never felt like you were lost in the shuffle. She made every effort to prepare students for their future career goals. The Healthcare Management master’s program is focused on real-world applications and Dr. Buchbinder uses the course work to steer her students in the right direction whether it be quality and patient safety or project management.

What is the most important lesson you learned from your experience at Stevenson?

The most important thing I learned from my experience at Stevenson is how to view the healthcare world. We have to remember as healthcare providers that we are all there for the patient. Every aspect of care should be patient-focused and driven. Sometimes as managers, it is difficult to remember this because we are not on the front line, but it is extremely important to the way we perform our jobs.

How has earning your degree in Healthcare Management impacted your life?

A master’s degree is an essential tool currently in the field. Employers in the industry are looking for the most educated, knowledgeable employees who are armed with the latest tools and ideologies in the field. Earning my degree at Stevenson has made me stand out in the job search and has brought me to my current career. The connections gained through my capstone provided me with excellent references that overly-impressed my current employer. My background and wealth of knowledge in LEAN as well as quality and patient safety initiatives has allowed me to look at things with a fresh perspective, which is what my current employer was looking for. Stevenson is such a wonderful community. I would recommend it for anyone looking to further their education. The course work and faculty are like no other, and the knowledge gained is priceless. 

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