MHA Connections 2


Letter from the Director

Fellow Alumni and Friends:

It has been a productive winter in the UW MHA program.  As we rang in 2017, we also welcomed the 45th year of the MHA program here at UW.

We are planning a 45th year anniversary celebration this fall, to commemorate the occasion and honor many of the folks who established and guided the program through the years.  Our hope is to connect with many of you, as you reconnect with classmates and celebrate this milestone.  More details on our 45th Anniversary Celebration are coming this summer. For now, save the date of October 27, 2017 for a weekend of connection, including an evening dinner celebration on Friday and cohort gatherings (a UW football game or otherwise) on Saturday.

After 45 years in the UW Graduate School, our faculty recently recommended moving the MHA program’s academic home to the School of Public Health. What would this mean? The day-to-day operations of the program would remain very much the same, but it would give us a clear line of communication with the Dean of the School of Public Health, positioning our program as a valued partner in the School. We would look forward to working closely with all departments in the School, including the Department of Health Services where we would remain administratively housed.  At this point, this is only a recommendation from our faculty, but we expect a formal decision in the next couple of months from the Graduate School and University.

There have been many program highlights this winter, including our annual Evening for Alumni event and our MHA students bringing home the second-place titles at two separate national case competitions. You can read more about those and other happenings below.

Faculty are busy teaching, researching, and presenting.  We were excited to have two faculty present, moderate, or participate in panels at ACHE Congress this March, and look forward to the AUPHA Annual Meeting in June where three will be involved in presentations and/or poster presentations.

We continue to gain momentum with our MHA Alumni Association Board. Andrea Voytko (MHA ’89), Deputy Director at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, is the new chair of the board, and together, she and the nine other members are piloting an effort to update their classes contact and job information. 

We are looking for volunteers to serve as class captains – reaching out to members of your cohort to update contact information, and serving as an ongoing link between the program and alumni association, and your class.  If you want to get ahead of the curve, you can update your own contact information here and/or volunteer to be a class captain!

As always, winter and spring mark the admissions deadlines for the MHA and EMHA program, and again, we saw stellar applications from candidates around the country.  After a successful MHA applicant Visit Day, we made offers to our top candidates, and currently have 29 secured for Fall 2017. The EMHA applications are still open, so please encourage your colleagues to apply.

The program is what it is because of you, our alumni and friends.  Your time and dedication, your willingness to support our students through internships, mentoring, and networking make all the difference. See below for more ways to engage with students and support the future of health care.

Dennis Stillman Signature

Dennis Stillman, MHA '79
Director, Graduate Program in Health Services Administration

Student Scholarship Award Winners

The MHA program awards scholarships each year to current MHA and Executive MHA students. These scholarships honor and support students who embody the program’s values of diversity, service, and leadership, and who demonstrate the knowledge and ability to apply these values within the program, and the profession’s scope of practice. Scholarships focus on different topics and formats to recognize the variety of diverse experiences our students bring to the program and the field.

The following are the 2017 recipients.  Congratulations to all of the winners! 

HSEED Diversity & Equity Award:

Dalila Zelkanovic (MHA)

Dalila Z





Equity Award:

Dwaine Fombuh (EMHA)

Dwaine Fombuh





Emerging Leader Award:

Stephen Johnson (MHA) & Arthur Molina (EMHA)

Stephen Johnson


Impact Award:

Lauren Schilperoort (MHA) & Lorraine Harris (EMHA)

Lauren S

             Lorraine H

Distinguished Presentation Awards:

Samantha Clark (MHA) & Lillian Hozakowska (MHA)

Samantha Clark

            Lilian H

You can make a gift in support of MHA student scholarships through the
MHA Excellence Fund.

Many students receive awards from other sources. Congratulations to the following students for their recent scholarship awards:

Dajzsa McDaniel: 2017 SPH Grayston-Day Fellowship award winner

Dajzsa M

Maansi Modi: 2017 SPH Endowed Scholarship Winner
Maansi was also awarded the prestigious David A. Winston Health Policy Scholarship
Maansi M






Kari Morohashi: UW Libraries Student Employee Scholarship
Kari M





The MHA Class of 1980 Reunites

This March, nearly 30 years after they completed the MHA program, the Class of 1980 gathered for a weekend reunion in Scottsdale, AZ.  One-third of the class was able to attend, and of the 10 present, four are fully retired, three are working full-time (and anticipate retiring or slowing down in the next year), and three are working in new or next-chapter careers. Attending and pictured below:

  • Andrea (Adler) Braid from Baltimore, MD
  • Deborah Barnard from Richland, WA
  • Mary (Hansen) Code from Seattle
  • Colleen (Comey) Crommett from Fountain Hills, AZ
  • Joanne Dutcher from Santa Fe, NM
  • Jan Jones from Sammamish, WA
  • Ann (Vengrofski) Kelly from Lexington, KY
  • Jack Kurihara from Los Angeles, CA
  • Jim Leonard from Olympia, WA
  • Anne (Jeffrey) Wright from Ardmore, PA

 1980 Reunion 1    1980 Reunion 3

We were pleased to help the class connect.  If you’re interested in organizing a reunion for your class, we can help! Contact the MHA program.

Save the Date: 45th Anniversary Celebration

The 45th Celebration will be a great time for classes to gather and reunite, with a dinner event on Friday, 10/27 and Husky Football game on Saturday, 10/28.  Plan to join us for a weekend of connection!

  • Friday, October 27, 2017 at UW Campus: Dinner & Celebration (for alumni, students, faculty, friends of the program, and significant others)

  • Saturday, October 28, 2017 at Husky Stadium: UW vs. UCLA football game or other cohort-planned gatherings. Group tickets will be available.

More details to come this summer!

Alumni Recommendations for Applicants

We highly value and trust alumni recommendations for applicants to the programs. If you know someone who should be in the MHA or EMHA program, please encourage them to connect with us, and serve as a recommendation writer when they apply.

When applicants are recommended by an MHA or EMHA alum, we take notice.  You know what it takes to be in this program. 

EMHA applications are still open, so there’s still time to recommend a colleague for Fall 2017!

Winter & Spring Alumni Events

In January, we hosted the annual Evening for Alumni event. We were pleased to welcome back Dorothy Teeter (MHA ‘79), Director of the Washington State Health Care Authority; John Tiscornia (previous MHA instructor), Principal at Huron Consulting; and our friend and Panel for Evening for Alumni 2017colleague Tom Martin, Chief Strategy & Information Officer and Senior Vice President from Evergreen Health.  Nearly 150 alumni, students, and friends of the program gathered to connect and learn where the future of health care is headed.

This April, the MHA Student Association and Washington State Health Executive’s Forum (ACHE Chapter) co-produced the MHA & WSHEF Spring Event focused on policy updates. 

Panelists included, Michael Marchand, Director of Communications for the Washington Health Benefit Exchange; Claudia Sanders, Senior Vice President for the Washington State Hospital Association; and Jeb Sheperd, Associate Director of Policy and Regulatory Affairs for Washington State Medical Association.  Thanks to all who attended and participated in both events!
Spring Alumni Event 2017



MHA Students Bring Home 2nd Place Titles 

MHA Case Competition2Associate MHA Director Sarah Cave and teams of MHA students crisscrossed the U.S. this winter competing in national case competitions – taking home two, 2nd place titles at the Baylor University and University of Alabama, Birmingham competitions –major accomplishments for these teams, and their coach! The UW teams were praised for their preparation and professionalism.

Thank you to the following alumni and community members for supporting the teams and providing feedback and coaching:

  • Geoff Austin (MHA ’98)
  • Rachel Shangraw (MHA ’16)
  • Daniel Montanez (MHA ’14)
  • Jesse Kasten (MHA ’11)
  • Lorraine Harris (current EMHA student)
  • Casey Morgan
  • Juan Aragon
  • Jim Fitzpatrick
  • Penny Edlund

Pictured (left-to-right): Ben Chao, Samantha Clark, Abe Doolhoff

Alumni Updates

Class of 1988

Steve Bowman (MHA) was promoted to Director, Office of Community Health Systems, Washington State Department of Health.

Class of 2002

Larry Wechsler (MHA) was named Senior Manager, Accommodation Services, for The Boeing Company. Larry's team ensures job applicants and employees with disabilities are provided reasonable accommodations in the workplace in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Class of 2003

Nicole Kerkenbush (MHA) retired from the Army after 24 years of service in October 2015. She has now joined Regional Health in Rapid City, South Dakota as the first Vice President of Data Analytics.  She is enjoying the transition to civilian healthcare, and her family is loving the Black Hills!

Class of 2005

Bernie Iliakis (EMHA) was presented with the 2016 Leonard Heise Award by the Eye Bank Association of America. This is the profession's highest award and is presented to a non-physician individual within the eye banking community recognized for his/her outstanding devotion to the EBAA's development and major contributions to the fight against corneal blindness. Read more.

Class of 2006

Olga Cotè (EMHA) recently accepted the position of Clinical Supervisor at Swedish Center for Comprehensive Care supporting Dermatology, Neurology, Nephrology, Allergy, Infectious Disease and Sports Medicine.

Class of 2008

Donna Henderson (EMHA) retired from her role as the Quality Liaison and Project Manager for UWMC's Medical Staff Administration in March.

Rick Shumway (MHA) assumed the position of Chief Administrative Officer at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center in Cincinnati, OH.  Read more. 

Class of 2009

Laura (Costello) Marquez (MHA) was promoted to IT Clinical Applications Supervisor for the Valley Medical Center EpicCare Ambulatory Team.

Class of 2010

Kristen Marie Jones (MHA) started a position with Swedish Medical Group in Seattle in April. Her new role is Practice Coach for primary care clinics to support the Patient Centered Medical Home (PCMH) transformation. Previously, she was at Confluence Health in North Central Washington as a Kaizen Promotion Specialist and in Organizational Development.

Class of 2011

Adam Heath (MHA) started a new position at Providence Health and Services as Director of Clinic Operations for the Southern Oregon region in January.

Class of 2014

Lee Thornhill (EMHA) co-authored an article on Health Impact Assessments in the March 2017 edition of the American Journal of Criminal Justice. Lee currently leads the evaluation of Health Care for the Homeless programs for Public Health – Seattle & King County.

Emily (Law) Yu (MHA) was promoted to Director, Retail Clinics & Virtual Health at MultiCare Health System.

Kelly Veit (MHA) was promoted to Program Director, Washington Patient Safety Coalition.

Brett Lee (MHA) started a new position as Assistant Administrator, at Centennial Hills Hospital Medical Center (UHS), Las Vegas, NV.

Spenser Troiano (MHA) took a new role at Swedish in January 2017 as Manager of Business Development and Analytics.

Myo Myint Aung (MHA) is working on boosting nutrition through fortified rice in Myanmar. The Myanmar team was honored to discuss with Daw Aung San Suu Kyim the State Counsellor, the potential of fortified rice to address critical nutritional gaps in food aid relief and school feeding programs. PATH Myanmar has been working with partners to introduce fortified rice locally. Read more.

Class of 2015

Kyle Reader (MHA) started a job after his fellowship and is now a Managerial Consultant for the Permanente Medical Group in Northern California.

Chelsea Steinborn (MHA) started a new role as Manager, Research and Product Development at Virginia Mason Institute.

Pooja Bhatt (MHA) started a new position as Project Manager for the Practice Transformation Initiative at Sutter Health Palo Alto Medical Foundation.

Victor Kao (MHA) is starting a new job at Kaiser Permanente as a Senior Consultant for The Permanente Medical Group in the Financial Operational Services department, providing operational consulting and financial management for tertiary care services in the Northern California region.

Class of 2016

Bronwen Raymer (MHA) began working for NWH's Ambulatory Network, beginning August 2016, as a Physician Practice Manager. She is currently the manager at the new NW Primary and Specialty Clinic in the Fremont neighborhood of Seattle.

Erica Diamantides (EMHA) since graduation from EMHA and pharmacy residency program, Erica started as the UW Medicine Specialty Pharmacy Manager.




Letter from the Director

Student Scholarship Award Winners

The MHA Class of 1980 Reunites

Save the Date: 45th Anniversary Celebration

Alumni Recommendations for Applicants

Winter & Spring Alumni Events

MHA Students Bring Home Titles

Alumni Updates

Upcoming Events

October 27 & 28
MHA 45th Anniversary Celebration Weekend - More details this summer!

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