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Letter from the Director

johnson chris - Crop.jpgDear Friends and Colleagues:

These continue to be exciting times for our University of Washington health management programs! In addition to our new MHA Advisory Committee and MHA Student Association, the Program began discussions with our alumni about revitalizing the UW MHA Alumni Association. Those discussions led to additional meetings with alumni across the country, including a recent visit to Seattle Children’s Hospital, home to over 20 alumni. We hope these efforts will further engage alumni with our programs, so stay tuned as we implement their very interesting suggestions!

The 2013 MHA class is frantically preparing for graduation and those final projects that need to be completed. There were some impressive Fellowship placements this year, and we anticipate even more appointments by the time the dust settles in June. This class will be known as the group that successfully maintained and transitioned a very strong student association that has already organized many impressive professional development activities for students. Congratulations to the class of 2013 as they transition into the work force!

The health management profession is very attractive as a career option in 2013, and the UW MHA Program continues to attract the best applicants in the field. There are 30 new incoming students, and this is one of the most geographically diverse groups in our history, with more than half from hometowns outside of Washington.

The Executive MHA admissions process is full in swing. It will be difficult to choose a class from the roughly 80 applications, but our Admissions Committee will be making these hard decisions over the next couple of weeks.

The faculty and staff continue to prepare for our upcoming visit from CAHME in the Fall and our decennial Program review by the Graduate School in 2014. Our site visit was originally scheduled for the Spring, but the hurricane that disrupted the East coast also impacted CAHME’s site visit schedule. We were asked to push our visit to the Fall, and we agreed to help our colleagues ease their burden.

It has been my great pleasure to meet everyone during my travels through Huskie-land! We continue to build upon the great work of previous generations of faculty, students, and staff.

Christopher E. Johnson, PhD
Director, Health Services Administration Program
Austin Ross Chair in Health Administration

MHA Connections Gets New Look

Thanks to the many alumni who completed the Alumni Newsletter Survey. We are pleased to roll-out the new MHA Connections newsletter this quarter.  Based on your feedback, we’ve revamped the look and converted the format of the newsletter to e-mail.

Alumni Association Update

MHA Alumni Meeting 1Alumni, faculty, and students gathered for the first MHA Alumni Association planning meeting, on April 18 to discuss the vision for the association. 

The group identified possible elements for a successful organization, including a focus on continuing education and learning, providing professional networking opportunities, ensuring proper infrastructure and support, and creating a formal link between students and alumni. 

(Above: Alumnae Traci Mitchell and Agnes Balog)

Here's how you can get involved in the process: 

  • Take the survey. Tell us what you want from an alumni association. This will take less than 5 minutes.
  • Participate in the next alumni planning meeting (TBD, May or June) Contact Maggie Helsel for more information.
  • Host a discussion about possibilities for the association with alums in your organization. The program can support these meetings and will send program reps, when possible. Contact Maggie Helsel for more information.  

MHA Alumni Meeting

(Alumnus Kelly Malone and Director Chris Johnson at the Alumni Association Meeting)

MHASA & WSHEF Host Sold-Out Event 

Women in Healthcare Leadership

The UW MHA Student Association (MHASA) and the Washington State Health Executives Forum (WSHEF) jointly presented, “Women in Healthcare Leadership: Strategies for Success,” a panel discussion and networking event for members of the Seattle health care community on April 24. The sold-out event attracted over 100 attendees, including several MHA students and alumni.

The three panelists were:

  • Nancy L. Fisher, RN, MD, MPH, Chief Medical Officer for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) in the Seattle Regional Office.
  • Katie Bell, MBA, MHA, Chief Operating Officer of Neighborcare Health in Seattle, WA.
  • Florence Chang, Executive Vice President of MultiCare Health System, in Tacoma, WA.

Congratulations to WSHEF and the MHASA for organizing a wonderful event!

(Above left to right: Katie Bell, Kimbra Metz Wells (WSHEF), Nancy Fisher, Alison Deans (MHASA), Florence Chang.)

Students Compete in UAB Competition 

Case Competition 2The MHA Program Case Competition team traveled to Alabama this February to compete in the annual University of Alabama - Birmingham Case Competition for the first time in four years. While the team delivered an outstanding presentation, leaving the judges panel with no follow-up questions, they did not advance in this year’s competition. The MHA Program is extremely proud of the team’s effort and leadership.

Congratulations to competing students, Kerry Johnson (MHA 1), Ashley King (MHA 1), and Jessie Rachford (MHA2) for a job well done.

Thank you to the faculty and alumni who attended practice sessions and provided valuable feedback to the team.  

If you are interested in advising next year's team, contact Jane Maule at

UW Steps Up ACHE  Presence

ACHE Booth The UW MHA Program increased visibility at this year’s ACHE Congress in Chicago, IL. The program sponsored a booth for the first time, which was staffed by several students and visited by a number of UW alumni and friends of the program.

UW was in good company in the exhibit hall with many other nationally ranked programs. The program plans to exhibit at ACHE next year.  

(Above, left to right: Rick Shumway (Alumnus), Morgan Jolley, Tiffany Young)

ACHE Social
UW MHA alumni and students gathered for the UW MHA Program Social at ACHE Congress.  

(Left to right, Larry Kahl, Emily Law, Michael Davis, Brett Lee)

ACHE Booth 2

Six UW students attended ACHE Congress this year. Many served as program assistants and all staffed the UW booth.

(Standing: Kerry Johnson, Morgan Jolley, Brett Lee, Myo Aung; Seated: Tiffany Young, Emily Law)

Program "Visit Day" Attracts Candidates  

MHA Visit Day 2 Twenty-three MHA candidates from the northwest and beyond traveled to Seattle in March to attend the second annual MHA Program Visit Day. 

Prospective students spent the day learning unique features of the program, asking questions of an alumni panel, touring the campus, and even canoing Lake Washington.

The event helped convert half of the undecided candidates to confirmed acceptances. To date, 30 students are committed to attending the UW in Autumn 2013.

MHA Visit Day 3

Thank you to Alums Andrew Arai,
Agnes Balog, Whitney Murphy, and Jesse Kasten, for sitting on the Visit Day Alumni Panel.

Awards & Accolades

Congratulations to the following alumni for recognition of their outstanding work in the health care community.

Margaret Stanley, Class of 1977, currently working as Chair of the Washington Health Benefit Exchange, received the Lifetime Achievement Award in Health Care from Seattle Business Magazine’s Leaders in Health Care on February 28, 2013. Congratulations to Margaret for receiving this distinguished honor.

Christopher Shuhart, class of 2009, was selected for the International Society for Clinical Densitometry (ISCD) Clinician of the Year Award for 2013. The award was given at the ISCD Annual Meeting in Tampa in March, 2013. Congratulations to Christopher for this deserved recognition.


Several MHA Alumni earned the American College of Healthcare Executives Fellow credential this year. Congratulations to the following 2013 ACHE fellows for their accomplishment.

Lesley Jones Larson, class of 2007, currently working for Providence Health and Services.

Kelly J. Malone, class of 1985, currently working for Seattle Children’s. 

Joe E. Ness, class of 1992, currently working for Southwest Washington Medical Center/PeaceHealth.

Viswanathan Subbiah, class of 2006, currently working for Evergreen Health.

Kimbra Wells Metz, class of 2003, currently working for Arcadia Solutions.

If you, or an alum you know, recently received an award or honor, tell us about it. We’ll feature it in our next issue.

Faculty and Staff News

Faculty Publications and Presentations 

Scott R. Coplan, PMP, FHIMSS, CPHIMS and David Masuda, MD MS authored, "Let Curiosity Cross the Chasm of Physician Resistance to HIT" that will appear in the Journal of Health Information Management, Summer 2013 issue.

Adjunct Assistant Professor Sallie Thieme Sanford, JD, presented several lectures this spring on the Affordable Care Act, including:

  • “Access Ethics and the ACA,” Guest Lecture in Justice in Health Care, March 7, 2013, Seattle, WA.
  • “Expansion States and Options to Address Affordability and Churn,” Co-Discussion Leader for “Health Care Reform Roundtable: The State of the States,” University of Maryland Law School, March 15, 2013 Baltimore, MD.
  • “The ACA at Three” guest lecture as part of “Public Health Week,” University of Washington, April 2, 2013, Seattle, WA.

Welcome, Lacey Patzer!

Lacey PatzerWe are pleased to welcome Lacey Patzer to the MHA Program staff as the new Program Coordinator.

Lacey recently graduated from the University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire, with a degree in Business Management. Lacey also volunteers with the United Way of King County, Habitat for Humanity Young Professionals of Seattle/King County, and SeattleWorks.

Alumni Updates

Class of 1977

Rob Queisser's sculpture was selected for the annual Allied Arts/ReArt show in  Bellingham, WA. This is the fourth year one of his pieces was selected for this show. He continues to perform in symphonic and jazz ensembles and to teach music in Bellingham.

Class of 1983 

Greg Vigdor is the new President and CEO of the Arizona Hospital and Healthcare Assocation (AzHHA) as of March 2013.

Amy Hagopian starts as the new program director of the UW Department of Health Service's Community Oriented Public Health Practice MPH program this summer, taking over from Peter House. The program will be expanding to an incoming class of 24 students this fall.

Class of 1984

Dave Underriner was promoted to Chief Executive Officer of Providence Health and Services, Oregon Region, effective April 2013.

Class of 1992

Daniel Lessler begins a new role as Chief Medical Officer for the Washington State Medicaid Program and the Public Employees Benefit Program (PEB), effective May 13.

Class of 1999 

Shelly Mullin was promoted in September 2012 to President of the West Pierce Region MultiCare Health System.

Class of 2000

RiegeValerie Riege  will graduate from the Naval War College with a Master of Arts degree in National Security and Strategic Studies, with an emphasis in Ethical Leadership in June. She is currently Director for Clinical Support Services (Laboratory, Pharmacy, Physical Therapy and Radiology) for Naval Health Clinic New England, which has four clinics (Newport, RI; Groton, CONN; Portsmouth, NH; and Saratoga Springs, NY).

(Above: Valerie and her sister, at the Navy Corpsman Ball in Newport, Rhode Island, with the Pell Bridge in the background.)

Class of 2004 

Mary G. Gregg left her position at Swedish Health Services as the Vice President of Quality and Patient Safety and took a new position in Atlanta, Georgia as the Chief Medical Officer and Senior Vice President at MagMutual Insurance Company, a medical liability company.

Class of 2008 

Molly Goldsworthy accepted the position of Administrative Manager for Adolescent Medicine and Endocrinology at Seattle Children's Hospital in February 2013.

Lacey Bolton accepted a new position with Kaiser Permanente NW as the Regional Buisness Manager of Surgical Services in August of 2012. In her new role, Lacey oversees the Surgical Scheduling and Staffing Departments and is responsible for overall budgeting, capital planning and business planning for surgical services in the region, which includes two hospitals and three surgical centers.

Class of 2010 

 Michael Bennett started a new job as Director of Revenue Integrity, at University of Utah Hospitals and Clinics in December 2012.

Tim Schut
began new position in January 2013, as a Compliance Specialist with the Western Washington Region of Providence Health & Services and Swedish. 

Class of 2011

Melissa DelaMerced started as a Consultant for Revenue Cycle/Healthcare Transformation at The Claro Group, LLC., in March 2012.

Traci Thompson started as the Nursing Department Manager at Interfaith Community Health Center in Bellingham, WA, in March of 2013.

Class of 2012

Heather Tonga, will be starting in a new position with Benton Community Health Centers in Corvallis OR, on May 6. She will be working part-time as a clinical physician assistant at a rural, school-based community health center in Monroe, and part-time as the Electronic Health Records clinical coordinator and liaison to the Oregon E-health network.  

Michael Waters was named Chief Administrative Officer, Physician Services, for Providence Health and Services. He is a part of the medical group leadership team responsible from 400 clinics, across 5 states, employing 3,700 providers.

Class of 2013

Matthew Hollander is the first author for an accepted publication in the peer-reviewed Journal Arthritis Care & Research, titled, "International consensus for provisions of quality-driven care in childhood-onset systemic lupus erythematosus." PubMed ID:23463586.

Class of 2014 

Colin Furukawa left UW Medical Center as a Quality Consultant in March and began working as a Senior Quality Analyst at Kootenai Health in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho on April 1.

Winter/Spring '13

Letter from the Director

MHA Connections Gets New Look

Alumni Association Update

MHASA & WSHEF Host Sold-Out Event

Students Compete in UAB Case Competition

UW Steps up ACHE Presence

Program "Visit Day" Attracts Candidates

Awards & Accolades

Faculty & Staff News

Alumni Updates

Upcoming Events

May 8
Webinar:TeamSTEPPS Implementation: The
Good, the Bad and the Ugly. RSVP

May 16                        Alumni & Student Networking Event, Barca Lounge, Seattle 4:30 - 7:00 PM, RSVP

May 24
Advisory Committee Meeting

May/June TBD
Alumni Association Meeting                 

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