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Letter from the Director

johnson chris - Crop.jpgDear Friends and Colleagues:

The University of Washington health care management programs continue to set the pace in education innovation! We recently welcomed our new Master of Health Informatics and Health Information Management (MHIHIM) and Bachelors in HIHIM within the administrative structure of the Graduate Program in Health Services Administration. We now have over 200 students learning how to become health care management professionals across our MHA, Executive MHA, MHIHIM, and Certificate Program in Medical Management degrees. Our degree programs are currently accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health, Commission on the Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education, and will soon include accreditation from the Commission on the Accreditation of Health Informatics and Information Management.

The 2014 MHA class held a wonderful graduation a few weeks ago. There were a number of first accomplished by this class – the first with me as their Program Director for both years, the first to send students to ACHE and MGMA both years, the first to staff a booth at ACHE both years, the first with a fully funded MHA Student Association both years, and many more. All are either gainfully employed, close to being employed, or are taking a break before seeking jobs. I am looking forward to our Executive MHA graduation in August!

We received roughly 70 applicants for the entering Executive MHA class. Admissions decisions were made, and we are in the process of forming our next cohort.

A number of significant changes were made across our health care management programs during the past year, including an overhaul in the admissions process in the MHA Program. All MHA applicants showing great potential were invited to Seattle to participate in a new version of our MHA Visit Day. Roughly 65 applicants were invited in November, all were interviewed, and 47 of those students will comprise the largest entering cohort in the MHA Program’s history. This was not our original plan, but the candidates were so impressed by the faculty, current students, and staff, that we captured many more new students than anticipated.

Our MHA and Executive MHA curriculum were significantly changed by the addition of two Industrial and Systems Engineering courses aimed at providing students with skills in decision modeling, simulation, logistics, linear programming, optimization, scheduling, and in other areas. A new Population Health Management course was added to provide students with the skills to do community and population needs assessments, as required in 2014’s health care environment. We also created a new Internship Workbook and Internship Work Plan that informs both preceptors and interns about the expectations for our now mandatory internship requirement in the MHA Program.

With our new and improved Alumni Association coming online this fall, CAHME re-accreditation and our ten-year Graduate School Review completed, along with recruiting the next generation of UW MHA faculty, this has been an extremely busy and exciting time here in Seattle!

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

MHA Program Awarded Seven-Year Accreditation

CAHME AccreditationIn October 2013, the UW MHA and Executive MHA programs hosted three Commission on Accreditation in Healthcare Management Education (CAHME) site visitors for a voluntary review of the program's curriculum, faculty, student recruitment efforts, and mission/vision.

This May we received the official certificate and letter awarding our seven-year accreditation. This is a testament to our excellent faculty, students, alumni and staff.

The visitors were impressed by the rigor and relevance of our curriculum and boundless talents of the current students and alumni.

A big thank you to the alumni who participated in the CAHME luncheon: Laura St. Germain ('10), Martin Benning ('10), Nola Klemfuss ('12), Jenny Brackett ('12), Tim Patmont ('12), Anuradhika Gautam ('08), Adam Parcher ('07), and Hanh Pan ('10) -- The site visitors were impressed by your diversity of knowledge and career accomplishments.

An Evening for Alumni Recap

MHA Evening for Alumni Panelists and EmceesNearly 140 alumni and friends of the program gathered for the 2013 Evening for Alumni event. 

EMHA alums Susan Haufe ('07) and Chris Shuhart ('09) moderated a stellar panel of Washington health care leaders on the topic of the implementation of the Affordable Care Act in Washington State. 

The panelists included Richard Onizuka, MaryAnne Lindeblad, Scott Bond (‘78) and Dan Lessler ('92). Thanks to everyone who attended this event!  We’re looking forward to hosting another great event this fall.

(From left to right: Dan Lessler, Scott Bond, MaryAnne Lindeblad, Richard Onizuka, Susan Haufe, Chris Shuhart)

Program Launches New Websites 

MHA Website ScreenshotNew websites for the MHA and EMHA programs launched in January 2014 with fresh content and a new, sleek design.

Visitors will find the sites easier to navigate, with images of our own students featured on nearly every page. After months of writing content and working with designers, we’re pleased to bring these professional and informative sites to the public.

Each site also features a dedicated area for Alumni. Over the next several months, you’ll see more resources added to this section to better serve you!

Visit the new websites at and

Tacoma Alumni Event Coming Soon!

The program will host an alumni networking event in the coming months for our Tacoma-area alumni. If you work or live near Tacoma, keep your eye out for an email invitation. We'd love to reconnect with you and help you connect with one another!

Event details will be posted on the Alumni page of the website and sent via email to Alums with contact information listed in the Tacoma-Metro area. You can also let us know if you're interested here, and we'll be sure to send you the event information once it is finalized.

MHA Admissions Changes

 This fall, the program made big changes to the MHA admissions process – moving the deadline up from January 15 to November 1, instituting a seven-day review process for each application, and introducing interviews for competitive candidates at our prospective student Visit Day. 

This effort was a huge success! We currently have two cohorts of exceptional individuals committed for Fall 2014.

Alumni played an integral role in this recruitment effort -- from sitting on the Admissions Review Committee, participating in the Visit Day alumni panel, or attending the evening reception to meet and mingle with prospective students, you all made an impact. Thank you to all!

MHA Student Association Update

The MHA Student Association is doing some exciting work! Here are a few updates from the students:

  • The MHASA Fundraising Committee is working to support students’ professional development by raising money for additional learning opportunities, such as conference attendance. One of the key pieces of this effort will be selling MHA merchandise: polos, t-shirts, sweatshirts, etc. Sales will open in September, so be on the look out!
  • MHA students are working to practice the motto of "Everyday a Philanthropist." Students are currently participating in a project for One Days Wages, donating the cost of a daily cup of coffee, each week. View more or support the cause at One Days Wages.
  • The MHASA has increased its web presence! View the website at and follow the MHA Student Association on Twitter @uwmahsa.

 Congratulations, Class of 2014!

Congratulations to the MHA and EMHA graduating classes of 2014!

Photos from the School of Public Health graduation ceremony and MHA graduation celebration, this month:

MHA Graduation 12 MHA Graduation 11 MHA Graduation 10

 MHA Graduation 9MHA Graduation 8 MHA Graduation 7

MHA Graduation Group   MHA Graduation 4

MHA Graduation 5 MHA Graduation 2 MHA Graduation 3

National Fellowships Awarded to MHA Students

We’re proud to announce several graduating MHA students have secured national fellowship placements. Congratulations to the following students, beginning work in their administrative fellowships following graduation in June 2014. 

  • Denise Bowen, 2014 Administrative Fellow for Providence Health & Services in Renton, WA
  • Rebecca Fischer, 2014 Administrative Fellow for Neighborcare Health in Seattle, WA
  • Larry Huang, 2014 Administrative Fellow for Neighborcare Health, Seattle, WA
  • Morgan Jolley, 2014 Administrative Fellow at St Joseph Health in Napa, CA
  • Spenser Troiano, 2014 Administrative Fellow for Rush University Medical Center, in Chicago, IL
  • Erika Wilczek, 2014 Administrative Fellow for Swedish Medical Center in Seattle, WA
  • Emily Law, 2014 Administrative Fellow for MultiCare Health System in Seattle, WA
  • Myo myint Aung, 2014 Administrative Fellow for Franciscan Health System in Tacoma, WA

In addition to fellowships, several students have accepted job offers from the following organizations:

  • Diego Bartholomew, Supervisor, Identity & Access Management, UW Medicine, Seattle, WA
  • Alicia Benish, Experience Associate, Healthcare Advisory Division, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Seattle, WA
  • Marion Everidge, Contracts Manager, Provider Relations, Group Health Cooperative, Seattle, WA
  • Justin Feezell, Manager of Operations, Depts of Cardiothoracic & General Surgery, UW School of Medicine
  • Ashley King, PricewaterhourseCoopers, Seattle, WA
  • Brett Lee, Tenet Healthcare Corporation
  • Alison Miller,Patient Safety Analyst at Sinai Health System, Chicago, IL
  • Daniel Montanez, Director of Bsiness Development, SeaMar Health Centers, Seattle, WA
  • Hunter Plumer, Analyst, Health Trends, Seattle, WA
  • Zosia Stanley, Policy Analyst, Mental Health, Washington State Hospital Association, Seattle, WA
  • Sam Stimpson, Senior Financial Analyst, Seattle Children's, Seattle, WA

Awards & Accolades

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

Julia Peek, class of 2006, was awarded the 2013 Dr. John E. Worden Award for Excellence in Programs to Promote Public Health and the Nevada Public Health Leader of the Year from the Nevada Public Health Association. Congratulations, Julia!

Martin Benningclass of 2010, was awarded the Puget Sound Business Journal 40 Under 40 Award in September 2013. Congratulations, Martin!

2006 Alum Bahaa Wanly accepts FBI leadership award

Bahaa Wanly, class of 2006 (pictured, right), was selected by the FBI Seattle field office for the 2013 Director's Community Leadership Award for promoting ties between community and law enforcement through outstanding community service. Congratulations, Bahaa!

Joyce F. Jackson, class of 1982, was awarded the 2014 Outstanding Health Care Executive award from Seattle Business Magazine for her work as CEO of the Northwest Kidney Centers. In 15 years, she has doubled the amount of dialysis centers and created the Kidney Research Institute. Congratulations, Joyce!

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 

Doug Conrad, Dave Grembowski, and others published a GrantWatch article in the May 2013 issue of Health Affairs titled, “A Report on Eight Early-State State and Regional Projects Testing value-Based Payment Health Affairs,” 32, no. 5 (2013): 998-1006.

Doug Conrad was also featured in the Puget Sound Business Journal in their series "People behind the Washington state health exchange," (available online) and the University of Washington School of Public Health's January "Close Up" (available online).

Scott Coplan, PMP, FHIMSS, CPHIMS, Clinical Assistant Professor, was recently selected to serve on the Steering Committee of the Association of Change Management Professionals (ACMP) to oversee its overall certification program.

Sallie Sanford, Adjunct in Health Services and Assistant Professor of Law, presented at several events recently:

  • “The Affordable Care Act’s Next Act:  Upcoming Federal Regulatory Issues” Northwest Health Law Advocates CLE, November 15, 2013, Seattle, WA
  • “The Affordable Care Act: Implications for Public Health.” Northwest Center for Public Health Practice’s Summer Institute Plenary Session, August 6, 2013, Seattle, WA
  • “Emergency Response: Diaper Rash, Chest Pain and Medicaid Payments in the Emergency Department,” American Society of Law, Medicine and Ethics’ 36th Annual Health Law Professors Conference, June 8, 2013, Newark, NJ
  • “State of Implementation: Primary and Preventative Care under the ACA,” Northwest Regional Primary Care Association, May, 20, 2013, Anchorage, AK

Jeff Sconyers, Clinical Instructor, participated in the 2013 National Healthcare Coalition Preparedness Conference in New Orleans: 

  • Presenter, “Read the Fine Print – The Law and Coalitions," break-out session
  • Moderator, “The Promise and Perils of Crisis Standards of Care," Plenary session including Sheri Fink, MD, author of Five Days at Memorial: Life and Death in a Storm-Ravaged Hospital, Dan Hanfling, M.D., Inova Health System, Virginia, and Chad Priest, R.N., M.S.N., J.D., MESH Coalition, Indianapolis.

Staff Updates

Becca Bregel joined the MHA staff in July 2013 in a new role within the program as the Professional Development Specialist dedicated to the Executive MHA Program. In her role, Becca supports the diverse needs of the Executive students through skill development workshops, networking opportunities, speakers, and individual meetings. Becca most recently spent three years at Seattle University as the Pre-Health Academic Advisor, and 5 years prior at University of Illinois as an Academic Advisor. Becca attended Western Washington University as an undergraduate and University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill for graduate school. Welcome, Becca!

Jennifer Gill started in the MHA program as the new Program Coordinator in October 2013. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in Music in 2002 from the University of Texas, where she worked as a staff member for 15 years. After leaving Texas, she moved to Washington where she has worked for the University of Washington for over 10 years. Prior to working in higher education, Jennifer spent 10 years living and working in Germany and Vienna, Austria. Welcome, Jennifer!

 Maggie Helsel, Marketing and Recruitment Specialist, returned from maternity leave this month. She and her husband welcomed a healthy baby girl, December 31, 2013.

Alumni Updates

Class of 1982

Elizabeth Hoy is the new CEO of Cheyenne Health and Wellness Center, a federally qualified community health center in Cheyenne, WY. Elizabeth assumed the position in September 2013 after moving to Wyoming in 2010. She previously served as the Health Policy Advisor to Governor Matt Mead.

Class of 1985

David R. Olson has returned to Washington as the Vice President with Confluence Health in Wenatchee after spending 18 months in the Napa Valley as the VP for Physician Services for a network of five hospitals. Responsibilities with Confluence include working with physician practices and clinical departments in Wenatchee as well as seven rural health clinics throughout North Central Washington.

Class of 1988

Stephen Bowman was appointed Director of the University of Arkansas Medical Sciences MHA program and Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, College of Public Health in September 2013.

Class of 1996

J. Michael Marsh was named President and CEO of Overlake Medical Center in Bellevue, WA. He was selected after an extensive national search and started on April 7, 2014.

Class of 1999

Sarah Cave accepted a position with the University of Washington School of Public Health as their Chief Operating Officer and will begin her new role in March. Sarah will be working on implementing the School of Public Health's strategic plan as well as coordinating various administrative departments and centers.

Jeff Shornick retired from private practice in 2012 and is now enjoying living and working in Christchurch, New Zealand. Jeff works part-time in clincial dermatology and part-time on an e-prescribing initiative for a hospital. 

Class of 2002

Larry Wechsler was recently named Interim Manager for The Boeing Company's Global Occupational Health Services Group.

Class of 2007

Cheryl Arnett is now the Manager of the Pediatric Advanced Care Team (Palliative Care) at Seattle Children's Hospital. She started this position in May of 2013.

Barbara Jagels was promoted to Vice President of Quality, Safety and Value at Seattle Cancer Care Alliance. She says hello to her former classmates.

Class of 2010 

Martin Benning was promoted to Senior Director of Physician Services at Providence Health and Services in August, 2013.

George Lee and his fiancée, Amanda, were married on Christmas Eve 2013 in San Francisco, CA. Congratulations to the happy couple! 

Class of 2011

Paul Myoung started a new position as a Manager of Performance, Informatics, and Strategic Execution at Swedish Medical Center on August 1, 2013.

Adam Heath received a promotion to the Director of Quality Improvement for Golden Valley Health Centers.

David Angulo-Zereceda joined Multicare Good Samaritan Hospital in 2012 as part of the pulmonary and critical care division, subsequently became Director for Critical Care, and most recently has assumed the position of Direction of Medical Specialties for Multicare Medical Associates.



Spring/Summer '14

Letter from the Director

MHA Program Awarded Seven-Year Accreditation

An Evening for Alumni Recap

Program Websites Launch in the New Year

Tacoma Alumni Event Coming Soon

MHA Admissions Changes

MHASA Updates

Congratulations, Class of 2014!

National Fellowships Awarded to MHA Students

Awards & Accolades

Faculty & Staff News

Alumni Updates

Upcoming Events

August / September TBD
Alumni event for Tacoma-area Alumni. RSVP     

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