MHA Connections 2

Letter from the Director

Dear Fellow Alumni and Friends:

Our MHA Program continues to experience changes.  In addition to a new program director, me, two new faculty members have joined, or will join, our faculty this winter.

Both Cyndi LeRouge and Suzanne Wood come to us from St. Louis. New faces, new ideas, new questions and new connections make us a stronger program.  Doug Conrad and Bill Dowling will be introducing them to fellow researchers and to the practice community over the next several weeks and months. We are delighted to have Cyndi and Suzanne onboard! Their bios are included later in the newsletter.

We also recently posted faculty positions for new Senior lecturers, who will pick up much of the teaching vacancies left with recent and pending retirements.  If you know someone with health care work experience who would like to teach, please contact me or the program.

I enjoyed talking with many of you at the alumni event with Jeff Goldsmith in January.  Out of those conversations have come plans for visits with you and your fellow UW E/MHA Alumni at various organizations.  Theresa Tamura facilitated my upcoming visit at Group Health and Laura St. Germain is putting together a gathering at Fred Hutchinson.  I would love to do one of these visits at your organization -- it’s a wonderful way to stay in touch and get feedback and suggestions for the program.

In terms of admissions, we are pleased to have 30 outstanding, service-focused candidates, planning to attend the MHA program this fall.

The annual EMHA application deadline is April 30th, with an aim of making offers by the end of May.  As always, we’ll have a number of applications to review and candidates to recommend for admission.  If you are an EMHA alum or a current EMHA students who is interested in being involved with the selection process, please send an email to me or the program, and we'll get you plugged in.

I look forward to working with you. Please let me know if the program, our faculty, or I can assist you.

Dennis Stillman Signature

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


Will the Supreme Court Upend the ACA? 

By Sallie Thieme Sanford
Associate Professor, University of Washington School of Law
Adjunct Associate Professor, Department of Health Services

This spring, the United States Supreme Court will hear its third Affordable Care Act case in four years.  The case, King v. Burwell, threatens to upend key ACA provisions. The challengers argue that as a matter of statutory interpretation, the ACA does not allow the federal government to extend premium subsidies (in the form of advanceable tax credits) to those who buy their health insurance through the federally facilitated exchange (FFE) as opposed to a state-run exchange.

Washington State runs its own exchange – the Washington Health Plan Finder – but more than 30 states have declined to set up their own health insurance marketplace and thus have defaulted to the FFE.  In 2014, more than 4 million people received subsidized insurance through the FFE; the average subsidy was $240 a month.

If the Supreme Court agrees with the challengers and invalidates these crucial subsidies, the consequences would be significant.   Health insurance would be unaffordable for millions, insurance markets would destabilize as healthy people drop coverage, many more people would be exempt from the individual mandate based on unaffordability, and the employer mandate would be undermined in states that rely on the FFE. The political consequences would also be significant:  Congress would face pressure to amend the ACA; and states would face pressure to establish state-run exchanges. The Court likely will issue its opinion in late June.   

Evening for Alumni Video Available

The MHA Program hosted the annual Evening for Alumni event in January, with guest speaker, Jeff Goldsmith, PhD presenting a talk titled, What if the Crowd is Wrong?  Over 140 alumni, students and friends of the program attended. 

If you were unable to attend or want to review the content, the video of Jeff Goldsmith’s presentation and the Q&A session, are now available on the Alumni pages of the MHA and EMHA websites. 

Watch Jeff Goldsmith's Presentation >>

Photos from this year's Evening for Alumni:

 MHA 2015 Alumni MHA 2015 Alumni Shot

MHA 2015 Alumni, Jeff Goldsmith   MHA Students                                              

Professor Doug Conrad Leads Innovation Model

The UW School of Public Health, led by Professor Doug Conrad, is poised to play a key role evaluating WA state's transformative Healthier Washington Project, which stresses health care value over volume. The state received a four-year, $65 million grant from the federal Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation to fund the program. The evaluation effort will be based at our Northwest Center for Public Health Practice. Read more.

Join us in Chicago!

Join us for the MHA Program alumni social at ACHE Congress this March! We are hosting our program social Tuesday evening, March 17, 2015, 6:00 - 8:00 pm at the restaurant Mercat a la Planxa, conveniently located across the street from the Chicago Hilton (638 S Michigan Avenue).  Food and drinks will be provided. 

Please RSVP here for the ACHE Social

MHA Students Land National Fellowships

Several MHA students have already secured administrative fellowships upon graduation this Spring. We look forward to announcing more placements this summer!

  • Victor Kao, Administrative Fellow at EvergreenHealth in Kirkland, Washington.
  • Anisa Khaleel, Administrative Fellow at Texas Children's Hospital in Houston, Texas.
  • Sam Nepple, Administrative Fellow at Mercy Health System in Janesville, Wisconsin.
  • Lisa Tat, Administrative Fellow at Sutter Health West Bay Region, California.
  • Sergio Vincenti, Administrative Fellow at Sutter Medical Foundation in Sacramento, California.
  • Kelly Youngberg, Administrative Fellow at CHI Franciscan Health, Washington.

MHA Student Association Update

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

  • The MHASA has been busy setting up several events in the community. From a philanthropic standpoint, the Winter Clothing drive for the Bridge Care Center was a success, supplying warm winter clothes to homeless in Ballard and surrounding communities
  • Professionally, the MHASA has a tour at EvergreenHealth and coffee with an executive coming up in the next month.  If you are interested in hosting a tour, please reach out to Chelsea Steinborn at
  • Join the MHASA for an informal Student & Alumni happy hour at Barca in Seattle's Capitol Hill neighborhood (1510 11th Ave, Seattle, 98122) on Thursday, March 12th, 5-7pm.  The MHASA will host light appetizers. RSVP to Chelsea Steinborn at by Monday, March 9.

Faculty and Staff News

New Faculty Members Join Program

Cynthina LeRouge, PhD

LeRouge HeadshotDr. LeRouge has been recognized with teaching, research, and service awards. She will lead efforts towards developing an NSF Center for Organizational Transformation site at UW. The Center for Health Organization Transformation, or CHOT, is an industry-university cooperative research center (I/UCRC) funded by the National Science Foundation and health organizations to conduct research supporting major management, clinical, and information technology innovations in healthcare ( She hopes to engage alumni in this important effort. Cynthia has over 75 publications including academic journal articles, edited chapters in research-based books, and peer-reviewed conference proceedings. Her primary research interests relate to telemedicine, consumer health informatics, and public health informatics.  Here teaching areas include heath IT and project management. She is currently co-editor in chief of Health Systems journal. Dr. LeRouge has served as a visiting scholar at the Center of Disease Control with the Public Health Informatics Fellowship Program.  She is currently on the executive advisory committee for the American Telemedicine Association’s Business and Finance Special Interest Group and has served as an executive officer of the Association of Information Systems Special Interest Group for Healthcare Research.   Dr. LeRouge has held various senior management roles in the accounting, software and healthcare industry prior to joining academe. She completed her Ph.D. at the University of South Florida.

LCDR Suzanne J. Wood, PhD, MS, FACHE

Suzanne Wood HeadshotDr. Wood, a 2006 graduate of Old Dominion University’s Business School, has most recently served as an Assistant Professor, Health Management and Policy, in the highly ranked Master of Health Administration degree program at Saint Louis University, St. Louis, MO. She is a Fellow, American College of Health Care Executives and past chair for the Lewis E. Angelo Professional Symposium, a professional meeting for U.S. Navy health care executives. Dr. Wood serves as a Lieutenant Commander, U.S. Navy Reserve, and has over 23 years officer and enlisted experience. She served the past five years on active duty as a Medical Service Corps officer, Deputy Program Director for Navy/Coast Guard, Army-Baylor Graduate Program. She is also a Fellow, Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education.

Dr. Wood served as consultant for the strategic planning initiatives of the: (1) Army-Baylor Graduate Program in Nutrition; (2) San Antonio Military Medical Services (SA-MMS) organization; (3) U.S. Air Force Dietetics specialty corps; (4) an international sub-group of the American Dietetics Association; (5) the San Antonio Military Medical System; (6) Navy Medicine Training Command; and (7) Naval Hospital Guam; and (8) the Bureau of Medicine and Surgery, Navy Medicine, Washington D.C. As for International Business, she served as faculty consultant for Baylor University’s EMBA applied projects in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam and Hong Kong, China. She also taught strategic management for the U.S. State Department and U.S. Air Force as part of an executive education initiative in which developing nations sent high level representatives to the U.S. to learn to extend and manage national health systems. Countries included: Switzerland, Estonia, Algeria, Sierra Leone, Lebanon, and Chechnya. By extension, and as a result of her relationship with the group sponsoring international education initiatives, she recently returned from Colombo, Sri Lanka where she delivered a course on strategic management to the Ministry of Health and military leadership.  

Dr. Wood's teaching focus at the UW will be management, strategy and leadership.

Staff Updates

Amen Tsegai joined the MHA staff in November 2014 as the Professional Development Specialist to the Executive MHA Program. In this role, Amen will facilitate the professional activities and provide needed support to the EMHA students. Amen comes to us from the University of Washington School of Medicine, having worked there with students, residents and faculty across WWAMI. She earned her graduate and undergraduate degree from San Francisco State University in Radio and Television with special emphasis on social impact of mass media.

Elena De Lisio joined the MHA staff as Program Manager in September of 2014. 

Alumni Updates

Class of 1974

Richard Towell retired in 2012 and is enjoying his five children and their seven children.  He is now working full-time as daycare for three of the granddaughters and spending time with his wife of 48 years.  Richard turned 70 at the end of 2014.

Class of 1976

Linda Moore is writing fiction, travel writing and traveling the world. She and her husband Terry (retired) have two adult children Adrienne, an attorney, and Craig, a program executive with Marsh, both married.  Adrienne has two sons born in 2012 and 2014.

Class of 1985

David O. Olson has been serving on a long-term contract as Operations Manager for APS Healthcare, which has the contract with the State of Oregon for the Oregon Health Plan Care Coordination Program.

Ley Schleich is still enjoying part-time, project-based contract work, especially in program evaluation, and anticipating a move to Washington within the year.

Class of 2005

Roberta Winter's first book was published by Rowman & Littlefield in 2013.  Since then, she has been doing freelance writing/editing work, especially in the healthcare field.

Class of 2009

Delores Kannas' capstone project was published in the Annals of the American Thoracic Society: Improved Analgesia, Sedation, and Delirium Protocol Associated with Decreased Duration of Delirium and Mechanical Ventilation. American Thoracic Society Vol 11, No3, pp 367-374, Mar 2014.

Class of 2010 

Kelsey Chapados separated from the Air Force in 2012 when her son was born and now stays home with son and new daughter (born fall 2014).  THe information she learned in the program, especially the classes on patient safety and how to find and read clinical trains, have served her well in her new role as a mom! Kelsey plans to join the civilian helath care administration workforce once her kids are in school full time.

Class of 2014

Dr. Walter Allen Fink, accepted a position as Physician Executive of Multicare Good Samaritan Hospital. 


Winter '15

Letter from the Director

Will the Supreme Court Upend the ACA?

Evening for Alumni Video Available

Professor Doug Conrad Leads Innovation Model

Join Us in Chicago 

MHA Students Land National Fellowships

MHASA Updates

National Fellowships Awarded to MHA Students

Faculty & Staff News

Alumni Updates

Upcoming Events

March 12, 5-7pm
MHASA Student & Alumni Happy Hour at Barca, Seattle, WA RSVP

March 16-19 ACHE Congress, Chicago, IL

March 17 MHA Social at ACHE Congress RSVP

April 27, 5-8pm
Spring Alumni Event
More information to come

Stay Connected

Facebook logoFacebook

LinkedIn logoLinkedIn

General Information

Update Your Contact Information

Send US your news, updates, and stories