Ready for Career Advancement in the Healthcare Industry

WoodyBy LeeAnn C. Woody, Service Line Development Coordinator, Detroit Medical Center

I became acquainted with the Political Science Department as an Eastern Michigan University (EMU) sophomore seeking a secondary teaching certificate with a major in Language, Literature, and Writing (English). I found the Department’s faculty to be fully engaged and collaborative with its student body. As a result of this rapport, I sought employment, and was selected, as an office assistant in the EMU Political Science Department until I graduated with my bachelor’s degree.

Born of a desire to strengthen my capacity for career advancement, I began researching graduate programs at EMU after having gained several years of practical experience as a professional at Detroit Medical Center (DMC). The academic and professional enrichment I gained as an EMU Political Science office assistant motivated me to apply to the Master of Public Administration (MPA) program. I fondly recalled listening to both undergraduate and graduate students engaged in passionate, insightful, and useful dialogue among peers and professors alike, and I was seeking the same rewarding experience and education.

Upon acceptance into the MPA program, I discovered the weekend and evening course selections available both on the main campus in Ypsilanti and Livonia with some online components to be very convenient. The flexible course offerings were ideal for my schedule as a full-time professional, and as a wife and parent.

One of the most valuable aspects of the MPA program is the incorporation of one’s professional and personal experiences into the classroom. This opportunity cultivates an environment for students in which to brainstorm and solve real-life issues in real-time. Because the courses encouraged students to identify solutions to real-life problems, I not only acquired knowledge of how to think critically but also developed the ability to apply and execute said solutions.

Shortly after finishing my MPA, I received a promotion within the DMC to Service Line Development Coordinator. I am confident the graduate education I received at EMU is what granted me an interview and allowed me to candidly and intelligently explain how I would approach and handle the position’s primary objectives. The interviewers, who are now my superiors, were extremely impressed with the quality of work demonstrated in the capstone project I completed during my graduate studies to serve as a sample of my work.

Since the commencement of my current position as Service Line Development Coordinator, I have been identified as a “key player” by members of the hospital system’s executive management team and have asserted the lead on several projects, including creating annual departmental budgets, performing S.W.O.T. analysis, and developing strategic plans for our two centers of excellence in bariatric surgery and minimally invasive gynecology service lines. The concepts and skill sets obtained from the MPA courses—especially those from the statistics, budget, strategic planning, organizational theory, and public policy courses—are utilized daily.

In addition to the course work and faculty guidance, the MPA program offers students opportunities to professionally network both inside and outside of the classroom. This has been an invaluable resource not only as a student but as a professional as well. These connections enable one to gain insight and glean from others’ strengths and expertise. The DMC has a strong focus on growth and meeting community health needs, and my position has afforded me the opportunity to lead physician outreach and community outreach initiatives. The professional contacts that I gained having participated in the MPA program have been quite beneficial in making these projects come to fruition.

I highly recommend any career professional seeking to challenge his/her knowledge and proficiencies for advancement to consider the prospect of Eastern Michigan University’s Master of Public Administration program. The benefits of having experienced professors who truly care about the successes of their students are priceless. Not only will one be exposed to fascinating concepts but also the opportunity to establish professional and personal connections with colleagues.

LeeAnn C. Woody is a 2013 EMU MPA program graduate who currently serves as Detroit Medical Center's Service Line Development Coordinator.

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