Alex Krach, a graduate of both the Graduate Certificate and Master of Science in healthcare management programs, recently shared with us his educational experience in the certificate program. As a bedside healthcare provider, Alex shared what spurred his decision to start the certificate program and encapsulated his experience so far in this statement, "I think this is a place where students can thrive and go on to do great things. The program is challenging but you never feel alone-the support of the organization is amazing."
What is the single most important thing you have learned from the program so far?
Effective leaders are collaborative and seek out alternative viewpoints. Healthcare is at its core a team endeavor and the program has helped me to better understand that the effort of each of us in an organization matter-and that visionary leadership is based on great knowledge tempered by humility.
How do you think this program will help you to advance your career currently or in the future?
It has already helped me tremendously in terms of access. The OHSU community opens doors. When people hear that I am a student in the program they are always willing to speak with me and share their knowledge. In terms of the future, the program will give me the theoretical and practical experience to be successful in almost any system-not just healthcare.
Why would you recommend this degree to others?
The program is a wonderful melding of top-notch academic coursework delivered by a faculty and staff that are truly interested in your success and who you are as a person. From day one, I felt welcomed by the division and there is a very palpable feeling that as a student here you are a part of a community of learners all striving to better themselves and make a difference. Our professors really get to know us and value the experience we have had thus far in life. I feel that as an individual I matter here and that is very empowering.
What advice would you give to other current or future students of the certificate program?
I would say to think broadly in terms of your perspective as you move through the program or are considering applying to OHSU. Much of what we do is certainly very specific to healthcare and it can be extremely detailed. But there is also a large amount of content that translates very well to a great many other areas of life. By listening closely and reading carefully I've learned so much in the program that helps me to be stronger and more successful in my job. I'm a better listener, because of the discussions we have in class. I'm a better writer because we write a lot in the program and the faculty provides very valuable feedback. And don't forget that this is a journey, and each step matters.
What spurred your decision to get a Graduate Certificate in Healthcare Management?
As a bedside healthcare provider, I have spent years in training and many more in practice. But I wanted to have a deeper understanding of how healthcare works. I believe that healthcare is the last great social equalizer in our communities, and I want to be able to harness the knowledge that I gain here at OHSU to make a difference in the lives of others. This is a place where I feel I can do that!