Why I Chose the HSM Program

Jameelah Melton, MBA, class of 2019

Over the past three months, I have met several physicians seeking new roles where they can have a greater impact on health care. They were especially interested in how Fuqua prepared me to meet the current challenges we face including the current COVID pandemic. The pandemic has only added to long-standing inefficiencies and inequalities in health care, and these leaders are eager to find solutions.

The questions with which they grapple are operational, technical, and policy-related. How do we open capacity and re-allocate health care resources when patient demand shifts? How do we leverage analytics, telemedicine, and remote patient monitoring to improve access, scale delivery, and address health disparities? How do we ensure health coverage for the 10 million newly uninsured as a result of the economic downturn due to the pandemic? And lastly, how do we develop the administrative and leadership skills to create sustainable change in healthcare? As I spoke to my colleagues, I credited Fuqua’s health sector management (HSM) program with providing me with a framework with which to begin to address these issues.

When I applied to Fuqua, I was a medical director working with digital health and analytics companies. I had twelve years of clinical experience as well as five years of start-up and three years of digital health experience. I also grappled with many of the same questions outlined above. I decided to pursue an MBA and HSM certification to gain deeper insights into business administration as it pertains to health care. While Fuqua’s WEMBA curriculum met these expectations, HSM courses provided me with industry-specific case examples and strategies.

In James Emery’s and Pranab Majumder’s provider strategy course, I learned operational strategies to open capacity, standardize care, and reduce costs. Through health care markets, with Dr. David Ridley, I gained deeper insights into the health insurance market, pharmaceutical pricing, and how the cost-effectiveness of medical interventions is determined. Lastly, the HSM project course afforded my teammates Yun Boylston MD, MBA, Sebastian Maria Pragasam, and I the opportunity to learn more about analytics from MQM faculty and students as we developed a care management tool.

Some of the best lessons, though, came from discussions with my HSM classmates. Our cohort hailed from multiple industries and countries. The diverse perspective that each person brought yielded engaging discussions and innovative recommendations on operational strategy, technology integration, and policy. We still engage in monthly calls to catch up on life, families, and support one another’s professional endeavors. I feel confident that HSM has provided me with the skills needed to face the current challenges in health care and, more importantly, that I have some incredible health care leaders and Fuqua alumni as friends.