MHA@GW Student Making Her Mark on Health Care Leadership

The online MHA@GW program prepares students to be active and effective leaders in health care management. We encourage our students to create and engage in meaningful conversations that make a positive impact — not only in the classroom but also in the field. One way to achieve this is involvement in professional organizations such as the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE).

MHA@GW student Nancy Edwards recently participated in ACHE’s 2017 Congress on Healthcare Leadership. We caught up with her to learn more about her experience, as well as what motivated her to enroll in the online Master of Health Administration (MHA) program from the Milken Institute School of Public Health at the George Washington University.

“As the associate director of marketing development for Mead Johnson Nutrition, I regularly attend health care conferences for pediatrics and neonatology,” she said. “Attending conferences allows me to network with global thought leaders and to enhance my clinical knowledge.”

At the Congress in Chicago, she was invited by ACHE to join a graduate student focus group panel. The goal of the panel was to offer input to make ACHE more relevant to MHA students and to provide suggestions on how the organization can better support health care leaders. The panel included five other students from U.S. MHA programs.

“I highly recommend that MHA students become involved in ACHE at the national and local levels,” Edwards said. “I have enhanced my knowledge of how the health care concepts that I have studied in the MHA@GW program are applied to the management of U.S. health care organizations. ACHE also provides national and local networking opportunities with health care system leaders.”

“As the implementation of the Affordable Care Act progressed, I felt that I was more and more out of touch with changes to health care policy and reimbursement issues that were affecting our customers,” she said. “When I evaluated the various MHA programs, the MHA@GW program rose to the top of the list.”

Edwards said she likes the fact that George Washington's MHA program is one of the oldest and most well-respected programs in the country.

“Its D.C. location puts it at the center of health care policy creation, and many of my professors are current or past contributors to health care policy creation and administration,” she said. “Plus, the alumni association is very strong.” 

Edwards is also a big fan of the immersion experiences. In fact, that is where she first learned about ACHE. The four immersion experiences, she said, provide face-to-face learning experiences that other programs lack.

“I would encourage busy professionals who are considering earning their MHA to enroll in the MHA@GW program,” she said. “The engagement I have — and the friendships I have developed — with the professors, students and health care experts is incredible. I have enjoyed the overall learning experience and have learned so much from the case studies, the lectures, the immersion experiences and my fellow students.”