Inaugural Smeal Executive MBA Leadership Forum addresses issues in health care

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Inaugural Smeal Executive MBA Leadership Forum addresses issues in health care

Early last month, the Penn State Smeal Executive MBA (EMBA) Program hosted its inaugural Senior Leadership Forum, an opportunity for current and prospective students as well as program alumni to come together to discuss business and leadership.

In addition to panel discussions on the future for strategy, moderated by Al Vicere, professor of strategic leadership at Smeal; and the future for leadership, moderated by EMBA Program alumnus Tim Quigley, ‘04g, assistant professor at the University of Georgia, the forum also featured a panel discussion on health care.

“Health care is a prominent business issue today, and it affects everyone,” said Vicere. “We have several current and former students in the program who are involved in health care delivery, so we took that opportunity to delve deeper into a discussion about the future of health care and its connection to business.”

“Health care is a prominent business issue today, and it affects everyone.”

-- Al Vicere, professor of strategic leadership, Smeal College of Business

Moderating the panel discussion on the future for health care was Class of 2015 EMBA student Ninad Pendharkar, an associate in dermatology for Geisinger Health System.

“There’s been a shift in the way we view the business and delivery of health care,” said Pendharkar. “Health care is changing dramatically, so change management is critical.”

Joining the discussion were alumni panelists Mike Consuelos, ‘09g, vice chairman of the Department of Pediatrics at Lehigh Valley Hospital’s Children’s Hospital; Jeff Miller, ‘10g, associate dean for administration at Penn State Hershey; and Steve Rigo, ‘07g, founder of Augusta Healthcare Inc.

According to Pendharkar, the future of health care depends on providers shifting into a more business-oriented way of thinking.

“It was inspiring as a student to see the successes of alumni panelists. It really shows the strength of the program we have.”

-- Ninad Pendharkar, Class of 2015, Smeal Executive MBA Program

“One big disconnect in health care is that there are people who provide direct patient care without much thought to the business implications, and there are people who work in areas like finance and accounting making business decisions that make it difficult for front-line people to do their jobs,” said Pendharkar. “But if you have people who understand both the clinical and business aspects, it becomes easier to bridge that gap.”

Pendharkar and Vicere both say the inaugural leadership forum was a great success, with nearly 100 attendees.

“It was inspiring as a student to see the successes of alumni panelists,” said Pendharkar. “It really shows the strength of the program we have.”

About the Penn State Smeal Executive MBA Program
The Penn State Smeal Executive MBA Program provides working professionals with the learning, connections, resources and experiences to accelerate their careers. The 21-month program features personalized executive coaching, intensive communication training, a weeklong international residency experience and coursework focused on the unique challenges of the students’ firms. Classes are held on alternating weekends at the ACE Conference Center in suburban Philadelphia. Learn more at www.smeal.psu.edu/execmba.

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