April 2018 Alumni Spotlight
April Alumni Spotlight with Angela Gonzalez-Perez, Executive MPA ’12
How does one navigate the highly-regulated environment of a modern hospital as a senior administrator? In this month’s alumni spotlight, we discuss some of these unique challenges, as well as the Executive MPA program with Angela-Gonzalez Perez.
What got you interested in health care administration?
I had the opportunity to volunteer for [what was then] Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center when I was much younger and was exposed to the inner workings of what really made the hospital function. We know how important doctors and nurses are to patient care but I was in awe of the tremendous efforts behinds the scenes to ensure that patients received the right care, in the right environment and by the very best staff.
What are some of the unique problems the vice president of operations at a major hospital may need to unravel on a day-to-day basis?
Hospital operations is a very rewarding field as you are working behinds the scenes to ensure that doctors and nurses have the resources needed to take care of patients. This includes ensuring adequate staff levels, that clinical equipment is functioning properly, and that we have the proper supply levels, for example.
As Vice President, my role is ensuring that the departmental leaders understand the overall vision and strategy for their departments and they have the resources and support from me so that their teams can complete these required tasks successfully on a day-to-day basis.
You’ve been with New York Presbyterian for the better part of two decades. In that time what is one of the most profound challenges the hospital and its patients have had to contend with in terms of rising health care costs and increasingly contentious (or at least complex) relationship with insurers?
Healthcare is a complex field and navigating these evolving systems and ever-changing requirements have definitely been a challenge for hospitals, patients, and their caregivers.
What hospitals are experiencing more and more is the ever-increasing regulatory requirements. While new regulatory requirements have increased quality for the better, they can also be onerous as local, state, and federal agencies have increased their requests for hospitals. This has resulted in hospitals investing much more resources and staff to keep up with these ever-changing laws and regulations.
Additionally, as state and federal funding to Medicaid and Medicare continues to decrease, safety-net hospitals (those who take care of uninsured or underinsured), are having a difficult time managing expenses and staying afloat. This has resulted in several smaller, community hospitals being absorbed by larger healthcare systems. New York-Presbyterian has expanded with two additional hospitals in Westchester County, one in Queens and one, recently, in Brooklyn.
What do you believe you gained from your time at the Marxe School and by attaining your Executive MPA?
The Executive MPA program was extremely beneficial both professionally and personally. It provided the opportunity to develop my management and leadership skills with a breadth of courses that ranged from financial planning, program development, and policy analysis.
As an added value, the cohort model was ideal as I was studying with like-minded professionals who also had very specific goals and were focused on succeeding and more importantly helping each other through the program. Today, I continue to stay in contact with most of my classmates from my cohort.