GAHE Student Newsletter

Winter 2017

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Upcoming Healthcare Events:

(correct as of January 15, 2017, for latest event details and registration see Events page)

  • January Meeting & Luncheon: January 19 @ 11:30am-2:00pm, Maggiano’s Little Italy Atlanta-Buckhead
  • Lunch with the CEO-Dan Woods, Wellstar Kennestone: January 27 @ 11:30am-1:00pm, Wellstar Kennestone Hospital
  • PEG Dinner-GA Professionals Health Program (Physicians only): February 2, Physician Executives Group Dinner Networking @ 6:30pm-7:00pm, Dinner & Program @ 7:00pm-8:30pm, Piedmont Cancer Conference Room Suite 625
  • Lunch with the CEO-John Haupert, FACHE: February 28 @ 11:30am-1:00pm, Grady Memorial Hospital
  • February Meeting & Luncheon: February 16 @ 11:30am-2:00pm, Maggiano’s Little Italy Atlanta-Buckhead
  • March Meeting & Luncheon: March 16 @ 11:30am-2:00pm, Maggiano’s Little Italy Atlanta-Buckhead
  • 2017 ACHE Congress: March 27-March 30, Palmer House- A Hilton Hotel, Chicago, IL
  • Lunch with the CEO-Anne Meisner: March 29 @ 11:30am-1:00pm, Southeastern Regional Medical Center


GAHE Student Associate Spotlight: Future Administrative Fellows 2017-2018

Featured GAHE Student Members that have accepted Administrative Fellowships for the 2017-2018 year

Sara Ashe
Georgia State University MHA/MBA, Summer 2017
Fellowship Site and Location: Piedmont Healthcare; Atlanta, GA

How has joining GAHE contributed to your professional growth?
In a field where collaboration is king, GAHE has opened up avenues to connect to fellow students as well as new and advanced professionals. Through these connections, I am able to receive invaluable support and guidance as I navigate through school and the first crucial steps of my career in healthcare. I anticipate these connections will continue to develop through my involvement in GAHE.

If you had one piece of advice to give to students applying for fellowships in the future, what would it be?
Talk to as many people as possible – current fellows, past fellow, and fellowship mentors. The more people with whom you speak, the better grasp you’ll have on what the program seeks in a candidate. This will show through your application, and people will remember you made the effort to seek out information and showed committed interest in their program. Lastly, start early and stay organized!

What factors went into your decision to select your fellowship site?
Piedmont Healthcare boasts a well-deserved reputation as a leading provider of quality healthcare in and around Atlanta and North Georgia. However, Piedmont refuses to rest on its laurels and continues to grow to provide more Georgians with innovative healthcare services. At the same time, my interview experience at the organization was thorough and personal. I felt valued and invested in even as an interviewee, which indicated my experience there will be an incredible start to my career.

What was your greatest challenge throughout the fellowship application process and how did you overcome it?
The interview process requires a lot of time and energy, whether completing several applications or traveling to interviews. The process affect your focus on schoolwork, your job, your personal responsibilities, and your personal time. Prepare ahead of time by organizing your time (I love lists) and being open with your professors and workplace about the steps you’ll need to take. Celebrate the small accomplishments and be proud of yourself. You’ve worked really hard to get to this point!


Emily Ryan
Georgia State University, MBA – May 2017, MHA – December 2017

Fellowship Site & Location: Northwestern Medicine Administrative Fellowship, Chicago, IL

How has joining GAHE contributed to your professional growth?
GAHE has contributed to my professional growth by providing me with a network of local healthcare administration contacts.

If you had one piece of advice to give to students applying for fellowships in the future, what would it be?
My advice is to really nail down your “story” and roadmap to what led you to desire a fellowship.  Make sure this comes through in your personal statement and during interviews – everyone loves a good story!

What factors went into your decision to select your fellowship site?
I was most influenced by location, program duration, mentorship opportunities, and cultural/organizational fit.

What was your greatest challenge throughout the fellowship application process and how did you overcome it?
For me, writing the personal statement was an incredibly long and arduous process!  It really helped me to continually write and alter my statement over the course of several weeks, as well as have it read and assessed by friends and mentors.


Rebecca King
Georgia Southern University MHA, May 2017
Fellowship Site & Location: Rochester Regional Health; Rochester, NY

How has joining GAHE contributed to your professional growth?
My experience with being a member of GAHE was well worth it. The networking opportunities alone were extremely valuable and not only did I learn how to interact with other professionals in the industry, but I was also enabled to build my connections as well. Georgia is a large state with a diverse range of healthcare professionals and being a part of the student task force also allowed me to work with individuals of different backgrounds. I highly recommend joining GAHE to any student who is pursuing a career in healthcare administration.

If you had one piece of advice to give to students applying for fellowships in the future, what would it be?
Gaining experience in healthcare before graduating is critical to competing with other fellowship candidates. Seize every opportunity to volunteer in a healthcare setting early on in your program, regardless of your assigned job duties. Just spending time in a hospital can aid you in learning more about the healthcare industry and no task is too small. Most importantly, however, don’t let your doubts keep you from chasing your dream job.

What factors went into your decision to select your fellowship site?
I think that it’s important to remember that not only are they interviewing you, but you’re interviewing them as well. Originally, I only focused on hospital rankings and recognition. I actually had an opportunity to interview at my dream organization but quickly realized that I wouldn’t fit well within the culture once I was there onsite. I am excited to begin my career at Rochester Regional Health (RRH) because they truly value, and are looking to expand, their fellowship program. Ultimately I wanted to work for an organization that prioritizes serving their community and being leaders in innovation. Once I realized that the values of RRH aligned with my own, the decision to accept their fellowship offer was an easy one.

What was your greatest challenge throughout the fellowship application process and how did you overcome it?
The greatest challenge for me was comparing myself to the other candidates during the on-site interviews. Every candidate that I met was extremely qualified and confident, among other attributes, and it was difficult to stay focused on how I could stand a part from my competition. Re-framing the situation and reminding myself of my purpose is what ultimately helped me to overcome any of my personal insecurities. Instead of treating the other candidates as such, I would go throughout the interview process as I would at any other networking event including reaching out to the candidates on LinkedIn and exchanging phone numbers. Any individual that advances to the final stages of the fellowship process is chosen for a reason, but that reason is only based off of experience and previous achievements. By focusing on letting my personality shine and making connections with anyone that interviewed me, I was able to gracefully calm my nerves and enjoy the overall experience. After all, it is not every day that you get to tour various healthcare facilities across the nation and interact with some of the most esteemed professionals in our industry.


Meeta Gandhi
Armstrong State University MHSA, May 2017
Fellowship Site & Location: Novant Health Greater Charlotte Market; Charlotte, NC

How has joining GAHE contributed to your professional growth?

Joining GAHE as a first semester graduate student has allowed me to be a part of an expansive network of peers and leaders within the state. As a student and early-careerist within the field of healthcare administration, I have learned that being involved with professional organizations is just as important as being successful in the classroom and gaining experience through jobs/internships. I firmly believe that there is always something to learn from people you encounter, whether it be a fellow graduate student, or a seasoned professional. GAHE provides the opportunity to meet and network with members through events and stay current with healthcare trends, which can allow for students like myself to grow throughout our graduate school journey and beyond.

If you had one piece of advice to give to students applying for fellowships in the future, what would it be?
I have three pieces of advice that I consider to be the most important to be mindful of as you embark on the fellowship application process: 1. As cliché as it may sound- be yourself! Before applying, I kept hearing the word, “fit”. Once you perfect your application and are offered interviews, you have been recognized as a candidate that has all of the requirements of a future fellow. From there, it is all about showing the organization who you are and being true to it. The “fit” aspect goes both ways, and you will be where you are meant to be. 3. Be reflective. You will be asked many behavior and situation-based questions that you will have to provide thoughtful answers to. Make sure that you know yourself and your experiences well enough to answer any “off-the-wall” question that could come your way. I took time to write out relevant experiences and strengths and weaknesses with examples of each. 2. View the other candidates as teammates, as opposed to competition. Yes, you need to bring your A game and make sure that you present yourself in the best possible way. However, part of the journey is also networking with other candidates and keeping in mind that you are all worthy or you would not have made it as far as you have. One of my favorite aspects of on-sites was the peers I met along the way. It is important to build each other up during a stressful time, and it will give you a more positive mindset overall as well.

What factors went into your decision to select your fellowship site?
Geographic location is one of many important determinants in deciding where to apply for fellowships. I am fortunate to have found an organization whose values closely align with my own in a location of choice. I have admired Novant Health for many years. The commitment to the community, patient-centeredness, and advancement, is a quality that I sought in an organization to be a part of. The on-site interview experience sealed the deal for my desire to a part of the Novant Health team, and the word “fit” became real.

What was your greatest challenge throughout the fellowship application process and how did you overcome it?
The greatest challenge I faced was balancing school, my job, and everything involved with the fellowship application and interview processes. I learned how important it was to communicate with my professors and workplace in order to plan for potential days that I would miss for on-site interviews. Communication and staying organized with your time (time is precious!) was key for me to get through the months involved in the process.


Student Experience Highlight

Suzanne Feakes
Master of Health Administration & Master of Business Administration Candidate December 2017
Georgia State University

Tell us about your experience within the healthcare industry (internship and/or work). What has been your major takeaway?
While I was in undergrad, I volunteered every week at the hospital answering phones, directing patients and their families, and doing patient transport. Right after I graduated, I started working in an oncology/hematology office, taking on every task that presented itself and volunteering for everything. I currently work at a pediatric office as their operations specialist, and every day presents new challenges and opportunities to learn and apply what we are learning in the classroom.
Through these experiences, and with the help of some out-of-the-box thinking physicians along the way, I have realized that there is always room for improvement in healthcare, and that typically there is not just one best way to do things (maybe that’s why they call it practice?). There is always an opportunity for innovation, to do something no one has done before. I think that is a vital lesson for the healthcare and insurance industry, now more than ever.

Tell us about your involvement with Georgia State’s MHA program.
I moved to Atlanta to go to Georgia State University’s MBA/MHA program, and the university and classmates have been welcoming from the start. GSU has a vast and successful alumni base to make networking easier, and to make the connection possibilities endless. I have gotten to shadow CEOs, take practice managers out to coffee, and sit down for lunch with physician leaders. GSU’s mentorship program has helped me bridge the classroom and real life experience well, because all of the mentors have competed the same program I am work on, and then gone on to be successful healthcare leaders themselves.
I have been given the opportunity to take on leadership roles in GSU’s Future Healthcare Executives local chapter, have shadowed case competition teams, and this year will compete in those competitions as well.

What are you plans for after graduation?
My plans for after graduation include exploring and developing my skills in the different departments in a large hospital through a fellowship. Though applications are not due until October, I have started to determine where I would like to apply, and what their requirements are. My dream job is to work in pediatric oncology – I’ve worked in pediatrics and oncology; I’m hoping to be able to bridge my experiences in these two very different environments to help patients and their families get the best outcome possible during this very vulnerable time.

What interested you in joining ACHE and what have you gained from your membership?
As I previously mentioned, moving to a new state and trying to break into the healthcare industry can be hard – but ACHE really helped! The first event I ever went to was a monthly luncheon that featured a student tabling event with 6 prominent figures in healthcare at different stages of their career. This helped me get a better understanding of what Atlanta’s healthcare scene looked like, and also helped me meet other students and early careerists. At that same luncheon, there was a panel of successful women in the industry – all of whom I consider to be my current role models. I have been able to meet individually with all three of them, and they have offered great career advice. All in all, ACHE has really helped me develop my networking skills, learn more about hot topics in the industry, and has helped me keep myself rounded.

Do you have any advice for people interested in going to ACHE Congress?
Congress has been one of the most rewarding ACHE events I have ever been to! It was a great way to network with students across the nation, and to listen to lectures about really cutting edge topics in healthcare. I highly recommend it to any early careerist, especially students looking to take on fellowships in the coming year.



What’s going on in Healthcare today?

Community Care Collaboration
As cost of care is becoming a larger focus each year, many health care providers are looking to reduce costs by collaborating with the local community. The delivery of health care is being transformed as many hospitals are looking to form relationships with community partners to involve consumers more in the health-care system. These relationships involve hospitals, health departments, retail clinics, and other organizations. Stronger community care collaboration has the potential to improve and streamline the care of the patient, and have a positive effect on costs.

Behavioral Health Focus
Behavioral health has a significant impact on a person’s health and is emerging as a more important factor influencing overall well-being. Behavioral health costs $57 billion a year, and providers are being held more responsible for the costs of their care. Changes in payment models are reducing the barrier to increasing access to mental health care. Private health plans offered on the Affordable Care Act Exchange after January 2014 must provide behavioral and addiction treatment, which is increasing access to mental health services. An increased focus on behavioral health is becoming more prominent.

Cocchi, Renee. “Top 10 Issues Impacting Healthcare Industry in 2016.” Healthcare Business and Technology. N.p., 19 Jan. 2016. Web. 15 Dec. 2016. <>.

Klein, Sarah, and Martha Hostetter. “In Focus: Integrating Behavioral Health and Primary Care.” The Commonwealth Fund. Quality Matters, Aug.-Sept. 2014. Web. 15 Dec. 2016. <>.

“Models of Collaboration Involving Hospitals, Public Health Department, and Others Improving Community Health through Successful Partnerships.” UK College of Public Health. College of Public Health University of Kentucky, 01 Apr. 2016. Web. 15 Dec. 2016. <>.

Norris, Louise. “How Obamacare Improved Mental Health Coverage.” N.p., 16 Feb. 2016. Web. 15 Dec. 2016. <>.

Perlin, Jonathan. “Collaborating with Communities to Redefine the Hospital.” Hospital and Health Networks. N.p., 26 Feb


Advice from the authors:

  • Check out the GAHE LinkedIn page:
  • Attend as many ACHE & GAHE events as possible. This will allow for increased exposure via networking and learn about micro and macro trends in the industry.
  • Attending ACHE’s Annual Conference, Congress, has been valuable to many students. Plan ahead and make plans to attend Congress 2017 from March 27th, 2017 to March 30th, 2017 in Chicago, IL. Trust us, it will be well worth your time!


GAHE Student Newsletter Authors:

Kelsey Ankrom Dual Master in Health Administration/ Master in Business Administration Candidate December 2017 Georgia State University
Meeta Gandhi
Master of Health Services Administration Candidate May 2017
Armstrong State University
Kelsey Ankrom
Dual Master in Health Administration/Master in Business
Administration Candidate December 2017
Georgia State University


About Student Associate membership

If you are enrolled in a health services administration or related administrative program, you may be eligible for a discount on your dues as a Student Associate member of ACHE and GAHE. Find answers to your most pressing career questions — and gain a competitive edge — through GAHE’s resources.

To become a member or renew your membership please go to

Your membership in ACHE provides automatic membership in GAHE, the local chapter of ACHE for all who reside in Georgia, as well as:

If you are not a member we invite you to our events to learn more about us and the excellent educational and networking opportunities we provide. You do not need to be a member to attend, we welcome all those whose current professional or educational involvement supports the delivery of healthcare services. We also invite you to join.

Membership benefits

  • Access to the Affiliates Only area of
  • Career Services
  • Publications and Newsletters
  • Reduced fee for the Congress on Healthcare Leadership and local chapter programs year-round
  • Financial Assistance

Career Support

Resources for Student Associates:

  • Directory of Fellowships in Health Services Administration
  • Compensation report on Fellowships
  • Online Employment and Career Services (e.g. ACHE Job Bank & Resume Bank)
  • Free resume critique and career counseling at the annual Congress on Healthcare Leadership
  • Resume Software and Resume Review is also available at an affiliate rate
  • Career Counseling advice at Congress and year round

Publications and Newsletters

  • Healthcare Executive magazine
  • Journal of Healthcare Management, OR
  • Frontiers of Health Services Management
  • ACHe-news and Student Associate Newsletter

Educational Opportunities

  • Student track at the annual Congress on Healthcare Leadership
  • National and local continuing education programs
  • ACHe-Learning: Satellite Programs, AudioConferences, and Online Education Programs

Financial Assistance

  • Foster G. McGaw Graduate Student Scholarships
  • Albert W. Dent Graduate Student Scholarships (Minority students)
  • Richard J Stull Student Essay Competition in Healthcare Management

Student Associates are eligible to apply for:

  • Stuart A. Wesbury, Jr., Postgraduate Fellowship
  • ACHE Diversity Internship

Membership Help

For additional information regarding GAHE membership, please contact us at or call our office at 678-264-8354.

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