The Charger Blog

Recent MHA Grads Discuss How the Program Prepared them for Success

Several new graduates of the University’s master’s in healthcare administration program discuss how their education and the opportunities they had as Chargers prepared them for their current careers in the healthcare field.

September 14, 2023

By Prateek Mansingh ’23 MH, Lais Aguilar ’23 MHA, Niharika Pathak ’23 MHA, Gabriel Barsotti ’23 MHA

Dr. Alvin Tran.
Left to Right: Prateek Mansingh ’23 MH, Lais Aguilar ’23 MHA, Niharika Pathak ’23 MHA, Gabriel Barsotti ’23 MHA

Since graduating this past spring, Prateek Mansingh ’23 MH, Lais Aguilar ’23 MHA, Niharika Pathak ’23 MHA, Gabriel Barsotti ’23 MHA have all started their careers in the healthcare field. They have been applying what they’ve learned as Chargers, both in and out of the classroom, to their work, and they’re grateful for the many opportunities they had that prepared them to excel as healthcare leaders.

Below, they reflect on their experiences at the University and discuss their current roles in healthcare.

Prateek Mansingh ’23 MHA

As a proud alumnus of the Master of Healthcare Administration (MHA) program at the University of New Haven, I can wholeheartedly say that if I had to do it all over again, I would again choose this program for my master’s. My experiences and what I learned enabled me to join Genesis HealthCare as director of admissions and marketing. My day-to-day work consists of managing the center’s customer flow (referral) and admissions process, including community sales, referral management, and admission sign-in, through post-admission, utilizing the Core Operating Systems.

My responsibilities also include ensuring that we meet census goals by working with the center’s interdisciplinary team and neighboring healthcare area entities to coordinate customer flow into and through the skilled nursing and rehabilitation center and guiding the center sales program, which ensures strong customer, referrer, and payor satisfaction; appropriate market penetration; positive public image; and maximization of center Quality Mix and Average Daily Census (ADC) goals.

I chose to pursue my MHA at University of New Haven when I was applying to the school in February of 2021, as it was one of the seven programs on the East Coast that was Commission on the Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education (CAHME)-accredited. As of today, it is ranked #9 of all CAHME accredited programs in Modern Healthcare, the top healthcare executive trade journal in the country.

The MHA program at University of New Haven is the only CAHME-accredited institution between New York City, Boston, and Syracuse, one of just four such institutions in New England, and the only one in Connecticut. Within a short span of time, the program has just been scaling new heights, and I am extremely proud to have studied in such an esteemed program.

The MHA program at University of New Haven is well thought out and caters to all the core competencies required of a healthcare administrator, starting from introduction to U.S. healthcare, management of healthcare organizations, management of information systematics, financial management, healthcare ethics, law and public health, communications in healthcare, statistics in healthcare, healthcare leadership, strategy and innovation in healthcare, internships, capstone project and an elective course that depends on your preference. The professors are leaders in their areas of expertise, and it is evident from the way they plan the modules for their courses.

The variety of assignments in every single course we take encompass discussions, quizzes, case studies, persuasive memos, healthcare leader interviews, exams, and essay papers on our thoughts. Professors do not just make us memorize the syllabus, but they encourage us to utilize the full potential of our skills and help us evolve as people.

I was asked to represent our program at the University of Alabama at Birmingham Healthcare Case Competition in February. It was an amazing opportunity for my team to conceptualize a care delivery system that spanned the entire spectrum of palliative and hospice care. The program offers such experiential learning opportunities to all its students who want to take the extra step. My advice to every student planning to pursue their MHA at the University of New Haven is to always take the extra step. Those steps will take you places you cannot even imagine. The program offers us a plethora of opportunities to advance not just in our personal lives but our professional lives as well. The courses help us advance personally and evolve into better human beings.

The MHA Program at University of New Haven has a graduate student-run organization called Society of Healthcare Administrators (SOHA). SOHA is the student chapter of Connecticut Association of Healthcare Executives (CTAHE). It offers students a lot of networking opportunities through guest speaker sessions, alumni panels, and meet-and-greet sessions with healthcare executives to help us advance professionally. I grabbed every opportunity that the program had to offer to further polish my skills as a future healthcare administrator.

For the first time in my life, I felt as if the efforts that I put in my personal and professional fronts were genuinely being acknowledged which made me put more effort into everything that I did and made me want to give back a thousand-fold to the program that is giving me immense personal and professional satisfaction.

The program has watered my mind and helped me to grow and evolve as a human being. It is helping me understand all of the competencies for being a successful healthcare administrator by exposing me to them in an extremely well-structed manner that will enable me to be an adept healthcare administrator, as the mission and vision of the program align with my career goals.

Due to the encouragement and the support of the faculty in the program who made me the best version of who I am today, I held multiple student leader positions. I was the provost assistant for the Dean’s Office for School of Health Sciences. I was also the vice president of SOHA and the president of the Graduate Student Council. I also co-founded the Students’ Integrated Mentorship Program (SIMP). Being actively involved in the University makes me feel grateful for the opportunities to be able to do so, as all of it culminated in a positive experience at this University.

In hindsight, we all come with a lot of clinical experience, but earning an MHA broadens our healthcare horizons to a level we did not even think was possible. This program opens your eyes to the problems plaguing the healthcare system and grooms us into the future administrator we envision ourself being by giving a solid foundation and wings with to soar.

As I start my career as a healthcare administrator, I shall forever be indebted to this program and my professors who have molded me into who I am today.

Lais Aguilar ’23 MHA

When I was deciding which school to attend for my MHA, it was important to me that the program I chose would be able to offer me great career opportunities. Living as a local in Connecticut, the University of New Haven was an easy choice, since it was the only school in the state with a CAHME accreditation.

Evidently, I chose well because in my second year as a graduate student, the MHA program was invited to participate in a national case competition for health administration graduate students. I was one of three lucky students selected to represent the University in its debut at the UAB Health Administration Case Competition in February 2023. This was a phenomenal experiential learning opportunity, and one that I highly recommend to students who are eager to gain leadership skills and meet peers from all over the U.S. In addition, the CAHME-accreditation opens more opportunities for students interested in pursuing a healthcare administration fellowship in their early career.

As a bonus, the University's small student cohort made it very easy for me to build relationships with professors and colleagues. The MHA programs' connection to professional development groups, such as the Connecticut Association of Healthcare Executives (CTAHE), gave me another avenue to further grow my professional network. The University also provided financial support so that I could attend the American College of Healthcare Administration (ACHE) congress, which is the largest career development event for health administration professionals.

After graduating from the MHA program, I landed a great job opportunity at Yale New Haven Health’s Center for Outcomes Research and Evaluation (CORE). I am happy I chose the University’s MHA program, as it was a central factor to the start of a successful career.

Niharika Pathak ’23 MHA

As a proud graduate of the University of New Haven, I am incredibly grateful for the education and experiences that have significantly shaped my career in the healthcare industry. Since completing my studies in May 2023, I have been fortunate to join the remarkable team at Beth Israel Lahey Health. In my role as a floating program coordinator, I work closely with various surgical and intensive care units. My main responsibilities include managing the day-to-day operations of programs and projects, ensuring they are delivered on time and within budget, and that they meet quality standards.

My time at the University of New Haven has been invaluable in preparing me for the daily challenges and opportunities in my profession. The faculty and staff have been incredibly supportive, and I've had the privilege of being part of a diverse and vibrant student community.

Engaging in various activities has played a major role in my growth as a healthcare professional. From participating in exciting case competitions to serving as vice president of finance for the Society of Healthcare Administration to exploring research opportunities under the guidance of Dr. Pavani, I have acquired essential skills and values that continue to shape my journey. Moreover, working on projects with Gaylord Hospital, being mentored by Professor Lane, and completing an internship at the New Haven Health Department have provided me with hands-on experiences that I will cherish forever.

I extend my heartfelt gratitude to the University of New Haven for providing me with an exceptional education and a nurturing environment that has contributed significantly to my personal and professional growth. I am also deeply grateful to Beth Israel Lahey Health for giving me a platform to make a positive impact on the lives of others.

To all current healthcare students at the University of New Haven, I urge you to explore your passions in the healthcare field and to take advantage of the countless opportunities the University offers. Your education at the University is a valuable foundation that will guide you toward a fulfilling and impactful career in the healthcare industry.

Gabriel Barsotti ’23 MHA

In today's rapidly evolving healthcare field, the demand for skilled professionals with a deep understanding of healthcare systems, strong project management skills, proficiency in statistics, and a commitment to health policies and HIPAA compliance is rising. The Master of Healthcare Administration (MHA) from the University of New Haven, with its emphasis on these critical areas, has been fundamental in shaping my career path and played a pivotal role in building opportunities, leading to my current position as an associate research scientist and clinical trial coordinator in the Yale Nephrology Clinical Trials Department.

The MHA program at the University of New Haven provided me with a strong foundation in healthcare management and administration. The course gave me a comprehensive understanding of healthcare policies, regulations, and the intricacies of healthcare delivery systems. With this knowledge, I was well-prepared to navigate the multifaceted and complex world of healthcare.

One of the invaluable benefits of my time at the University of New Haven was the opportunity to connect with a diverse group of healthcare professionals and faculty. This network has proven to be an asset in my career progression. Through alumni connections, I gained insights into various healthcare sectors, including research and clinical coordination.

My internship experience with the Yale New Haven Health System, which was facilitated through these connections, was particularly important. This hands-on experience allowed me to gain practical insights into healthcare operations and to solidify my knowledge and confidence to work in the field. These relationships not only opened doors but also provided guidance and support as I pursued my career goals.

The MHA program emphasized leadership and decision-making skills, which are crucial in my current role. As an associate research scientist and clinical trial coordinator, I am responsible for overseeing the planning, execution, and management of clinical trials related to nephrology. The project management skills honed during my MHA program have allowed me to effectively lead research teams, create project plans, allocate resources, and make informed decisions to ensure the successful execution of clinical trials.

One of the standout components of my MHA program was a robust statistics course. This course equipped me with the analytical tools necessary for interpreting research data, assessing trial outcomes, and ensuring the statistical integrity of our studies. Proficiency in statistics has been fundamental in my role, enabling me to collaborate effectively with biostatisticians and researchers and to contribute to evidence-based decision-making in clinical trials.

A deep understanding of healthcare operations, which I gained through the MHA program, has been crucial in my role. Coordinating clinical trials involves working within healthcare systems, understanding patient care workflows, and adhering to ethical and regulatory standards. My MHA education prepared me to navigate these complexities confidently, ensuring the smooth operation of clinical trials.

My daily responsibilities also include a strong emphasis on healthcare policies and HIPAA compliance. Ensuring that our research and clinical trial activities adhere to health policies and protect patient privacy in accordance with HIPAA regulations is paramount. My MHA education provided me with the knowledge and skills to interpret and navigate healthcare policies and regulations, ensuring our clinical trials operate within the bounds of legal and ethical frameworks.

In conclusion, the MHA program at the University of New Haven, with its emphasis on project management skills, statistical proficiency, commitment to health policies, and HIPAA compliance, has been the cornerstone of my current position.

This program provided me with the knowledge, skills, and network necessary to excel in healthcare. It empowered me to become a leader in managing clinical trials, ensuring the advancement of nephrology research at Yale University, while preparing me to uphold the highest standards of health policies and HIPAA compliance. My internship experience at the Yale New Haven Health System, facilitated through my network, was pivotal in solidifying my career path and enhancing my ability to contribute to the healthcare research landscape.

As I continue to grow in my role, the education, internship experience, and networking opportunities I gained through my MHA program will continue to be driving forces in my career.