Master of Health Administration student Anisha Koshy wants to carry forward the lessons she’s learned about healthy equity and leveraging the collective knowledge of the community to reduce barriers to care in her future career as a healthcare leader.
“I learned that there’s not always a need to start from scratch when deciding the best way to help people, as we often just need to look to community organizations that have already found ways to reach underserved populations,” she said.
Master of Health Administration (MHA) and Master of Public Health (MPH) in Health Policy & Management
Bachelor of Science (BS), Biology, University of Georgia
Sandy Springs, GA
What attracted you to seeking a degree in public health? Health administration?
I was always interested in a career in healthcare and had been pursuing a pre-med track in my undergraduate studies. I took a health policy and management class as part of my minor in public health coursework and was immediately intrigued with the intricacies of our healthcare system. I had always known that we had a complicated system for care delivery, but I never truly comprehended its magnitude and complexity until that introductory class. From there, I knew that I wanted to have a career at the system level rather than as a clinical care provider. Specifically, I wanted to learn more about the circumstances and barriers that hinder access to care. With that in mind, I decided to pursue my MPH in health policy and management. Soon after, I learned of UGA’s newly formed Master of Health Administration program, and knew that its focus on leadership development would be the perfect complement to my MPH.
Why did you choose you choose to pursue both an MPH and MHA?
I chose to pursue both an MPH and MHA because of the interdisciplinary knowledge and diverse skill set both degrees offer. The MPH is uniquely equipping me to understand population health, policy and legal considerations and program design. Meanwhile, the MHA has helped me develop into a strong leader while providing technical knowledge on the administration and management of healthcare organizations. Pursuing both degrees will help me and my fellow MPH/MHA students become knowledgeable leaders who can make a difference in the health of their communities.
What do you consider to be the highlight of your time at the College?
I have loved the level of support available to me through the College of Public Health. In my undergraduate major, it was easy to get lost in the coursework and not know who to seek advice from. Here at the college, I know exactly which advisors and professors to go to when I have questions. Additionally, there have been so many opportunities to form mentorship relationships in our programs. My MPH and MHA mentors guided me through the program by pointing me to the right opportunities and offering a listening ear when graduate school got overwhelming (as it can be at times!)
What did you do for your internship?
Being a dual degree student, I have had the opportunity to take on two internships. I just completed my internship as a health equity intern with Providence Health and Services in Southern California this past summer and will be completing a second administrative internship at Habersham Medical Center this fall.
What have you learned from the internship?
My time at Providence Health taught me the importance of community involvement. Oftentimes in healthcare, we operate in silos leading to incomplete information and disjointed efforts. Providence’s health equity team placed major importance on entering into community partnerships to formulate interventions. I learned that there’s not always a need to start from scratch when deciding the best way to help people, as we often just need to look to community organizations that have already found ways to reach underserved populations.
Do you have any volunteer experiences that were especially meaningful?
I greatly enjoyed my time volunteering at Mercy Health Center, which is close to the Health Sciences Campus. I worked with the Mercy Medication Assistance Program (MMAP), which helps patients receive needed medications, like insulin and inhalers, for a small administrative fee. The volunteer experience gave me my first glimpse into the difficulties uninsured patients face in trying to access healthcare goods and services. This is an experience that I’ll carry into my future career, and will always help me keep in mind our most vulnerable populations in all the work that I do.
What activities/achievements/awards during your time here are you most proud of?
My involvement in our student chapter of the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE) has played a huge role in my graduate career. ACHE is a national organization that advances leaders in the field of healthcare. During the 2020-2021, I served as president for our student chapter, which gave me unique insights into running events and generating engagement through a virtual platform. Apart from my ACHE involvement, I have also been privileged to serve on the executive boards for the Public Health Association and our MHA Executive Board. It was also an honor to be selected as a Connie Lloyd Scholarship recipient, as Connie Lloyd was an innovative pioneer in healthcare management and leadership, who demonstrated a commitment to her colleagues and patients. I strive to embody these qualities in my future career, and I am honored to be recognized as a student that can carry on Connie Lloyd’s legacy.
How has the current pandemic impacted your educational experience at UGA and CPH?
With classes and events on virtual platforms, it became harder to form meaningful relationships with fellow students. However, it was nice to see how everyone within CPH found new ways to support each other, whether that was professors offering flexibility with our workloads or classmates regularly checking in on each other. With the pandemic effectively cancelling a majority of administrative internships during the summer of 2020, I had to work harder to find an internship for summer of 2021. That led me to apply to more out-of-state options, which I hadn’t considered before, ultimately leading me to my internship at Providence in California.
What insights have you gained as a public health student?
As a public health student during the pandemic, I’ve learned the importance of having trust in our public health institutions, and the unfortunate power of disinformation. As future public health and healthcare leaders, we have a responsibility to find ways to communicate credible information in a transparent manner.
What are your plans beyond graduation?
I’m currently applying to administrative fellowships and searching for job opportunities within hospitals and health systems. CPH has done a great job of giving me the tools I need to enter the workforce. I’m excited to see what the future holds as I continue to work toward my goal of serving in a leadership position within a healthcare organization!
Posted on September 2, 2021.