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Elise Guimont

Major: Psychology
Year of Graduation: 2008
Graduate School: University of North Carolina-Charlotte Master's of Health Administration/Master's of Business Administration; ABSN at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh
Current Job Title: Project coordinator Carolinas Healthcare System

Please give a brief description of your current position:
I am currently working on work flow efficiency and design projects at Carolinas Healthcare System at the Levine Children's Hospital. I've previously worked on supply structure and integrating standardization processes to reduce cost and produce efficiency. I am also pursuing a dual degree at the University of North Carolina-Charlotte to obtain my MHA/MBA along with my BSN from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh. I hope to move into higher level administration or health care consulting upon graduation.

What path did you follow to arrive at your current job?
In 2008 I accepted an offer from Teach for America where I taught seventh grade science in Charlotte, North Carolina. During that time, I learned an exceptional amount about effective leadership, design and structure of curriculum, and effective teaching practices that have been applicable to my current role. After my two year commitment with Teach for America, I obtained a Healthcare Technician role at Carolinas Healthcare System. This role was a great foot into the healthcare system where I learned the various functions and dynamics within various departments which has led me to my Project Coordinator role.

What advice/suggestions would you have for students who might be interested in your career?
My advice and suggestions for those that may be interested in Teach for America would be to diversify your academic experience. By immersing yourself in athletics, study abroad, and volunteer experiences, it will allow you to get outside of your comfort zone.

My advice to those wanting to be healthcare executives is to obtain a clinical degree along with business. The healthcare reform is in a huge transition towards evidence-based practice and administration will continue to support that trend. In order to be fully prepared to understand the evidence-based medicine, a clinical degree will not only set you apart from the business-only mindset but will be a great way to advocate for best practices within your healthcare system and provide support to the providers you lead and support.

What skills are important in your field?
Skills that I've found to be important to this job are strong organizational skills along with the necessity to be creative and think outside of the box. With all of the changes in healthcare it is necessary to think about process improvement in many different ways than was once done. In being creative, standardization, process improvement, and cost reduction are streamlined and much more effective than using the standard way of solving problems. Of course effective communication, time management, and navigating problems and resolutions are all essential to the healthcare industry and ensuring everyone is on the same page and moving towards the same trajectory/mission.

What is the most satisfying/rewarding part of your job? Most challenging?
The most satisfying/rewarding part of my job is the ability to make improvements that not only save time and money but that improve employee satisfaction. Most importantly my job brings about a bigger purpose of improving patients' satisfaction, quality, and safety while at the hospital and that is the most satisfying aspect by far. The most challenging is to make changes and have others see both the big picture and why a change is necessary. When others are resistant to change it can be difficult to navigate and come to an agreed resolution or compromise.

What activities/experiences were helpful at CSB/SJU (and elsewhere) in preparation for this career?
My study abroad experience in Australia was very helpful as well as my volunteer experiences in VISTO Special Olympics, Senate, and athletics. I found every experience that involved teamwork, leadership, cultural immersion/diversity, and helping others, to be very helpful and essential to be able to think about another person's perspective and how it is different from mine and work together. Each experience at CSB/SJU taught me leadership, communication and humility. I couldn't be more proud to have been a part of such a supportive network and community that has prepared me in so many ways both big and small.

 Updated March 2013