Kate Shaughnessy

Kate Shaughnessy

Kate Shaughnessy

Major: Political Science

Year of Graduation: 2009

Graduate School/Location: University of Minnesota School of Public Health, Master of Health Administration & Global Public Health Minor

Current Position/Location: Project Management at Hennepin Healthcare – HCMC in Minneapolis, MN

Hennepin Healthcare is an integrated health system that includes HCMC, a nationally recognized Level I Adult & Pediatric Trauma Center and acute care hospital, as well as a community clinic system with primary care clinics located in Minneapolis and across Hennepin County. 
In March 2018, we opened a comprehensive outpatient Clinic & Specialty Center on our downtown campus, which brings 26 primary and specialty care clinics under one roof. Hennepin Healthcare is dedicated to partnering with our community, our patients and their families to ensure access to outstanding care for everyone, while improving health and wellness through teaching, patient and community education, and research.

Please give a brief description of your current position.

In my current role at Hennepin Healthcare in the Enterprise Project Management Office, I’m responsible for the overall direction, coordination, implementation, and execution of strategic projects. I lead projects through the project lifecycle and function as a translator between disciplines within the organization to help create an understanding of project management and promote adaptive change.
Currently, I am working on a multi-year strategic project for our master campus plan program. We are working to identify how best to utilize our services and create a sustainable future for our organization. 

What path did you follow to get to your current position?

I have always followed my passions and aimed to effectively contribute to building healthy, sustainable, and thriving communities. After I graduated from CSB in 2009, I spent a year volunteering on the South Side of Chicago with Amate House and worked at a local nonprofit called Girls in the Game. After I completed my year of service, I spent the summer teaching in Jimma, Ethiopia with a group of dedicated volunteers through the Daughters of Charity. I have always been interested in international affairs, sustainable development, and health so I welcomed the opportunity to serve with the Peace Corps from 2010-2012. With the Peace Corps, I lived in Ar-Ramtha, Jordan (bordering Syria) and Madaba (a community known for religious tolerance and the ancient byzantine mosaic map of the holy land). With the Peace Corps I had the opportunity to learn the local dialect of Levant Arabic and work and learn from incredible community partners. After returning from the Peace Corps, I continued to follow my passion of strengthening health systems domestically and abroad by working for an international patient program before joining Hennepin Healthcare. Following my passion, learning from incredible mentors, and taking chances has helped me get to where I am today.     

What advice/suggestions would you have for students who might be interested in your career?

Give it a try! We have incredible classes and professors at CSB/SJU that provide helpful context for creating an amazing career. If possible, study abroad or volunteer in a limited-resource community. Also, reach out to alumni doing things you are interested in. Many graduates are happy to share stories and help you learn as you build the career you want.   

What skills are important in your field?

Flexibility. Adventurous Spirit. Team Building. Adaptability. Cultural Humility. Perseverance. Tolerance.

What is the most satisfying/rewarding part of your position?

Most rewarding is our organization’s mission. I feel so privileged to serve our patients and work to transform the health our community.

Most challenging?

Limited resources are a perpetual challenge. But through innovative thinking and interdisciplinary teamwork, we can generate and trial useful ways to overcome limitations.

What activities/experiences were helpful at CSB/SJU (and elsewhere) in preparation for this career?

When I was a junior at CSB, I had the opportunity to study abroad in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. This was a pivotal experience that challenged my way of thinking and opened my eyes to new possibilities. Also, I played soccer and ran track for the Blazers. The ability to be a student-athlete helped foster skills such as teamwork, perseverance, and creativity. I am still very close with many of my teammates and am so grateful for these life-long friendships.  

(April 2019)