Elaine Sullivan EMHL ’19: Transferring from an MHA to an Executive MA in Healthcare to Lead Change

Elaine Sullivan, EMHL ’19

Elaine Sullivan, Brown University Executive Master in Healthcare Leadership (EMHL) Class of 2019, has been an independent anesthesia practitioner for the past 17 years specializing in office-based anesthesia for plastic surgery. Despite her deep experience and MSN degree, Sullivan decided to go back to school to harness the power of the technological changes transforming the healthcare industry. She enrolled in a top-tier healthcare master’s program but soon realized that it was not the program for her.

The program was geared for a much younger and less experienced demographic than I belonged to. As a result, I wasn’t getting the intellectual or industry insights that I was looking for from either the faculty or my cohort members to impact healthcare and take my career to the next level.

One semester into the MHA program, Sullivan sat down with the dean to discuss her dilemma. The dean suggested she look into executive programs.

When I originally started my search for a master’s program, I didn’t even consider an executive degree because I thought they were just certificate programs. I wanted something with more depth.

Discovering EMHL opened up a new door for me. It offered a curriculum and cohort geared for my professional level and the rigor I was looking for to broaden my perspective across the healthcare landscape from leading experts.

Halfway through the EMHL program, Sullivan is confident that she made the right choice.

The faculty is outstanding and have the level of expertise that I need at my career stage. Because my cohort is made up of seasoned professionals across the industry, we’re able to gain valuable skills and insights from each other in group work on campus and online.

In the classroom, we’re engaging with faculty in a two-way discussion because we all have applicable experience that sheds light on the subject matter and elevates our understanding of the opportunities and challenges to transform healthcare.

Sullivan is leveraging knowledge gained through the program to develop her EMHL Critical Challenge Project (CCP) on maximizing efficiency in the credentialing process of clinical professionals which she describes as an “antiquated system.”

I’m focusing my CCP on a business plan to develop a cloud-based database for healthcare professionals to store all verified and primary sourced information such as copies of their education, training and work history.

There’s no reason with today’s technology that healthcare professionals should have to fill out reams of paperwork and wait up to three months each time they want to take on new work.

Addressing these inefficiencies is how we’re going to make healthcare delivery better, faster and cheaper.

Elaine Sullivan is a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) – Independent Contractor, CRNA, and partner at Icon Anesthesia Group.

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