On Friday, November 10, eight students from the School of Business and Healthcare Management Society (HMS) toured both Yale New Haven Hospital (YNNH)-St. Raphael’s campus and St. Vincent’s Medical Center (Hartford Health) in Bridgeport. The group was led by Dr. Jia Yu, faculty advisor and associate professor of economics; Katherine Cappetta, Healthcare Management Society President; and Patty Conte, School of Business internship coordinator.
The goal of the tour was to let students explore the operation of hospital and medical systems, learn the function of healthcare administration and management in the healthcare industry, give students opportunities to have a direct conversation with the local healthcare executives, and inspire students with the experiences and perspectives of those healthcare executives.
The student exploration event at YNHH, organized by The Connecticut Association of Healthcare Executives (CTAHE), started with three panelists: Cynthia Sparer, executive vice president and president, Ambulatory Services; Michael Holmes, executive vice president and COO; and Jorge Rodriguez, senior vice president and COO. The speakers shared stories of how they ended up in the positions they are in today, and all three stressed the importance of saying yes to opportunities, because you never know where they may lead. The student group also viewed the construction happening on site and heard about the future plans for the hospital.
In the afternoon, the group commuted to Bridgeport to visit St. Vincent’s Medical Center. The students had a private panel discussion with William Jennings, SVP/Fairfield Region president; John Rossi, Fairfield Region VP operations; and Joe Laveneziana, senior director, Asset and Facility Management. The panel was eager to answer any questions the students had by sharing their own experiences and expressed positive sentiments about their time in the field, offering reassurance to the undergraduate students. While all three executives shared their personal stories within the healthcare industry, they spoke about the importance of being a strong leader, coworker, and team player.
This trip highlighted the pivotal role of healthcare administration and how it is an essential foundation to any medical institution. After the panel discussion, Rossi and Laveneziana gave the students a tour of the St. Vincent’s Medical Center, including a glance into a cardiac catheterization lab, a tour of an inpatient room, and a detailed introduction to the Emergency Room (containing a Level II trauma center and stroke center).
Students gained tremendous benefits from both hospital visits. Jaiden Garcia, ’24, a member of HMS and undergraduate student majoring in healthcare studies, said, “Thank you to all the executives from both Hartford Health and Yale for the wisdom and great advice. I hope this can continue for years to come! Thank you to our club president Katherine Cappetta and advisor Jia Yu for putting such an amazing experience together.”
Malik Green, a senior business student and HMS club member who is also working as part of the transportation team at YNNH, said, “I was grateful and shocked by the number of things I was able to learn with both Yale and St. Vincent’s. The executives we met were friendly and professional, showing how they care about their jobs and their different loves of healthcare. The thing I liked the most was hearing about the various career paths that lead the speakers to where they are today. It inspired me to buckle down and focus myself more than ever so I can hope to achieve the success that our panelists have achieved.”
Healthcare Management Society (HMS) is a student club housed in the School of Business, as well as a student chapter of the Connecticut Association of Healthcare Executive (CTAHE) Higher Education Network (HEN). HMS would like to express deep appreciation to CTAHE for coordinating the YNHH event and to the School of Business for sponsoring the experience.
Both YNNH and Hartford Health have indicated interest in continuing the student visits regularly moving forward, and HMS is planning another hospital tour for March 2024. Those interested in participating are encouraged to reach out HMS President Katherine Cappetta (email@example.com) or faculty advisor Dr. Jia Yu (firstname.lastname@example.org).