Dr. Erica Findley is the associate executive director and dental director at Southwest Boulevard Family Health Care in Kansas City (a nonprofit clinic), and she never thought she would pursue additional duties beyond that. Her plans changed when she was tapped to expand her leadership responsibilities within the organization. After deciding to rise to the challenge, Findley knew she would need more education, so she chose to pursue an Executive MBA in Healthcare.
What brought her to Creighton? “I liked Creighton’s program because of its focus and emphasis on patient-centered care, humility and servant leaders,” Findley says. “That really struck me as what I wanted to do–servant leadership focusing on the community and quality of care.” For her, Creighton ultimately felt like the right fit to continue her education, with the goal of carrying out her workplace’s mission of caring for everyone in need and not turning away patients.
Real-World Lessons for Healthcare Management
Since starting the program as a student, Findley says she’s already been able to apply lessons learned in the classroom to her day-to-day work. “I never thought I’d be getting another degree, because this is my fourth,” she says. “Yes, it’s very challenging. But yet, I feel that it’s incredibly relevant, so I am never frustrated at the time it takes because I know it’s important. I would say that in every single course, I’ve learned something that is valuable toward my future objective of being both an excellent clinician and an effective healthcare leader.”
Of course, balancing schoolwork with a full-time job and her personal life is far from easy. The key to that–aside from “a lot of coffee,” as Findley jokes–has been creating overlap between the various spheres of her life. She coordinates her class and work responsibilities, being intentional about the projects she pursues in the program so that they’re directly applicable to what she needs to accomplish at work. There’s space for studying on the family side as well–Findley and her daughter set up a study space at home where they can do work and spend time together.
The Support to Succeed
Aside from being strategic with her time management, Findley has found encouragement and support within the program, both from faculty members and her fellow students. She was impressed by how engaged the professors were, particularly compared to her dental school experience. Being a part of a diverse cohort of learners has also been a crucial formative part of Findley’s experience, and she advises prospective students to take advantage of cohort group sessions and get to know their classmates. “My cohort–they’re very smart,” she says. “I learn a lot from them, and I’m challenged by them; they’re wonderful.”
Overall, Findley is happy with her decision to choose Creighton. The engaging leadership, passion and drive inherent in Creighton’s Executive MBA in Healthcare were ultimately her deciding factors in selecting the program. “I have been continually impressed, and I’m really grateful that I chose this program instead of one of the others,” she says. “I have had no doubts.”
Ultimately, each day as a student at Creighton puts Findley closer to her goal of growing as a healthcare leader, equipping her with the business acumen and leadership skills to succeed with flying colors.