16:42 PM

Co-Workers Pursue Bellevue University MHA Degrees Together

Unknowingly, three healthcare professionals at Driscoll Children’s Hospital in Corpus Christi, Texas, were each considering pursuing a graduate degree in healthcare leadership at the same time.

Once the three women – rehabilitation director and speech-language pathologist Susan Fields, rehabilitation manager and physical therapist Anna Rossetti, and rehabilitation manager and occupational therapist Kristy Morales – realized they shared the same goal, they began to collectively research different academic programs.

They started by creating a spreadsheet listing universities across the nation and included program information, cost, online availability, residency requirements and whether or not the three of them could remain in the same cohort throughout the program.

The three women explained they ultimately decided on Bellevue University’s Master of Healthcare Administration program as it would enable them to collaborate and grow together professionally while maintaining full-time employment. The program also offered them the opportunity to integrate their current work into their studies and vice versa.

Fields, Rossetti and Morales, who all began their studies online through Bellevue University in February 2021, arrived in the field of healthcare through three different paths.

Fields, a speech-language pathologist, initially chose her path because her sister had a speech impediment, and seeing her progress inspired her to work toward a career in healthcare.

“After working as a speech pathologist for several years, I became intrigued with how a rehab department ran, and that interested me in seeking a role in rehab leadership where I have been for over 20 years,” Fields shared. “There were so many details about the world of rehabilitation, and I was fascinated by how to make things run smoothly with the right people at the right time to do the right work. I have been in a hospital setting ever since.

The three explained they ultimately decided on @BellevueU's MHA program as it would enable them to collaborate and grow together professionally while maintaining full-time employment.

For Morales, an occupational therapist, the decision to enter the field was guided by her desire to work with children in a healthcare setting.

“I was particularly interested in congenital anomalies and upper extremity function, and that’s what I did for my first 15-plus years in healthcare,” she said. “I had a desire to understand the big picture of rehab, and I became interested in pursuing a leadership role within our rehabilitation department.”

What initially interested physical therapist Rossetti in healthcare was her grandfather, who was diabetic and received lots of physical therapy after bilateral lower extremity amputations and his need to use prosthetics.

“I would gladly attend his physical therapy sessions at Baylor University in Dallas, Texas, and enjoyed the dedication and desire the physical therapists had to help my grandfather succeed,” she said. “I started my career after PT school in an adult acute care hospital working in critical care and worked my way up to rehab leadership positions from a lead PT to rehab manager of a small rural hospital.”

The three women shared that furthering their education at Bellevue University together is great because they motivate and support each other by collaborating on and discussing assignments. With their varied backgrounds and experiences, they’re able to bring different opinions and ideas to their discussions.

For example, when they interviewed staff within Driscoll Children’s Hospital for an assignment, they made an effort to never interview the same person so, departmentally, they garnered information from a diverse group of leaders.  

And there was also a bit of healthy competition throughout the program, the women added, which they enjoyed and helped them to stay on course. There is no way any one of them would quit, they said.

Ultimately, the achievement of completing Bellevue University’s Master of Healthcare Administration program offers Fields, Rossetti and Morales an opportunity to pursue individual and group advancement within Driscoll Children’s Hospital and externally.  

The three women hope to improve the quality of care that impacts the patients they serve regardless of their titles. They all entered the field of healthcare because of a personal desire to help others, and their ability to do so is enhanced with the knowledge they received during the completion of their master’s program.  

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