Her current job responsibilities:
Lauren currently serves as CEO of FlexForce, LLC— an online platform in which therapists and skilled nursing facilities directly interact in order to make temporary staffing more efficient.
While the design for FlexForce was inspired by her experience as a clinician and rehab manager, Lauren believes her participation in the LHCO program gave her the background knowledge and confidence to make her vision a reality.
Why did you decide to get this MAS degree?
“Throughout my career as a speech language pathologist, I was constantly being promoted to leadership roles despite having no education or formal training in business or management. As my experience increased, I found great enjoyment in leading people and wanted to do this full time. In order to really excel in management and operations, I knew I needed more training. I was looking for a program specifically focused on the healthcare industry that wouldn’t break the bank and require me to lose my full-time employee status. The MAS program worked perfectly with my work schedule and budget. What also made this program attractive was that the majority of students and faculty had some level of experience within health care. I knew I would be in good company!”
What did you like best about the program?
“I found the interaction with my peers and instructors to be the most valuable part of the program. Whether it was through group projects or class discussions, I was constantly exposed to new issues and problems people are experiencing firsthand in health care, as well as solutions that translated into my own work environment. “
What skills are you applying in your job that you learned in the program?
“I found the coursework on project management, strategic planning, and process improvement to be the most immediately gratifying. These courses provided me with the background and tools necessary to begin immediate implementation the day after class. The most valuable class was on leadership and managing teams. Having a better understanding of how people operate and what we need to do to make them successful has not only lead to better outcomes, but greater respect among my peers and associates. It also allowed me to tackle tough situations with tact.”
Did getting this degree have a positive impact on your career while you were working on your degree, and if yes, in what way?
“My growth as a leader has certainly resulted in my managers having greater confidence in my ability to lead. My responsibilities have increased, as well as my involvement in special projects. I feel as though I have diversified my skill set beyond just being a clinician with management experience in rehab, and now I feel confident I can manage within any area of health care.”
What would you like to tell someone who is considering the program?
“If you work in health care and you feel “stuck” in your current position, I highly recommend this program for you. I was enjoying my clinical work as a speech language pathologist, but started to feel like there was no growth or opportunity for me beyond the clinical environment. This program has provided me with a very valuable skill set that sets me apart from a lot of applicants looking for management jobs in health care. Even if you have no desire to leave your current position, the skills acquired in this program will certainly improve your communication skills and process improvement skills, and increase your understanding of quality assurance– all important to making you a better clinician.
MAS, the Leadership of Healthcare Organizations, UC San Diego
M.Ed., Communication Sciences and Disorders, University of Georgia
Capstone Project: “Measuring Frontline Staff Responses to Training for Identifying and Preventing Falls in a Nursing Facility “