Scarpinato’s MHA Residency with Allegheny General Extended


Mario “Mark” Scarpinato’s (HPM '17) residency with Allegheny Health Network (AHN) was only supposed to last the summer, per the Pitt Public Health Master of Health Administration program’s residency requirement; however, he will continue his work on site at Allegheny General Hospital through the 2016–17 school year. “I chose to work as a financial resident to further my understanding of finance,” he says. “I have always been interested in numbers, and this residency gave me the opportunity to work with numbers and help move AHN to financial stability.”

Scarpinato is serving in the corporate finance area of AHN, taking a system-wide view of the organization in an attempt to learn how major health systems operate from the financial side. Among several takeaways he has so far is that working on the corporate side of a health system is not easy. “Competing priorities happen every day, and the opportunity cost of whatever is done is immense,” he says. “The complexities of modern-day health care are enormous, and there are so many players in the game that predicting how an action you initiate will affect the game is almost impossible.”

Scarpinato says career-wise he plans to focus on being the best clinician he can be before becoming an administrator. “This experience has greatly shaped me. The most important thing in my career is taking care of patients.” As for completing the residency requirement, he says it not only has validated his time in the classroom—he has applied almost all of what he learned at Pitt Public Health to his residency at AHN—it has given him a significant advantage going forward. “Doing a residency is the most important part of an education at Pitt,” he says. “It will set you up for the rest of your career.”


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