A native of Pittsburgh, MHA/MBA student Chandler Caufield (HPM ’20) was familiar with the city’s burgeoning medical sector buoyed by world-class hospitals and universities; however, it wasn’t until she worked in the industry that she discovered health care was the field for her.
Caufield earned undergraduate degrees in biomedical engineering and professional writing at Carnegie Mellon University, where she also played basketball. While honing her communication and technical skills, she also took engineering and science courses, which piqued her interest in health care. After graduating, she took a position as a ventricular assist device engineer at UPMC Presbyterian hospital and in a research lab at the University of Pittsburgh.
“I really enjoyed interacting with patients and learning more about how to help them either during their time in the hospital or from a research perspective,” she says. “I began researching options and looked into every facet of health care I could. Eventually, I landed on health care administration because it seemed like the perfect intersection of my interests and skills as well as my passion for improving the patient experience.” She didn’t have to look far to find the perfect graduate program.
Offering a newly revamped Master of Health Administration/Master of Business Administration (MHA/MBA) program in cooperation with the Katz Graduate School of Business, as well as proximity to UPMC and other hospitals, Pitt Public Health was the obvious choice. Caufield especially liked that the MHA/MBA program offers a number of residency opportunities focusing on improving organizational culture and delivery of care that provide students with real-world experience implementing new systems. Now that she’s completed her first semester, the Dean’s Scholar is also impressed by the MHA/MBA program’s collegial culture and opportunity to learn, not only from faculty but also from her classmates.
“I am looking to learn as much as I can about health care from the myriad of incredibly experienced faculty here at Pitt and to leave with a well developed network of Pitt Public Health alumni,” she says. “Gauging from the wide variety of experiences and interests of my classmates, I have no doubt that this network will be an incredible set of professionals who will go on to make an impact in the public health and administration world.”