Blessy Varghese Peacedale was a practicing physician in Kerala, India, when her spouse’s employer transferred him to Marshalltown, Iowa. Her decision to accompany him required her to make another decision – whether to pursue an American medical license. “To complete the USMLE and a residency would have taken three to four years,” she says. “But at the time, I had a visa for only three years, so I had to consider other options.”
Peacedale learned about DMU’s master of health care administration program and enrolled in 2011. “The program helped me a lot. In India, my knowledge and experience were limited to clinical areas, and not in health care administration. All the courses in the M.H.A. program taught me key aspects on the administration side of health care – how to identify problems and best ways to address them.”
The class interactions, the discussion boards, assignments, tests and deadlines were all demanding but valuable experiences throughout the program, she adds.
As a student, Peacedale became a volunteer at the Marshalltown Medical and Surgical Center. She also job-shadowed some of its administrative leaders and, for her M.H.A. capstone project, worked on projects with a department leader. After she completed her degree in December 2013, she began a three-month internship at the center, working on a variety of projects in different administrative areas. That variety led to her new position as the medical center’s risk and compliance coordinator.
“When the position came open, they encouraged me to apply,” she notes. “The many projects I worked on were my real interviews.”