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Student Spotlight – Mary Zhao

May 29, 2019

As a registered nurse, Mary Zhao quickly learned the importance of effective resource allocation when she saw a need to internally manage key supplies among medical divisions in her Canadian hospital. Through her experiences negotiating and advocating for her patients, she realized that she wanted to understand how healthcare delivery systems can use their limited resources to best serve their communities.

Now as a joint degree student in the schools of public health and management, Mary is studying health care management. Her goal in pursuing two degrees is to understand how to equitably provide for the health and wellness of people across the population, regardless of their social determinants. Mary describes her first year of study as a deep dive into the fundamentals of business. “It was an eye-opening examination of organizational perspectives and functions in healthcare and life sciences,” she said. Now that she has completed her second year of study, she is exploring how managerial decisions affect complex economic and social systems in different industries. These academic offerings have encouraged Mary to explore a variety of extracurricular and internship opportunities to help further her professional development and build on her clinical experience.

In her first year Mary completed a practicum at the Internal Consulting Group at Yale New Haven Health, where she worked on a project to optimize discharge room turnover, thus reducing costs. She collaborated with multidisciplinary teams to understand operational challenges and craft solutions, and facilitated meetings with managerial stakeholders in IT, patient care, data analysis and digital innovation. Last summer, for her public health internship, Mary worked as a summer associate with Deloitte Consulting on a project with one of the largest provider health systems in the country. There, she worked on initiatives to improve revenue cycle performance by reducing payor denials among networks in 8 states. This summer, she will intern at Deloitte in their Life Sciences and Healthcare practice in strategy and operations consulting.

Mary has loved the tight community of students in the Health Care Management program at Yale and served as president of the Yale School of Public Health’s student chapter of the American College of Healthcare Executives. She is also the marketing and communications chair for the School of Management Student Government and co-chair of the Young Women’s Leadership Launch conference, which mentors over one hundred young women from New Haven.

As a joint degree student, Mary’s third year of study allows her to explore a wide range of electives. “I am excited to explore courses on strategy, innovation and regulatory policy,” she says. “The multidisciplinary nature of the challenges we see in healthcare requires solutions that bridge sectors and draw insights from a diverse set of stakeholders.”

Submitted by Denise Meyer on May 17, 2019