In Focus: Melanie Hadden
Tell us about your background and what lead you to be interested in the field of health.
I graduated from the State University of New York at Potsdam with a degree in science. My plan was to continue my science background to increase my knowledge in cancer research. I always enjoyed the idea of working in a hospital while helping patients and their families to make sure they both receive the best care possible. I really enjoy finding solutions to particular issues. I decided to switch paths into healthcare because there are a lot of opportunities in the job market.
What made you pursue a Master of Health Administration?
With the idea of helping others and improving the healthcare system I looked into the degree of Health Administration. I really enjoy all the options and different directions that Health Administration can lead you in. Once I completed my internship I knew it was the right path. You need to experience the healthcare field in a facility to understand what it is all about. It's a lot different from learning about it in a classroom.
Why did you choose Hofstra’s MHA program?
I applied to a few schools and went on their campus tours. The feeling of Hofstra's pride on campus made my decision for me. I lived on campus so it was great to see housing just for graduate students.
What are your long-term professional goals?
My long-term professional goal is to be an administrator of a cancer treatment center. I have always had a passion to help those in need. I have worked at various cancer centers and I feel comfortable working in the atmosphere. I have always challenged myself to be successful and I am compassionate when it comes to working with others. Working in a cancer center will bring out the best attributes that I have to offer.
Describe your internship placement and/or your favorite courses.
I completed two internships during my master's program at Hofstra. The first internship I completed was at Dana-Faber Cancer Institute in Boston, MA where I was an intern for the Ambulatory Practice Management Department. During this internship I was assigned the project manager where my main goal was to improve infusion patients check-out processes. The second internship I had was at the Cancer Center for Kids at Winthrop Hospital in Mineola, NY. At this internship, I was responsible for assisting the fundraising department with their major events including their annual Black and White Ball. I assisted the fundraising department in multiple tasks and reached out to the community for donations to help the Cancer Center. Both of these internships showed me that Health Administration was the right path for me.
Have you found mentors in the Department of Health Professions?
My number one mentor is Professor Gatto. He was my HADM 300 professor as well as the faculty advisor for the Future Healthcare Leaders at Hofstra University. No matter what type of question I had for Professor Gatto, he always told me the honest truth. He has been a great asset to my success throughout Hofstra's program.
Have you enjoyed studying and working with the Hofstra MHA cohort?
I have enjoyed working with the MHA cohort. Without my study groups I don't think I would gain the friendships that I did during the program. As the Vice President of the Future Healthcare Leaders at Hofstra University, I worked with other club executives to bring the student body together so everyone could meet each other. Networking with the MHA cohort is something you have to do in order to succeed in the program.
Tell us about the position you recently accepted in Boston.
I recently accepted a Project Coordinator position at Brigham and Women's Faulkner Hospital. In this position I am in charge of nine different modalities: x-ray, CT scan, MRI, etc. I will be trained on how each modality works and I will be managing the daily production. If the daily production isn't running smoothly, I will be completing a project to improve the different systems within each modality. With this position I also will be involved with budget audits, annual presentations and the opportunity to show Brigham and Women's Faulkner Hospital what the MHA department at Hofstra has taught me over the past two years. My journey to get to this position started with attending the East Coast Fellowship in Connecticut my first year. From there I met the fellows of Dana-Farber and Brigham and Women's. The two fellows helped me find my mentor who hired me for my internship at Dana-Farber. From there I was able to build my network circle and I started to research the hospitals in the surrounding area.
What is your advice to students interested in Health Administration?
My advice for any students that are interested in Health Administration would be to look at all the different possibilities this program could offer you. With the faculty and student body combined there is a wide range of people who will lend out their hands to answer your questions. Hofstra has mastered a great program that is geared for anyone interested in the health field. The large amount of healthcare facilities located in the area is an added bonus. I personally didn't have a healthcare background, but look at me now. I am starting my career through contacts and supports gained through this program. Start your networking day one it will pay off in the end.