Master of Health Administration

MHA In Focus: Shaquana Divers

Master of Health Administration ‘01
Queens, NY

Congratulations on your selection as one of the Rochester Business Journal’s 40 Under 40 awardees!  Tell us more about this award.
Thank you! I am honored to be recognized for my professional and civic achievements. The Rochester Business Journal is the leading source of business news and information for our community, so this award is exciting for me. I’ve lived in Rochester for 13 years, first during my high school years and then as an adult working and raising a family. Since returning to Rochester, I’ve had a wonderful and rewarding career in health care full of milestones and accomplishments. I’ve also been dedicated to community service, leadership, mentorship and civic engagement. Such qualities are what make a RBJ 40 under 40 honoree; we are movers and shakers.

Tell us about your background and what led you to be interested in the field of Health Administration.
I have a unique background that combined with my interpersonal skills has given me a professional edge.  Earning a master’s degree in Health Administration from Hofstra provided me early training in health care management issues and developing the business acumen for health service delivery while my undergraduate degree (BS in Community Health also from Hofstra) gave me training in the concepts of wellness, health promotion, and disease prevention. My interest in health administration came from my desire to be a leader, to have a seat at the table and to be able to help shape and influence those decisions. Health is a major determinant for our quality of life and there are so many interesting career paths.

What attracted you to Hofstra University’s MHA program?
While finishing my undergraduate degree I was talking to a friend who was in the MHA program. We had similar interests and drive, and I thought the program would help me enter the field with more qualifications and stronger network connections than I was able to obtain with just my bachelor degree.  During my second year of the MHA program, I completed a great internship program sponsored by the Greater New York Hospital Association, a program designed to promote racial and ethnic diversity on the healthcare leadership level. I learned about this opportunity from my graduate advisor.

Tell us about your journey since graduation and how the program helped you to achieve your personal and professional goals.
Where should I begin! Since graduating 14 years ago, I have worked in the corporate setting at Pfizer Inc, and Harris Interactive; in the community health division for two major medical centers in Baltimore and Rochester, NY; and in academia serving in research and program manager roles at Morgan State University’s School of Community Health and Policy. For the past eight years, I have been an Administrator at the University of Rochester where I’ve developed and managed health initiatives in business, clinical, community and educational settings.  I was program manager for Monroe County’s Community Transformation Grant, an initiative of the Affordable Care Act established to improve community health and reduce health disparities through policy and systems change. The programs I’ve created and managed have received awards from the American Hospital Association, the American Heart Association, the Rochester Business Journal and United Way. I am proud of my education and appreciate the quality of the professors at Hofstra; they were experienced and many of them gave great practical advice that I still apply to this day. I will never forget the advice of one of the professors who spoke of the importance of treating everyone with respect, regardless of their title or position.  That advice has taken me far!

What is your advice for prospective students looking for a degree in health?
There is enormous opportunity in health during this exciting and challenging time of health-care reform. The MHA degree is very marketable because it is broad enough to allow a person to work in a variety of settings with a solid background in health delivery and leadership. The degree also pairs well with other specialties such as medicine, nursing, social work, public health and policy.  Success in the health care field requires a mastery of technical skills and is increasingly a team endeavor so people skills are a must. We have tough problems to solve in the decades ahead. Remain open and adaptable, build a solid network, be willing to take risks, never stop learning and you will do well.

Shaquana Divers

Master of Health Administration '01
Queens, NY