2017 grad finds MHA to be perfect blend of business, health

As MHA candidate Amanda Masciarelli approached graduation, she reflected on how her Ohio State experience didn’t necessarily start out in the field of public health.

“I actually started out wanting to be a doctor — I took a bunch of courses in undergrad thinking I wanted to go to medical school, but I realized it wasn’t for me,” Masciarelli said. “I explored a bit and I ended up in business, where I had a professor who suggested I go to graduate school.”

She started researching MBA programs, but still felt drawn to helping people through health care and public health.

“Just by happenstance, I was on my computer one day and an ad on my browser popped up for the MHA program at OSU,” Masciarelli said. “For me, the MHA program has that business aspect but it also has the public health aspect. It gave me a balance between my passion for business and my passion for health.”

Masciarelli liked that in addition to business-oriented classes, the MHA program in the college’s Division of Health Services Management and Policy offers courses in epidemiology and environmental sciences.

“Public health is so important, but a lot of people don’t really understand or know about it,” Masciarelli said. “With all of the changes happening with health care and the government policy, it’s becoming much more prevalent for everyone.”

Masciarelli was a member of the Association for Future Healthcare Executives, which provides opportunities to meet with and interview individuals who have made careers out of public health.

“We get to interact with a wide perspective of health professionals — people who have had jobs in hospitals or in the county health department, for example,” Masciarelli said.

Additionally, Masciarelli worked on projects for her administrative residency, which involved a lot of community outreach, including providing literature on health issues that are comprehensive to different age groups and education levels.

“We try and figure out what it is we can do to provide health care and improve the population health of the community,” Masciarelli said.

With graduation behind her, Masciarelli intends to continue to expand her community outreach initiatives.

“Our program provides a really good base for future career plans — I will be at Ohio Health for the next two years doing my administrative fellowship.”