University of Pittsburgh

Katz MBA Alum Succeeds in Healthcare Industry

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

As an industrial engineer for the Veterans Engineering Resource Center (VERC) of the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, Christopher Mensah (MBA ’15) works to improve the quality and efficiency of patient care.  

“Although I work for a non-profit, business fundamentals of facilitating meetings, producing data-driven results, and standardizing processes are essential to manage a successful organization,” Mensah says.

Demand for healthcare professionals with management skills is growing. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs for medical and health services administrators and managers are projected to grow 19 percent from 2014 to 2024. There were over 333,000 jobs in these fields in 2014. 

Originally from Austin, Texas, Mensah relocated to Pittsburgh to earn his undergraduate degree in industrial engineering from the University of Pittsburgh Swanson School  of Engineering. After graduating in 2010, he worked as a data coordinator with UPMC and later senior decision support analyst with Highmark Health while deciding to earn his MBA from the Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business. 

“Aside from the program’s upward trajectory in the rankings, I chose the Katz MBA program because I knew an MBA would complement my engineering background and demonstrate that I was not only technical, but also strategic and able to see the ‘big picture.’ My degree broadened my scope to incorporate the needs and perspectives of all stakeholders in the healthcare industry,” he says.

Additionally, Katz’s location in Pittsburgh allowed Mensah to develop a professional network in the healthcare industry. While at Katz, he served as a consultant for the UPMC Center for Connected Medicine, which gave him experience in applying evaluation tools and designing solutions to improve operations. 

“I encourage everyone to take advantage of Pittsburgh’s valuable networking opportunities. This is a ‘meds and eds’ city, and Pittsburgh is small enough that it isn’t impossible to sit down with those who can help you,” he says.

Katz students also benefit from the school’s preexisting partnerships with the University’s schools of Medicine, Nursing, Public Health, and Pharmacy. 

Now, Katz is launching a new Executive MBA program for healthcare professional that is being offered in affiliation with UMPC. The Katz-UPMC EMBA in Healthcare Program is a 19-month accelerated MBA program designed to prepare physicians, administrators, and managers to lead their organizations into the future. The first cohort begins in May 2017, and the class is currently being recruited. 

Katz also offers an MBA/Master of Health Administration in Health Policy and Management, and a Master of Science in Pharmacy Administration program.

The business-oriented health programs represent Katz’s commitment to the business side of health care. This is something Mensah experienced firsthand.

“The program greatly increased my respect for and ability to network and improved my ability to take apart and answer unstructured problems,” Mensah says.